A quarter of British adults have no savings, study reveals [now with URBAN POLL!]

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by editor, Oct 4, 2018.


How much savings do YOU have?

  1. Nothing. In fact I'm massively in debt

    24 vote(s)
  2. Slightly in debt

    27 vote(s)
  3. No savings but just about solvent

    23 vote(s)
  4. Around £100

    5 vote(s)
  5. Around £1,000

    24 vote(s)
  6. Around £10,000

    46 vote(s)
  7. Around £50,000

    17 vote(s)
  8. Wealth beyond your dreams

    22 vote(s)
  9. I have a live volcano in my underpants and it's making me magma all over

    4 vote(s)
  1. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Grateful for what I have.

  2. flypanam

    flypanam designated title: local oaf

    Needs a comeback, would help out everyone almost instantly.
  3. B.I.G

    B.I.G Well-Known Member

    My point is that assets can be liquidated or borrowed against, you just choose not to. How people with assets, not just housing, seem to think their savings are special I will never comprehend.

    A person with no home but £10 in their wallet doesn't have more savings that a house owner with equity but a £200 overdraft.
  4. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Grateful for what I have.

    Going on that dubious premise, the poll is wrong, the biggest number should be over £50k.
    B.I.G likes this.
  5. B.I.G

    B.I.G Well-Known Member

    Maybe you should tick the volcano option, depends if you live in London.
  6. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    I had no savings for a long time, now I have some. I'm taking savings to mean actual cash somewhere, as opposed to, say money in property, which I'd count as wealth rather than savings, which is also important but for slightly different reasons. The thing about savings is that they give you choices, They give you the freedom to decide, I'd like to get a job where I need to drive, and buy a car, or, this job is making me ill, I'll leave and look for something else. Or, not to worry about losing your job, or to have a holiday that really nutures and recharges you, or to give some money to your children or anything you can think of really. What I'd extrapolate from that figure is that a quarter of adults in Britain live what people refer to as "hand to mouth". They can't make decisions that cost money above and beyond what they can pull together in a short time without using credit, if they need to spend unexpected money they will go short until they next get money, in the case of some people, very short.

    We're advised to save and I'd say that's generally a good thing. I think that most people do save if they can. This figure isn't very surprising if you look at the figures for living on or below the poverty line. UK Poverty 2017 This report says that in 2017, 9.9 million adults lived in poverty. I've struggled to find the adult population of the UK but but the UK population is generally thought to be around 65 million. So from that, given that people who live in poverty aren't going to be able to save very much plus people who live a bit above the poverty line are going to struggle.
  7. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    The other thing to notice is that reporting on this topic does tend towards the judgemental. From the first article "One in ten Brits admit they spend more than they earn". "Admits". Like it's something to be ashamed of not getting paid enough.
  8. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    Depends on your version of enough doesn't it?

    I know several families who have a household income of £60k+, who live well outside the London price bubble, and who start the month in their overdraft, let alone finish it in the overdraft. The fact that they don't have any savings is nothing to do with 'not being paid enough', and everything to do with driving two Audi's on credit, holidays in the Caribbean and endless, and very public, spending of every penny they can lay their hands on.

    I am, as you can probably tell, spectacularly judgemental about them...
    A380, MickiQ, seventh bullet and 5 others like this.
  9. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    Woah there. It might or might not read as judgemental. But, given how much people generally lie about, deny or just don't recognise their debts, it is more likely that the choice of the verb "admit" is not judgemental judging from the journo ("they confess to not having enough money the scamps!"), but rather, attempting to imply the problem: that people minimise, underplay, pretend not to notice how much in debt they are, and that probably very very many more than 'one in ten Brits' in fact spends more than s/he earns. (i.e. the full sentence would be 'one in ten admits it, but many more are in denial').
    William of Walworth likes this.
  10. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    Well it would be interesting to see a breakdown by income which may or may not be in the original report i.e. as to whether your acquaintances are representative.
  11. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I know a couple that have high incomes and little savings. Their spending has just risen as their ability to fund it did. Plus they both have kids to support.
  12. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    It certainly would - I can well imagine that a sizable proportion of those who don't have savings don't have savings because they don't have two pennies to rub together after they've paid the rent/mortgage, fed the kids and insured the 10yo Focus, but I would be astonished if the profligate spending of people well within the 'middle class' earnings brackets didn't play a large part as well.
    A380 likes this.
  13. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    Actually I found a Money Advice Service report which says that saving doesn't actually correlate well with income.
  14. smmudge

    smmudge Sissy that walk!

    What I hate is the patronising way these savings accounts are structured by the government - tax relief on your workplace pension, subsiding your LISA, no CG tax on your ISA investments etc... to "encourage" us to save, as if the reason people aren't saving is because without all the tax benefits people don't see the point in saving, rather than they can't because they actually need to eat and keep a roof over their heads.
  15. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    Everything around is tells us to spend spend spend, a few adverts telling us to save can't compete with the sheer volume of adverts we see every day designed to appeal directly to the deep parts of the brain that likes having "stuff" or appearing successful.
    sealion likes this.
  16. Same as when your bank asks you to add funds to avoid charges :rolleyes:
    Celyn likes this.
  17. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Grateful for what I have.

    The reason that our savings money is sitting in a current account is the appalling interest rates being paid. Had I the power, I would limit banks interest rate charges to +5% on their interest paid amount. So, if they pay 0.2%, they cannot charge more than 5.2%.
    Radiatori and AnnO'Neemus like this.
  18. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    I'd argue that both of them have no savings, at least as presented.

    Consider this: imagine you have no job and no cash and you live in your parents' house (their mortgage is paid), you have no savings. Then they die and you inherit the house. Do you now have savings?

    If you wanted to buy a car or go on holiday or got made redundant, you can't release that value in the appropriate timeframe, at least not destructively, and I wouldn't call that inability a matter of choice. You can borrow against it, sure, but you can also potentially take out unsecured loans without owning any assets, so ability to borrow isn't much of a barometer.

    Similarly with pensions, they're savings in some form but very much conditionally so. They're savings once you're drawing them down, but when you're 30 a pension pot is this kind of theoretical future thing that has no current utility.

    Then somewhere in the middle, we say 'savings and investments' partly because non-cash investments like stocks don't have a tangible value until you crystallise them by selling them. That might sound academic until there's a crash or an Enron or whatever else, at which point you suddenly find you don't have savings, just bad 'investments'. Doesn't mean you're mere sackcloth and ashes at any one time, just that it may be complex & conditional.

    What I think you're talking about is the independence from savings of net wealth and by proxy opportunity. You can have £0 in short term accessible money but through broader wealth be afforded any opportunity you want. Equally you can have a fair bit of money but no other forthcoming income for the rest of your life and it not amount to sustainable support.
    AnnO'Neemus and B.I.G like this.
  19. B.I.G

    B.I.G Well-Known Member

    I see your point but if they own a house lets say at an extreme worth 1 million. They can sell it and rent their whole life. That to me is savings.
    pocketscience likes this.
  20. Smoking kills

    Smoking kills Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that many of those with no savings, and many with, are actually deeply in debt. Given the freeze on wages and benefits for most since 2010, coupled with increases in Council Tax, utilities, rents etc, the money has been snuffled up.
    Take Council Tax. Personal liability has replaced central Govt. funding for local services, Your L.A. is going to get it's fucking bit too. Mine demands pretty much everyone pay 25%, on an escalating scale such that full C.T. kicks in before Income Tax. If you don't pay they charge you £40 to take you to Court. (It costs them £3.)
    With utilities the days of running out of 50p pieces are over. OFFCUNT, or whoever doesn't regulate the energy cos. allows standing charges on pre-payment meters! So you pay them not to buy their product.
    Then you've got to pay the rent/mortgage, before you can buy nice things like food, clothes, transport etc.
    How many British adults owe more than a years income in debts like C.T., utilities, store cards, rent/mortgage arrears etc.?
    I'm guessing 15-20%.
    AnnO'Neemus likes this.
  21. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    Surely you pay something? Even if you've paid of your mortgage, you're still responsible for repairs and maintenance?
  22. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    My parents bought a 1930s 3 bed semi in the mid-60s. My dad was a works foreman on the town's chemical plant, my mum stayed at home with the children till my youngest sister went to school and then got an office job. My wider family was a mix of working class and middle class lecturers and engineers.

    I used to think we weren't that well off in the 1970s in that I wore hand me downs from my big sister, had a second hand bike for Christmas etc, we were on free school meals for a while after my parents divorced and my mum became a single parent, but I remember reading some accounts of people on the other side of city living in really grinding poverty and realising I had it relatively lucky. It's all relative, isn't it?
  23. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    What's the difference between massively in debt and slightly in debt? Asking for a friend. :oops:
  24. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    Indeed - I was born in a hospital in leafy Surrey because the hospital I should have been born in (Hillingdon, which is where my mum worked), told my parents that because we lived in a house with central heating, inside bathroom and wasn't overcrowded, we would be sent home within 6 hours of my birth.

    They had that policy because of the number of households in the Hillingdon/Hayes area who lived in overcrowded, cold, damp homes - unsurprisingly, the midwifery team took the view that sending a one day old baby to that environment in the middle of winter was akin to a death sentence, so babies born to those households got a week in hospital to build up their strength before they went home...

    My mum decamped to my grandparents place in Surrey for the last month of her pregnancy so that I could be born in a hospital that didn't face quote those pressures - which was a good job, coz I was an Ill little baby, I ended up staying in hospital for the best part of a month.

    As you say, everyone involved fell well within the Working Class, but there were some very different experiences of life within that definition...
  25. bellaozzydog

    bellaozzydog rolling turds in glitter

    Dyson ran out of efficient ways to hoard his wealth but has moved into buying large swathes of Land in the U.K. as it doesn’t attract inheritance tax apparently

    I’m in good shape but i’d say it’s only due to my unusual set of circumstances i’ve probably paid a “social/personal” price for leading a slightly offcenter existence.

    I’m single, no kids, self employed and have spent 20 years in 3rd world countries being paid relatively well. 50 % of that time has been spent being fed, watered and accommodated for free and zero social life. I lived in unusually cheap rented accommodation in a commune type community in the U.K. for years (my electricity bill was higher than my rent)

    I still plan to end up living in a converted van with a dog when it all goes wrong
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  26. cheesepig

    cheesepig Cheesepig

    The 3rd World time; were you working for the CIA exterminating freedom fighters?
  27. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    Confused. I don't understand what this post means. :(
    ddraig likes this.
  28. cheesepig

    cheesepig Cheesepig

    I just wondered about the time in 3rd World.

    Bad taste joke/70s/80s sensibility.
    Celyn likes this.
  29. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="bellaozzydog, post: 15758929, member:

    I still plan to end up living in a converted van with a dog when it all goes wrong[/QUOTE]
    Get some fluffy bunny rabbits too. They breed quickly and you can eat them. Well, if you grab them before dog does.
    A380, MickiQ and kebabking like this.
  30. bellaozzydog

    bellaozzydog rolling turds in glitter

    Nope but I once had to put my fingers in a CIA blokes tib and fib after he lost a shoot out. His colleagues were determined I wasn’t going to give him morphine in case he babbled all his “secrets”*** and didn’t want him moved by Land so hung around trying to line up a helicopter, which never came. He definitely wanted morphine.

    *** this isn’t some wild elaboration, it actually went down like that.:D
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    A380, Celyn, MickiQ and 1 other person like this.

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