Londoners’ fickle saving habits could see them shaken by unexpected costs

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The FINANCIAL — The research, which assessed regional spending and saving habits across the UK, shows that London-based savers deposit an average of £539 into their savings account in a typical month, almost three times more than savers in the North East, who deposit £181.

However, Londoners are also the most likely to dip into those savings, with 44 per cent admitting to using their savings to fund their lifestyle in the past 12 months. On top of that, only 11 per cent of Londoners are actively saving into a rainy day fund, which could see their main savings goals jeopardised by unexpected costs, such as a boiler repair or car breakdown.

Across the UK, savers in Northern Ireland are the most frugal, depositing an impressive 29 per cent of their monthly disposable household income2 into a savings account. Savers in the North West are the most steadfast, with 71 per cent refusing to dip into their savings in the last 12 months.

In terms of savings goals, Northern Ireland is the most forward-looking region, with 23 per cent citing retirement as their main savings goal. On the other hand, savers in London are the most likely to spend their savings on clothing (27 per cent), and savers in the East of England are the most likely to be saving for a holiday (15 per cent).

Nationally, millennials (18-24 year olds) are twice as likely as any other age group to spend their savings on clothing. They also dip into their savings an average of 14 times per year, above the national average of ten times. This is the complete opposite of baby boomers (aged 55+), who only touch their savings about seven times a year, prioritising their savings for high-ticket purchases such as a car or a holiday.

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The three regions with the highest take up of investment ISAs are London, the South and Scotland, indicating a higher appetite for risk than savers in the East of England, who hold the highest percentage of fixed rate cash ISAs.

Clare Francis, Savings and Investments Director at Barclays commented: “It’s important people are able to stay in control of their money, so it’s heartening to see that almost two thirds of all savers have been able to avoid dipping into their savings in the last 12 months.

“Given the low interest rate environment, those who have built up a decent amount of cash savings and have extra money they can put away for five years or more may want to consider opening an investment ISA. Over the longer term, shares tend to perform better than cash; according to the Barclays Equity Gilt Study3, over the past 116 years the average annual return for shares has been 5 per cent after inflation, while for cash it has only been 0.8 per cent. However, there is greater risk involved as the value of your investments can rise as well as fall, so you could get back less than you initially invested.”


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