Lowest British savings levels for 12 months

  • Britons are saving £87 each month, down from £100 last spring
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of Britons are saving nothing each month, a rise from 17% last spring
  • A quarter (25%) say they are less likely to save over the next three months

NS&I’s latest Quarterly Savings Survey, published today (4 July 2012), shows savings levels have dropped over the last year, with a growing number of the population saving nothing each month. Over a third (37%) of savers don’t have enough savings to cope in an emergency.

This spring Britons saved an average of £87 each month. This has fallen from £95 in winter and £100 this time last year. As a percentage of income the drop in monthly savings was from 8.31% in spring 2011 to just 7.08% this quarter, despite income levels remaining broadly stable.

The findings also show that there are a growing number of people who don’t save anything each month. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Britons admitted they saved nothing during the spring months, up from 17% this time last year, an increase of 2.96 million people.

John Prout, Retail Customer Director, NS&I, said:

“When times are tough it can be difficult to save but even putting away a few pounds each week will help act as a financial cushion, should you face an emergency. It is worth everyone taking another look at their finances to make sure their money goes as far as possible. Why not start a log of all incomings and outgoings to help you work out a budget? This can be a useful way to keep on top of your money management.”

Last spring (2011) nearly a third (32%) of Britons with savings goals were motivated to save for an emergency, but this fell to just 24% in winter. Perhaps as a result of this, over a third (37%) of savers now don’t have enough savings to cope in an emergency.

The outlook for Britain’s savings levels is not optimistic. A quarter (25%) said they’re less likely to save over the next three months and nearly half (49%) of Britons said the amount they’re able to set aside won’t change over the same period.

NS&I’s research has identified that people in their late thirties and early forties (35-44 years) particularly struggled to save this quarter. The amount that this age group saved fell significantly, with people saving 5.82% of their income this spring compared to 7.58% in winter. Over a quarter (28%) didn’t make any savings at all. Perhaps as a consequence of this, just under half of people in this age group (47%) do not have enough savings to cope in an emergency.

About this research

The most recent NS&I Savings Survey was conducted by TNS, among 2,444 British adults aged 16+ between 4 May and 10 May 2012. We also refer to NS&I Savings Surveys with data collected by TNS from 31 Jan to 9 Feb 2012, among 2,441 British adults aged 16+ and 14 to 21 April 2011 among 2,597 British adults aged 16+. The survey has been running every quarter since winter 2004, and is a snapshot of how the nation is saving.

About NS&I

NS&I is one of the UK's largest financial providers with over 26 million customers and over £100 billion invested. All products offer 100% security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury. NS&I products are available over the telephone, internet, post and by standing order.