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Seven In Ten Britons Save Money

Feb 8, 2008
Seven in ten British adults have some sort of savings reveals new figures from the Office for National Statistics, published on Thursday. But many now fear for their saved money after the recent turmoil on the credit market. And, despite the savings, auditors predict more personal insolvencies - which combine bankruptcies and IVA agreements - in 2008 than in 2007.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that simple deposit accounts are the most popular form of savings among Britons, held by 59 per cent of the population. It further shows that men and women are equally likely to have unsecured debts but that their borrowing preferences vary. Women are more likely to have store card debts while men are more likely to have hire purchase agreements.

Fourteen per cent of households own valuables or collectibles such as works of art, antiques or jewellery, while 39 per cent of households have other goods worth more than 30,000. More than two-thirds of households own or are buying their homes, while eight per cent also own real estate other than the family home.

But Britons do not only save the money. They also worry a lot about them and many people get addicted to saving, figures from last years National Savings and Investments Quarterly Savings Survey shows. A fifth of the Britons' are apparently addicted to saving money and worries about not saving enough. The survey showed that women are more likely to be addicted to savings than men. Women also worry more about their savings and deny themselves things like holidays, social engagements and buying new clothes in a larger scale than men.

The saving addiction can also make some people stingy. One in ten confess not to buy presents for friends and family in order to save money. Eight per cent admits to never have bought a round of drinks.

"It is positive to see that over half of savers say they save a small amount on a regular basis. Even a small effort to save can be rewarding. Savers should review the small steps they can take to cut back on spending to make saving sustainable," said Dax Harkins, senior savings strategist at NS&I, to This is Money.co.uk.

National Savings and Investments have issued the survey for more than three years and a remarkable change from previous years surveys was that the most commonly cited reason for saving money had changed from holidays and retirement to 'saving for emergency' as the most popular savings goal.

Although people are inclined to save more money many do not seem to care too much about their retirement. An entire 39 per cent, according to the figures by the Office for National Statistics, agreed with the statement 'I would rather enjoy a good standard of living today than save for the retirement'.

Among the respondents 60 per cent thought that the best way to save for retirement was to invest in property and 49 per cent thought that pensions were the best option. A viewpoint they may have changed the last week. According to Financial Times the recent price declines are bad news for people saving in pension funds and who are on the cusp of retirement. But for those in mid-career it won't have any longer lasting effects on their savings.

Despite savings, KPMG predicts that more and more people in 2008 will get bad credits and end up with IVA-agreements reports Financial Times.
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