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Eight Million Britons Have No Savings


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Almost 15 million Britons are "not currently making any effort" to save for the future, while eight million have no savings to their name at all, according to a new study.

The research also found that during the last year there had been a rise in the number of people who had given or loaned "substantial" amounts of money to their children or other family members, often simply to help them meet daily living expenses.

Some 31% of the UK adult population - around 14.9 million people - are failing to save, according to the seventh annual savings and investment report from Scottish Widows, part of Lloyds Banking Group. It is a slight improvement on the 32% figure of a year ago.

The report also found that while the majority of Britons are managing to put some money away, nearly a third (32%) estimated the value of their total savings and investments at less than £1,000, a figure just under a typical household's combined monthly mortgage and council tax bill (£1,009).

The report's authors said families were increasingly "shouldering the burden". In this year's survey, 40% of those quizzed said they had given or loaned family members "substantial amounts of money" - up from 30% last year.

Children were the main recipients of this cash - a quarter of respondents said they had gifted or loaned a sizeable sum to their offspring. The average amount given to children has risen to £14,865, compared to £13,300 last year, and the top reason for the loans was to help meet essential costs, closely followed by helping with a deposit on a house and paying off debts.

This level of support was having a "stark impact" on parents' finances, with a quarter cutting back on their savings and almost one in ten stopping saving altogether, stated the report, which was partially based on a YouGov poll of 5,086 adults carried out in December.

The researchers also found that grandparents were helping their grandchildren, children were lending money to their parents, and siblings were also supporting each other financially, with the typical amount given in these cases ranging from around £3,500 to £4,500.

The wider economic climate is increasing the pressure on those struggling to save, with three in 10 people reporting that they had been forced to cut back on their savings by rising costs.

A separate survey from insurer Axa claimed that annual living costs for those aged over 75 had increased by a quarter - from £7,852 to £9,796 - between 2008 and 2012. Some of these increases were potentially linked to positive factors such as increasing life expectancy. For example, those aged over 75 were typically spending £196 more on education than they were five years ago - £222 in 2012, compared to £26 in 2008 - and an additional £153 on recreation and culture, both of which are categories associated with an active lifestyle.

So a 3rd or more of the nation can’t really rub two pennies together, and BOMAD is propping them up. No surprises here.

I know a lot of folk like this. Folk who have decent jobs in the lucrative oil and gas sector, and who valuate their wealth by the housing market, yet, they wouldn't survive much more than a month if say, their job vanished.

Britain is in deep doo doo.

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......if money earned is required to live how can it be saved?.....what are people saving for anyway?....and what will any savings be worth once they are needed to spend? ;)

I'm not sure that that majority of these people are in the "save or starve" situation though - time's are very hard for a lot of people, but saving is a long term strategy and shouldn't (ideally) materially impact standard of living. For me it would be a case of gradually accumulating a safety net, and hoping that you have the time to do it before you need the money to live on. This should always be separate from any short term savings (like for a car, holiday, etc)

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People are learning. If you save some money the government or some financial institution will steal it from you one way or another.

If you have already spent it they can't waste it, simple.

NExt step is that people who do save, save it abroad.

We already have a lot of that, though stolen wealth squirreled away by the banks in offshore accounts, the debts and liabilities they leave behind, for tax breaks and to throw at the population when their scams get exposed.

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more telling is what people who do save, can save:

"The report also found that while the majority of Britons are managing to put some money away, nearly a third (32%) estimated the value of their total savings and investments at less than £1,000, a figure just under a typical household's combined monthly mortgage and council tax bill (£1,009)"

to save up 10% on a bedsit, 10 years.

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I don't get how some people don't have any money to hand.

At one of my client sites the other day, one guy was ranting about an unexpected £300 bill and how it was ridiculous for them to expect payment all in one go, and before pay day.

This guy is on roughly £40k a year.

He is also old enough to have bought a house before HPI got started.

Surely he can find £300?

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I'm not sure that that majority of these people are in the "save or starve" situation though - time's are very hard for a lot of people, but saving is a long term strategy and shouldn't (ideally) materially impact standard of living. For me it would be a case of gradually accumulating a safety net, and hoping that you have the time to do it before you need the money to live on. This should always be separate from any short term savings (like for a car, holiday, etc)

Not saying saving is not a good habit to get into....but there are still many things that need to be brought after eating and before saving.

There's short-term savings for say a holiday or a car, medium-term savings for school fees, or a wedding and long-term savings for a pension to bring in an income after working.

To do any of this requires a good disposable income and to be committed to a plan....but what is the motivation for some to save long-term when the sums are often so small any worthwhile benefit may never materialise and short-term funds could well end up being used for emergency purposes and not for what they were earmarked for.....one good thing about saving is if you can do it you won't have to end up borrowing money at high rates of interest....you can borrow it from yourself for nothing, but don't forget to pay yourself back. ;)

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This guy is on roughly £40k a year.

Someone can actually survive in this country on 40K - I'm impressed. Its funny how these "massive salaries" sound a lot when quoted for a whole year but not so much when you consider it equates to a "massive" 550-odd quid a week take home, christ this guy must be able to pull £300 out of his **** at a moments notice.

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Someone can actually survive in this country on 40K - I'm impressed. Its funny how these "massive salaries" sound a lot when quoted for a whole year but not so much when you consider it equates to a "massive" 550-odd quid a week take home, christ this guy must be able to pull £300 out of his **** at a moments notice.

more than half survive on less...MUCH less

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Someone can actually survive in this country on 40K - I'm impressed. Its funny how these "massive salaries" sound a lot when quoted for a whole year but not so much when you consider it equates to a "massive" 550-odd quid a week take home, christ this guy must be able to pull £300 out of his **** at a moments notice.

Lots of people live well on a fraction of £40k per year.....it all depends on how many people your money is having to support and what kind of accommodation you are expecting to pay for. ;)

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I don't get how some people don't have any money to hand.

At one of my client sites the other day, one guy was ranting about an unexpected £300 bill and how it was ridiculous for them to expect payment all in one go, and before pay day.

This guy is on roughly £40k a year.

He is also old enough to have bought a house before HPI got started.

Surely he can find £300?

Parkinson's Law, expenses expand to meet available income. It's why the Mail never runs out of middle class pauper stories.

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Lots of people live well on a fraction of £40k per year.....it all depends on how many people your money is having to support and what kind of accommodation you are expecting to pay for. ;)

£40k gross pay does not equal 'living on £40k per year', and families 'living on minimum wage' may actually receive a 5 figure tax-free sum from the government on top of that each year. Nothing is as it seems anymore.

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£40k gross pay does not equal 'living on £40k per year', and families 'living on minimum wage' may actually receive a 5 figure tax-free sum from the government on top of that each year. Nothing is as it seems anymore.

There are many that live on a fraction of £40k and a larger fraction of £30k.....we are taking about people not on benefits....single people on minimum wage jobs no benefits whatsoever. ;)

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The idea of being so close to zero or negative funds that a bill for a couple of hundred quid can cause concern is itself deeply worrying to me. I never let my current account dip below £500 at the very least despite having a large overdraft facility and losing out on a bit of interest by not constantly moving that buffer between accounts. Back in my university days I was bumping along at the bottom of my overdraft. I remember a skiing trip in my final year. On the last night, in a bar in Val d'Isere, I couldn't make any more card payments and my euros ran out. I was off my face and kept ordering beer at the bar and then trying to pay with sterling notes, before the barmaid whipped the glass away from me in disgust. I think I was eventually kicked out. First world problems, I know, but I think that was the trigger to my debt-averseness and subsequent savings habits.

My last girlfriend would often speak of how she was "broke" at certain points even though her salary was close to and then overtook mine. Although not a shopaholic, she was one of those people that could quite easily go into town and come back with some novelty, or go for a pub lunch with work once a week - not to mention clothing and wear-once outfits - and not even consider the cost of all of these little card purchases (she rarely carried cash which I believe psychologically affects spending) combined. Receipts never encroached upon her consciousness - they were stuffed in the purse, never to be seen again. To her credit she did eventually open a savings account and start regular transfers, likely influenced by her astonishment at my own nest egg!

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This may be a slight tangent.....but I think at least part of the problem, is that the benefits system does nothing to encourage people to save...if you have little or no savings - you get state help (when made unemployed for example)

My wife recently lost her job, at the moment she receives £71 a week from NI based Job Seekers allowance, which I understand will last for 6 months....even she doesn't finf anything after that - the state will look at "my" savings and I'm led to believe that if I have £6k + in savings, then she gets nothing. I'm close to £6k in company shares, where is the incentive for me to save any more?

BTW - I hate the benefits systems - think the whole thing needs scrapping and starting again. IMHO the state should provide a last resort care, such as food parcels and dormitory accommodation - and not fund any kind of lifestyle. We need to get back to the point of individual and personal responsibility - as this example proves, the system as it stands creates some bizarre choices and disincentives to do the right thing

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This may be a slight tangent.....but I think at least part of the problem, is that the benefits system does nothing to encourage people to save...if you have little or no savings - you get state help (when made unemployed for example)

My wife recently lost her job, at the moment she receives £71 a week from NI based Job Seekers allowance, which I understand will last for 6 months....even she doesn't finf anything after that - the state will look at "my" savings and I'm led to believe that if I have £6k + in savings, then she gets nothing. I'm close to £6k in company shares, where is the incentive for me to save any more?

BTW - I hate the benefits systems - think the whole thing needs scrapping and starting again. IMHO the state should provide a last resort care, such as food parcels and dormitory accommodation - and not fund any kind of lifestyle. We need to get back to the point of individual and personal responsibility - as this example proves, the system as it stands creates some bizarre choices and disincentives to do the right thing

Your income will come into play after six months, so she has probably had it anyway for further benefits.

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This may be a slight tangent.....but I think at least part of the problem, is that the benefits system does nothing to encourage people to save...if you have little or no savings - you get state help (when made unemployed for example)

My wife recently lost her job, at the moment she receives £71 a week from NI based Job Seekers allowance, which I understand will last for 6 months....even she doesn't finf anything after that - the state will look at "my" savings and I'm led to believe that if I have £6k + in savings, then she gets nothing. I'm close to £6k in company shares, where is the incentive for me to save any more?

BTW - I hate the benefits systems - think the whole thing needs scrapping and starting again. IMHO the state should provide a last resort care, such as food parcels and dormitory accommodation - and not fund any kind of lifestyle. We need to get back to the point of individual and personal responsibility - as this example proves, the system as it stands creates some bizarre choices and disincentives to do the right thing

So you have less than 6k you are safe aren't you?

Should you have between 6,000 and 16,000 your wife's JSA will be reduced by 4 quid for every thousand that you have.

Edited by council dweller
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Lots of people live well on a fraction of £40k per year.....it all depends on how many people your money is having to support and what kind of accommodation you are expecting to pay for. ;)

In the mid 90's I could comfortably support a wife + step daughter, mortgage on a 4 bed house in a nice area, 2 cars, eating out in restraunt once a week, nice skiing holiday every year, £200 a month on dialup internet and not feel financially too stressed on a 30K salary. That is surely how its supposed to be in a supposedly developed country.

These days the cost of living a bl**dy joke.

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My last girlfriend would often speak of how she was "broke" at certain points even though her salary was close to and then overtook mine. Although not a shopaholic, she was one of those people that could quite easily go into town and come back with some novelty, or go for a pub lunch with work once a week - not to mention clothing and wear-once outfits - and not even consider the cost of all of these little card purchases (she rarely carried cash which I believe psychologically affects spending) combined. Receipts never encroached upon her consciousness - they were stuffed in the purse, never to be seen again. To her credit she did eventually open a savings account and start regular transfers, likely influenced by her astonishment at my own nest egg!

This is most women i think!

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