May 15th, 2009
Information compiled by ‘Credit Action’ for May 2009 says almost a third (32%) of the British population does not have money set aside to help them cope if an emergency were to arise. The average amount each person believes they would need to cope in an emergency is £5,368.70 – the approximate equivalent of four months’ of the average person’s take-home income, according to the latest NS&I (National Savings and Investments) Savings Survey. According to uSwitch the average household disposable income in 2008 increased almost £500 a year giving consumers more cash in their pocket – a trend set to continue throughout 2009. Britons have saved an average of £86.35 each month over the last year, ending on a high of £90.12 (~6.48% of the population’s average take-home income) during the winter months ending February 2009, according to the latest Savings Survey from NS&I. Prioritising spending and setting a clear budget could help people reduce unnecessary outgoings, whilst freeing up some additional disposable income to set aside in savings. This winter 30% of the British population confessed that they had spent more than they would ideally like, while 15% said that they do not know how much they should be spending each month. Reviewing income and outgoings may be particularly worthwhile for the 54% of the population that stated that they can’t afford to save, as their outgoings prevent them from setting more money aside. Almost a quarter of people (24%) say they didn’t have savings two years ago and they still don’t. More than a third of people (36%) say they have less money in savings now than two years ago, according to a poll conducted in March 2009 by moneysupermarket.com. Fairinvestment.co.uk estimate that 47% of UK savers have been forced to dip into their savings since the onslaught of the credit crunch, while 14% have either stopped saving or reduced the amount they save. Nearly a third of adults would face financial disaster within two months if they lost their jobs, according to research for MoneyExpert.com. Half of them (15%) believe they would only last a month. As many as 14 million people say they cannot afford to set aside money for savings. However, a financial experiment conducted by AXA reveals that in just three months Britons can train themselves to save without substantially affecting their lifestyle. The research indicates that Britons treat money left in their current account after bills have been paid as the amount they need to live on and set their standard of living accordingly. If money is paid into a savings account on pay day the research demonstrates that they change their spending patterns and establish a new standard of living based on their remaining disposable income. If you would like to talk to us about changing your spending patterns please contact either Mark or Clare at GMP Independent Financial Advisers LLP on 0207 2886400.