HOW MUCH DO OTHER PEOPLE SAVE?
Are you happy with your rainy day fund or do you worry that you haven’t got as much stashed away as your friends and family?
Do you worry you’re not saving enough compared to other people? That everyone else is carefully putting away half of their salary every month while you manage the odd tenner? Or are you pretty confident that your rainy day fund is much healthier than other people’s?
We take a closer look at Brits’ savings habits, and just how much we’re squirrelling away.
So how fat are our piggy banks?
Are you one of the 19% of people that have no savings and are likely to have debts too? Or are you one of the lucky 12% that has more than £50,000 in savings. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. With 55% of people having between £1 and £50,000 in savings.
But that leaves 15% of people who haven't got a clue how much they've got saved up. Hmmm.
On average we had £10,200 in savings in 2014, according to a survey for pensions provider Scottish Widows.
But looking at it a different way National Savings finds that on average people saved £104.56 a month.
There are lots of regional variations - with Londoners saving the most at £146.33 and the Welsh saving the least - just £76.22.
People in the North East seem to have got cannier over the years as they are now saving way more than they did 10 years ago. Their average monthly savings have increased 124.36% from £40.88 to £91.72.
See the full regional monthly savings results:
Difference in £s
York / Humberside
Women are also saving more than they used to – up to £91.77 a month from the £56.80 in 2005. But men still save more – they are saving £117.33 - £25.56 more than women.
I want it now...
Psychologists and behavioural economists have found that mostly humans would rather have their rewards now than in the distant future – no matter how irrational this is. So most people would prefer to use whatever cash they have stored up to go on holiday there and then rather than skipping a break this year and going on a more lavish trip next summer. By saving we are in many ways going against human nature.
Knowing that it's hard gives you even more reason to bathe in a warm glow of contentment if you know that you're saving more than the average person.
How to stash the cash...
To get your savings to pile up more quickly you need to set yourself a savings goal. Research from NS&I shows that people who save for a specific goal put away £40 a month more than those who don't. Incentivise yourself by putting a picture of what you are saving towards on your fridge door or in your wallet – to remind you that instead of splashing the cash you should stash it instead.
You never know who is squirrelling away their cash…
Curt ‘Tin-Can-Curt’ Degerman seemed like a harmless eccentric who scavenged bins for left-over food and for tins to sell for pennies to shopkeepers and a recycling plant. But when he died he left a fortune worth more than £1m including gold bars worth £250,000.
Part-time janitor Ron Read left $6m (£3.8m) shared between the local hospital and the library in Vermont USA. With his winter coat done up with safety pins and his second-hand car nobody believed he was wealthy.
An anonymous family in Cambeltown, Scotland amassed a massive £1.4m after saving all the cash they would have otherwise spent on smoking, drinking and other luxuries. Their fortune only came to light when they left their entire estate to good causes.