Research from The Cambridge reveals the nation’s savings habits

31 January 2019 • Our Insights

Having been trusted with member’s savings for nearly 170 years, The Cambridge Building Society’s latest research reveals some interesting findings about how and why Brits save money.

The research of over 2,000 people by The Cambridge has found that almost 2 in 5 (39%) are aware of being in a family member / friends will. Of those who know they're due to receive inheritance almost half (48%) are relying on it to be financially secure in the future. Worryingly, almost 1 in 5 (18%) are relying on either winning the lottery, gambling or receiving a windfall of some kind for future financial security.

Of those that are saving, financial security is being put secondary to holidays. The most common things to be putting money away for are emergencies (43%), holidays (43%), financial security (41%) and retirement (33%). Saving for holidays was prioritised over paying off a mortgage (15%), buying / building a dream home (19%) and saving for the next generation (15%).

Excluding pension fund savings, 15% have less than £100 general savings. Over 1 in 10 (15%) are reliant on their spouse / partner for future financial stability. Over a quarter of people (28%) feel financially unprepared for the future because they don’t earn enough to save.

In terms of how men and women approach their future financial situation, women are most likely to save for emergencies (47%) whereas men are most likely to save for financial security (43%). Over 3 in 5 men have a financial plan for the future (61%) whilst the opposite applies to women – 61% have no financial plan for the future.

Andy Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at The Cambridge comments on the results: “Whilst the findings indicate that many people have good savings habits, there is clearly a group who would like to save but are finding it difficult to save and are not looking far enough into the future. Our message is clear; it’s never too soon to start saving and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a little or a lot but making small changes today can help provide peace of mind tomorrow. We’re encouraging everyone to be proactive with their savings and not rely on possible windfalls that can’t be guaranteed and are outside of their control.

“This research strengthens The Cambridge’s knowledge about savings habits and informs our ability to best support our members and potential members by developing products and services that are best suited to their savings needs.”

The results were shared with ‘The Money Charity’ who are the leading national financial capability charity providing financial education, information and advice to young people and adults throughout the UK. 

David Steele, Policy & Research Manager at The Money Charity, adds: "Budgeting, planning and saving for the future we want, for ourselves and our families, is an essential part of being financially capable. It involves careful thought, being open and honest with ourselves, and considering both good and bad eventualities. While a sudden windfall would be welcome for many, unfortunately it's not something to hang our future hopes on. But we believe that everyone can develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours they need to make the most of their money throughout their lives; often the hardest part is just getting started."