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Lockdown savers put away an average of £1,085

Written by: Emma Lunn
The habit of putting money away regularly might be one of the few good things to come out of the pandemic, according to Nationwide Building Society.

According to a poll by the society, savers have squirrelled away an average of £1,085.90 since the first lockdown. However, many people have struggled to save anything at all.

Nationwide is launching a national advertising campaign to ‘Get the Nation Saving’.

Its research shows half (50%) of Brits say that financial worries due to Covid-19 have made them think about saving now, more than they did before. More than two thirds (69%) believe the pandemic will have a long-term impact on how important they think it is to have a financial buffer in place, rising to three quarters (75%) of those aged 16 to 34.

Even those on lower incomes believe Covid-19 will have an enduring impact on the need for a nest egg, with 63% of those earning £15,000 or less agreeing this is the case. This rises with higher earnings – from 72% for those earning £15,001 to £25,000 and 73% for those earning £25,001 to £35,000.

However, for many people the pandemic may have further restricted their ability to save, particularly for those who have seen their incomes shrink or who have lost their jobs.

For those earning £15,000 or less, 27% said they saved less since last March and 16% have never saved any money. However, only 9% of those earning between £15,001 and £25,000 said they have never saved any money at all.

Future plans

The pandemic has forced nearly three quarters (72%) of people to either postpone or cancel their plans. While more than two in five (41%) of those put the money they had set aside into their savings, 17% used the spare money to pay down debt, and 15% spent it on themselves.

As thoughts turn to future post-lockdown life, taking a holiday is the single biggest plan, according to the Nationwide poll – picked by 29% of people.

About 6% want to see family and friends and one in 20 (5%) are looking forward to attending a sporting event. To make those plans a reality, about a fifth (19%) say they’ll need up to £500, while more than a third (34%) say they’ll need up to £1,000.

According to the Nationwide survey, the amount Brits feel they can currently save each month is £133, with men able to save more (£153) compared to women (£113). In fact, about a quarter (24%) admit they can only save up to £50 each month, rising to 44% who say they can squirrel away up to £100 a month.

Tom Riley, Nationwide’s director of banking and savings, said: “Despite the pandemic, it’s heartening to see a positive shift in our collective savings mindset. It’s clear that more people are seeing the importance of building a nest egg. Our research suggests this habit may be here to stay. We hope our campaign encourages more people to save for their own ‘sunny day’ plans.

“However, while some people have been able to put money away, there are many people across the UK for whom saving was difficult even before the pandemic struck.”

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