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Are you a piggybank saver?

Are you a piggybank saver?

Category: Savings

Updated: 29/04/2016
First Published: 28/04/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

While some choose to squirrel away their cash in a savings account, others have a more traditional approach, with research from Virgin Money finding that the UK is a nation of piggybank savers.

The figures show that an estimated 7.6m adults still keep their money in a piggybank, while 16% keep their money "on the side" and 12% in a glass jar. A further 7% keep their cash in large bottles and the same amount stash it in bags, which means that overall, there's an estimated £1.3bn languishing in the homes of savers – money that could be working far harder for them.

But just why are people keeping their cash at home? The main reason seems to be that they like to have money where they can see it (29%), while 16% say it's because they use the money for everyday spending and 14% said it's because they like to be able to access it at all times.

However, despite the fact that piggybanks are typically the preserve of childhood savings, the research found that many parents (53%) are actively encouraging their children to save in a more formal manner. Indeed, 23% said that their children have more money in an ISA or savings account than they do.

Zack Hocking, savings director at Virgin Money, commented: "Piggybanks are a great starting point for children learning the basics of saving money, but there is a clear opportunity for adults to gather their stockpiles together and make their money work harder for them. Whether it is under the mattress, in a bottle, or in a sock drawer, that money could be contributing towards their savings goals."

Happily, many people do have a sizeable amount squirreled away in the bank, too, with the research finding that people have an average of more than £7,000 held in current accounts, savings accounts and ISAs which they can readily access.

However, this ease of access means that many could be keeping their cash in poor-performing accounts, with just 27% saying that they're happy with the interest rate they're earning on their money. A further 29% know the rate and aren't happy with it, while 28% don't know the rate, and 17% say their money is earning them no interest at all.

This is why it's so important to keep track of your savings accounts so you know whether they're performing effectively. Regularly check the interest rate you're getting with a variable account – particularly if you opted for an account that came with a short-term bonus – and if it isn't as high as you'd like, compare alternatives to find a better deal. You'll earn far more than if you kept it in a piggybank!

What next?

Compare the top savings accounts to make your money work harder

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.