Short-term secret to singles’ savings success

Nia Williams

October 11, 2010

The results reveal that over the past five years singletons have consistently been better at saving a larger percentage of their income than married or cohabiting people.

This quarter singletons saved 8.68% of their monthly income, compared to 6.92% for those who are married or cohabiting. It seems that much of this success is driven by single people setting themselves short-term savings goals and acting on them, something that married or cohabiting people could learn from, to help them set more money aside.

Over half (55%) of Britons think that married or cohabiting couples are superior savers, with only 28% of the population believing that singletons are better savers. Many believe this is because married and cohabiting couples are more committed to setting money aside for a specific purchase such as a mortgage (89%), or because they are more likely to be saving for their family (87%).

However, the new NS&I data reveals these beliefs are founded in inaccuracy as single people set themselves higher savings targets, aspiring to save 18.07% of their income each month compared to just 14.71% for married and cohabiting couples, and they are successfully achieving these goals by saving more of their monthly income.

Other findings from the Savings Survey conducted from June to August 2010 reveal that:

  • The number of people regularly setting money aside has increased to more than half of the population (52%) for the first time since winter 2007/08.
  • Across the population, the amount of money people are saving as a percentage of their monthly income has reached its highest level since winter 2007/08, at 6.98%.
  • In pounds, the average amount the population is setting aside each month is £87.37, up from last quarter when it was £85.21 (spring 2010).
  • Across the population, Britons are aiming to save £192.36 or 15.36% of the average monthly income, up slightly from last quarter (spring 2010: 15.14%). In reality their savings are less than half this level.

Tim Mack, NS&I Savings Spokesman, explained: “It’s great to see that single people are saving a larger percentage of their income by setting themselves specific savings goals. Our research shows that nearly a third (31%) of single people use targets to help them manage their money, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of married or cohabiting individuals.”

Interestingly, more than two thirds of singletons (69%) say they are strongly motivated to save because they know they don’t have anyone else to rely on financially. In comparison, 41% of married or cohabiting people say they only rely on their partner for advice on savings and money management.

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