It could be argued there has never been a more important time to put money aside to help people prepare for an uncertain future which is why these results are a particular concern.
Nationwide’s latest savings research also shows:
Less than half (46%) of consumers save regularly, 31% save occasionally and nearly as many as one in four (23%) save nothing at all;
Just 26% of consumers think they save what they need to, with nearly two thirds (60%) admitting a short-fall;
Half (50%) of consumers are confident that in six months time they will be saving about the right amount with only a third (30%) thinking they will be saving less than they do now;
More than half (51%) of consumers think Government policy discourages them from saving.
Andy McQueen, savings director at Nationwide, said: "We are concerned about the number of consumers who are not saving at the moment, as a proportion think that now is a bad time to save. We understand that as household finances are stretched, saving can be a challenge but it’s never been more important to build up savings to act as a buffer in uncertain times.
"We think consumers may find it easier to save if they first considered the type of saver they think they are so they can create a savings plan that works for them and choose an account that’s right for their needs. Interest rates are lower than we have seen in the last few years, but it’s still just as important for people to regularly put money aside for a rainy day."
The different types of saver:
The pay day depositor who puts money aside as soon as they’ve been paid;
The end-of-the-month sweeper who saves anything that is left in their current account before the next pay day;
The mortgage saver who’s saving what they were spending on their mortgage before rates were cut;
The tax-efficient saver who makes use of their ISA allowances;
The drip-feeder who saves little but often;
The internet saver who logs on daily to see their money grow;
The regular saver who uses a standing order to top up their savings account;
The bond-holder who can afford to tie their money up for either a few months or even a few years;
The planner who saves in notice accounts and plans their withdrawals months in advance to maximise their interest payments;
The low-risk investor who has stocks and shares accounts such as guaranteed equity bonds that provide a guaranteed return linked to the performance of the stock market.
For people hoping to start their savings habit, Nationwide said it would recommend they look at either regular savings accounts, ISAs or online accounts.
Regular savings accounts reward regular monthly deposits, which do not have to break the bank, with higher interest rates helping to optimise and stimulate savings.
Investing in an ISA is tax-efficient and consumers have the choice of either cash or stocks and shares products. Online access also allows people to monitor their accounts daily to see their money grow.
For the seasoned saver looking to tie their money up for a set period of time, fixed-rate bonds with terms from six months to four years, offer flexibility for consumers.
Because the money cannot be accessed without a penalty during the life of the bond, the interest rate payable is often significantly higher than base rate.
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