Savings rates may not have been that enticing over the last few months, but that hasn't put off ardent savers. In fact, many are becoming increasingly optimistic and are actively planning to stash away even more by the end of the year.
According to research from NS&I, 18% of those surveyed feel more likely to save in the next three months – a 2% increase from spring 2013 when just 16% said the same – while the proportion of people who said they're less likely to save has fallen, down to 18% in spring 2014 compared to 22% a year ago.
Savings levels overall are increasing too, with the typical Brit putting an average of £105.43 aside every month, or 8.21% of their monthly income – a clear increase from the £87.81/6.89% of spring 2013, and not far behind the peak of 8.31% recorded in spring 2011. Just 13% admit to having no savings (down from 15%) while 56% say they have enough to cope with an emergency, an increase of 4% on last year.
It's great news for savers as it means more will be prepared for the unexpected, as well as giving them the chance to build up a valuable nest egg for the future or that once-in-a-lifetime holiday. The figures arguably reflect wider improvements in the economy as a whole as savers are starting to feel the benefits, with many being more willing – and able – to stash away a greater proportion of their income.
It seems that this positivity is spreading across all age groups too. Of those more likely to save, 59% are aged 16-34, although confidence is still highest among those aged 55+ who have more stashed away in savings. Older savers are becoming increasingly clued up when it comes to making the most of their money too, with additional research from Saga revealing that two-thirds of over-50s check their savings rate every six months – and the same amount would switch accounts to get a better deal.
It's a good habit to get into, and is one all age groups should pick up. Regularly reviewing your savings rate, and being prepared to switch if necessary, is the only way to make sure you're getting the best deal and therefore the best returns, because if you're not careful you could well be losing out.
Let's say you took out one of the top easy access rates currently available. Post Office's restriction-free Online Saver Issue 7 pays a competitive 1.30% from a minimum investment of just £1, but this includes a 0.40% bonus for 12 months. So, while you'll be winning now, your rate will have dropped to 0.90% in a year's time – so you'll need to be prepared to review it at that point.
That's why keeping up-to-date with our best buy tables, as well as your own rate, is vital. Reviewing your savings should be a regular part of any financial health check to ensure your money is working as hard as possible, and that way you can be sure all that extra money you're stashing away can go as far as possible.
Find the best savings rates with our best buy
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.