Nearly Half of Brits Couldn’t Cover a Month of Living Costs From Their Savings

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24.5 million UK adults have £1,000 or less in savings

Almost half of Brits have £1,000 or less stashed away, meaning they’d struggle to cover a month of living expenses using their savings, according to a new survey.

In the poll, 46% said they had £1,000 or less. It’s estimated that the average Brit needs nearly £1,000 a month to cover living expenses.

The research, carried out in 2024 by personal finance site Finder, shows that while the average Brit has £11,184 in savings, 1 in 6 have no savings at all.

Why you need an emergency fund

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months’ worth of living expenses saved in an easily accessible account to give yourself a financial buffer. And 6 months’ worth gives you more breathing space in case of an emergency, such as losing your job after less than 2 years, which means you are not necessarily entitled to a redundancy payout.

A quarter of Brits – around 13.3 million people – have £200 or less in savings accounts, which is less than a typical adult spends in a week according to the research. And 1 in 6 Brits have no savings at all. That’s around 8.7 million people with no financial safety net.

How can you start saving regularly?

Saving can seem daunting, especially if you’re just trying to scrape by during the cost of living crisis. If you’re one of the people who struggles to save, Finder’s experts have some tips to help you get started.

Set up a regular savings account

Regular savings accounts let you pay in a set amount each month, usually up to a limit of between £50 and £250, so they are perfect for beginners. These accounts offer some of the highest interest rates around, as you’ll be growing your savings from a small pot rather than transferring a lump sum.

Boost your balance with a switcher deal

It’s easier to build savings once you have a bit in the bank, so finding the initial cash is a good first step. There are some great switching bonus deals where you can get £200 or more to move your current account. With some, you also get access to a regular saver. NatWest’s offers an interest rate of 6.17%, which you can start funnelling your money into and building a savings pot, if you’re eligible for the deal.

Automate your savings

Why not set up a recurring payment to an easy access savings account as soon as you are paid each month? This ‘out of sight, out of mind’ technique means that you are less likely to spend the money on something you don’t truly need. Plus, you can still access your savings straight away, so you don’t need to be concerned about suddenly needing the money back.

Try Help to Save if you’re on a low income

If you are a low-income worker who claims Universal Credit or is entitled to Working Tax Credit, you may be eligible for a government-backed scheme called Help to Save. You save between £1 and £5 each month and you get back a 50p bonus for every £1 saved. You’ll receive the bonus at the end of the second and fourth years, based on what you’ve saved, and the account will close after 4 years.

Building your savings in the future

It’s important to have savings that are easily accessible in an emergency, so this is the fund you should start with. Once you’ve got that together, consider looking into fixed-rate savings accounts. These allow you to lock away a lump sum for a set number of years and can be rewarding if you fix your savings at a good rate, especially while interest rates are still high.

About the author

Sophie Barber is a content manager for finder.com in the UK and she has over 5 years of experience in writing and publishing informative online articles for a variety of websites. She has a Master’s in English from the University of Exeter and is passionate about creating content that taps into trending topics and helps make personal finance decisions easier.

This article originally appeared on FinderUK and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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