A third of people put no money away last quarter

Date published: 31 May 2017

More than a third of UK adults (37 per cent) have not saved or invested a penny in the last three months, according to a quarterly tracker launched by RateSetter this month.

RateSetter has commissioned an installation to urge people to take their heads out of the sand and take an active approach to putting their money to work.

On average, people put away £211 each month in the last quarter.

Men saved significantly more than women over the period (£246 a month, compared to £175).

25-34 year olds put away the most over that period (averaging £245 a month), followed by those of retirement age (£228 a month – aged 65+). Younger adults, aged 18-24, put away the least (£141 per month).

One in five (19 per cent) say that they currently have no savings at all, and two in five (43 per cent) no investments.

Average total savings and investments stand at £17,811 and £20,138 respectively.

But again, men outstrip women here both on savings and investments, with total combined pots averaging £51,108 for men, and £24,934 for women.

Across the regions, Yorkshire and Humberside top the table with average savings and investments of £45,457, followed by London at £44,845.

Although there is widespread feeling among a majority of adults that that they are not saving enough (50 per cent agree, compared to 17 per cent who disagree), just 21 per cent expect to be able to save more over the next 12 months.

With low returns on cash accounts, both savers and non-savers feel less incentivised to put money away; 44 per cent say that low returns meant that it was not worth saving in cash.

And, although a minority, one in 10 (11 per cent) would prefer to borrow than to save to achieve life goals. This is particularly true of Londoners (28 per cent) and of those aged 25-44 (25-34: 19 per cent, 35-44: 18 per cent).

Ceri Williams, Head of Investor Operations at RateSetter, commented: “People who traditionally save their money in a cash account are in a difficult position right now: many feel that low rates mean that it’s not worth saving at all, and with inflation comfortably outstripping returns on savings products, it’s easy to understand why.”

“However, a significant proportion of people (28 per cent) indicated that they were prepared to take on some risk in order to earn a better rate of return on their money, and that’s reflected in our experience too – we’ve seen a steady rise in the number of people investing via our platform, earning returns of around 4 per cent in exchange for taking on some risk.”

RateSetter will continue to track attitudes to saving and investing, and will publish results each quarter.

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