Save, make, understand money


Over a third of working Brits have no emergency fund

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Over a third of Britain’s workforce has less than a month’s salary in savings, new research reveals.

And almost one in seven has no savings at all, according to a survey of 10,000 UK employees by Neyber, a financial wellbeing provider.

This savings shortfall means that many people in the UK would be unable to cope with an unexpected income shock, such as divorce, bereavement, redundancy or illness.

Heidi Allan, head of employee wellbeing at Neyber, said: “With so little money to fall back on, something as simple as a car repair could leave people struggling to cope.

“It is critical that people have some way of paying for smaller things like unexpected bills, as well as protection policies in place for bigger problems such as losing a job, otherwise small income shocks could lead to Britain’s workers spiralling into debt.”

The findings suggest most Brits had experienced difficult situations in the past two years ranging from mental health issues and divorce to serious accidents and job loss.

However, many Brits have no immediate plans to address their lack of savings.

Those who do save put aside £310 a month on average. The 65+ group saved the most, putting aside £350 a month, while 45-54 year olds saved the least, putting aside just £282 a month.

The most common way to save was in a bank or building society – over half of those surveyed saved in this way. But just under a quarter of people had savings in a jar at home.

Seven top saving tips:

1)      Set up a standing order – put savings in a separate account from everyday money, it will stop you dipping into your savings for impulse buys or on a night out.

2)      Find the right savings account for you – important things to consider are whether you will need to access your money in the near term, the interest rates on offer, and any penalties if you take your money early.

3)      Name your accounts – if your savings account is called ‘holiday fund’, psychologically you’re less likely to dip into it, because you’re more likely to make the connection that money now means less spending money while you’re away.

4)      Have clear objectives – knowing what your goals are and how much you need to put away makes it far easier to achieve than just thinking ‘I should save more’.

5)       Be realistic with what you want to achieve – just like New Year’s Resolutions, if you bite off more than you can chew, you’ll fall at the first hurdle. Think reasonably about what cut backs you can make and come up with achievable goals.

6)      Be realistic with your timescales – you’re probably not going to go from saving nothing to saving £1,000 a month, but if you can manage £20 a week, you’ll save well over £1,000 in a year.

7)      Be open and communicate – it can be really frustrating when you’re trying to cut back but friends and family are tempting you out on expensive days out or for nice dinners. Tell people if you’re saving for something big. They might be too, and even if they aren’t they’ll understand and it makes it easier to suggest lower-budget activities.