Yorkshire people struggling to save

One-third (33%) of adults in Yorkshire and Humberside set money aside every month to pay for basic needs like utility bills or household repairs, the same figure as across the UK,  according to new research by ComRes and insolvency trade body R3.

The survey, the latest in a long-running survey of over 2,000 British adults, also found that one-third (36%) of adults in the region are putting money away for ‘a rainy day’ every month, one quarter (25%) are saving for luxury items monthly, and 16% are saving for retirement every month.  These figures are in line with the national picture.

Adrian Berry, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and restructuring partner at Deloitte LLP, said: “It is troubling that a third of the population have to regularly set money aside to pay for basics, but at least they are planning ahead. Around a third of British adults make no regular contribution to their savings, while two-thirds make no contribution towards their retirement.

“The survey also shows that most people are likely to save regularly for retirement in the few years before they retire; very few start saving early. Across Great Britain 46% of 55-64 year olds save for their retirement compared to just 35% of 25-34 year olds or 22% of 18-24 year olds. Hopefully, the new auto-enrolment pension scheme could change this.”

Mr Berry added: “Low inflation will help individuals’ incomes stretch further and allow people to put a bit more money away at the end of the month. An improving economy is the time people should be paying down debts or rebuilding their savings. This can give people a bit of breathing space when the economy slows down again.”

Two-thirds (68%) of Yorkshire and Humberside’s adults say they put money aside for ‘a rainy day’ at least once during the last year, 62%put money aside for necessities at least once, 59% put money aside for luxuries at least once, and one-third (35%) put money aside for retirement at least once during the last year.

The research also found that adults in Yorkshire and Humber are generally good at keeping an eye on their finances.

Mr Berry said: “Smart phones and online banking have made it much easier for people to keep on top of their finances. This does make it easier to prevent spending from getting out of control. There is a big difference, however, between making budgets and sticking to them.

“Encouragingly, people with debt worries are most likely to actively track their finances. This could help prevent problems from getting worse. 85% of people who are extremely worried about their debts check their balances at least weekly, compared to 79% of people with no debt worries. 42% of people who are extremely worried about their debts make a budget at least weekly compared to just 16% of those without debt worries.

“Younger people are more likely to hit borrowing limits, but they are not particularly worse than others when it comes to planning. This is down to two factors: on the one hand, younger people have less financial room for manoeuvre than older generations do; and on the other, they tend to have a more relaxed attitude to debt. Getting into debt seems to be part and parcel for financial planning for younger generations.”