The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.
We’ve just commissioned our latest disposable income index which has revealed that after paying for essentials like housing, energy, water, groceries, transport and childcare, the average household in the UK has £905 left per month to save or pay for clothing, socialising, furniture and luxuries.
Our quarterly report, which was compiled along with leading think-tank the Social Market foundation analyses consumer sentiment, current economic data and trends in order to look into saving and spending habits.
What we’ve found out is that unfortunately, while economic data suggests that the financial situation of UK households should be improving the benefits aren’t reaching those trying to make ends meet each month.
In actual fact, people are struggling.
Over half of us (50.3%) are currently feeling financially fragile and admit to being worried about big unexpected bills and nearly a quarter (24.0%) of us believe that our financial situation will actually be worse in twelve months’ time.
What worries us about the results is that fewer than half of UK households (45.2%) feel that they are in a position to save or invest regularly each month. Day-to-day financial pressures are leaving people worried about their disposable income and a sizeable minority are actually finding themselves spending beyond their means every month.
What we always say is save and invest as and when you can. If you do have anything left over each month, no matter how small, it’s important to start putting this away for the future. Low inflation and interest rates will not last forever and often the hardest part of saving is simply making the first step.
Yet, while we encourage those who are able to put away as much as they can each month, we also strongly believe that UK-policy makers and business should be concerned about our findings. Rising cost of living and sky-high housing costs are not sustainable and need to be firmly on the political agenda in the mid to long term.
No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk. Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.