Saving a long way off when many Brits have only just paid off Xmas

6 March 2017

Christmas may seem a long time ago, but new research reveals one in five Brits (20%) won’t repay their Yuletide debt until at least March.

The Nationwide Savings survey*, which polled 2,000 British adults, also shows how 15 per cent of people estimate it will take them until at least June before they have their finances up straight, so establishing any kind of savings habit wouldn’t start until at least half way through 2017.

A lack of (New Year’s) Resolution?
Making some form of a New Year’s Resolution can be a good way to break habits or try out something new for the year ahead. It’s perhaps little wonder then that four in ten (42%) people pledged to save more money in 2017 – the third most popular resolution after doing more exercise (48%) and going on a diet (43%). However, around a third (32%) admitted to having broken their resolution by mid-January, so it is perhaps unsurprising that saving remains a challenge for many.

Saving to spend:
A holiday is a well-earned break many of us love, although they can be an expensive luxury to afford. Around a third of people (30%) state it is their biggest spend of the year aside from Christmas, while a fifth (22%) didn’t go on holiday last year because of a lack of savings. However, more than one in ten (12%) would like to be able to pay for their holiday in 2017 upfront with savings, rather than using forms of credit like they usually do.

In addition to the annual trip, not only is it beneficial to have money upfront for luxuries, it’s important to save for the necessities too. A quarter (23%) of respondents claimed their main savings priority was to build a pot of money as a buffer for emergencies and those unexpected bills which may crop up throughout the year. Another 18 per cent wish they could make home improvements, as a lack of savings prevented them from doing so last year.

The top five things people were prevented from doing last year due to a lack of savings were:

  • Holiday – 22%
  • Home improvements – 18%
  • Buying a new car – 12%
  • Buying a new TV – 8%
  • Travelling to see friends and family – 9%

Tom Riley, Head of Savings at Nationwide said: ‘Establishing a regular savings habit is an effective way to build up a pot of money and will help you reach a financial goal. Even saving small amounts of money can often turn into something big if you give it time, but patience is the key. Getting into a routine and setting up regular transfers or standing orders into a dedicated savings account can be a good way to manage money when saving.

“You’ll also really feel the benefits of saving when you have large outgoings like Christmas and unexpected bills. Whether you’re making small and frequent transfers to your savings, or putting away a larger amount per month, we have the products and apps to help you along the way.”

Nationwide’s Impulse Saver, which is a feature on the Society’s mobile banking app, allows people to transfer pre-configured amounts from their current account to their savings accounts with a couple of taps, without the need to log in, encouraging them to save regularly. On average, Nationwide customers are saving around £350 per year through Impulse Saver, which over time can build up to a significant amount.

For those of us who can stretch to save a little more per month, the Nationwide Regular Saver1 pays 5% and allows contributions of up to £500 per month for 12 months. Close to half a million customers currently have the product, meaning the habit of saving is still very much at the forefront of people’s mind.

Notes to Editor:

1 You need to be 18 or over and a main current account customer with Nationwide. 

* OnePoll research: total sample size was 2,000 adults over the age of 18. The survey ran from the 17/01/2017 – 20/01/2017

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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