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Britons saving more in 2008

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Britons are saving more and raiding less so far this year, according to research from Birmingham Midshires.

Within the last three months, people have saved an average £938 compared with £910 in the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, people have raided £1,700 this year, down from over £2,000 in 2007.

As day-to-day costs are rising and financial uncertainty takes its toll, Britons are increasingly trying to insulate themselves against future financial shocks, with almost eight in 10 people (77%) managing to save something in the last three months. This contrasts with 80% during the same time period in 2007.

Birmingham Midshires asked a representative sample of more than 2,000 adults if they had saved in the last three months and if so how much. It asked the same sample of people if they had raided their savings in the last three months and if so by how much.

The results reveal an increasingly cautious national picture on saving and raiding, with Britons tightening their purse strings and juggling their finances to manage higher expenses today and in the months to come. Although there has been a notable rise in the cost of living, more than six in 10 Britons (63%) have managed to save in the last three months, with one in seven (14%) managing to save up to £5,000 and one in 100 managing to save more than £10,000.

Tim Hague, director of savings and investments at Birmingham Midshires, said: “This research shows how current market conditions are playing on the minds of Britons. Despite a marked increase in living costs, people are becoming more cautious and managing to save more and spend less, with their financial future in mind.

“We would urge savers to keep an eye on how much they are dipping into their accounts and remain vigilant about their overall savings balance. We recommend that savers have the equivalent of at least three months’ salary in their savings accounts.”

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