Save haven: Britons see 4.5 per cent annual rise in disposable income and are choosing to save rather than spend

Press release - 17th February 2015

  • Year-on-year rise in disposable income of 4.5 per cent – equating to £255 per person on average each month.
  • Britain has seen a seven per cent rise in the number of savers, equating to £42.7bn put away each month.
  • East Midlands and Scotland have seen the biggest rise in disposable income; North East and Wales the least.

Disposable incomes in the UK have risen by almost five per cent in the last year according to the latest findings from Scottish Friendly’s ‘Disposable Income Index’. [1]

The report shows that people now have an average of 9.7 per cent of their salary left over each month after bills and essentials have been paid for, up from 5.2 per cent this time last year. This equates to a national average of £255 per person each month.?

Tumbling prices and falling unemployment have been contributing factors to the growth, which in turn has led to people putting more money away in savings. The index found that there has been a seven per cent rise in those contributing to savings or investments each month – approximately 30.5 million people across the UK.

In addition, the average amount being saved has almost doubled, rising from £72 a month per person on average in 2014 to £140 in 2015 - a jump of nearly 95 per cent - which means that the nation is currently putting aside in the region of £42.7bn each month.

Most encouragingly, the demographic with the largest number of savers are the 18-24 year olds, with 72 per cent of them putting an average of £156 away each month.

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, said:
"It has been a good year for much of the UK and the general feeling is that with low inflation and unemployment falling, the future is looking bright. The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, said that families will start to feel richer than they have done in a decade and the statistics are starting to support this - 2015 looks set to be the year of the savers.

"It is heartening to see such a high percentage of youngsters take up the savings mantle. Leaving school during a period of economic turmoil and austerity seems to have had a positive effect on a generation that, perhaps due to pressures such as having to pay large deposits for houses, is now more geared to accumulating wealth rather than spending it.

"Despite the fact that inflation might be below zero for much of 2015, there is still the risk that interest rates may rise later this year. With a little more cash in hand, Britons need to think about overpaying any debt they have and save for the future rather than spend."

Regionally those living in the East Midlands, Scotland and the South East have the highest levels of disposable income, with people left with around a tenth of their take home salary in spending money each month.

People living in the North East of England and Wales take home the least disposable income each month. Indeed, in the last year, people in the North East have seen the slowest rise in disposable income, growing by just 2.5 percentage points - this is compared to the national average of 4.5 per cent. The biggest rise in disposable income was seen by people in the East Midlands and Scotland, which climbed by 5.8 percentage points and 5.5 percentage points respectively.

Annual change in levels of disposable income by region:

Region of the UK Per cent of salary attributed to disposable income – Q1 2014 Per cent of salary attributed to disposable income – Q1 2015 Percentage difference Average disposable income Q1 2015
NATIONAL 5.2 per cent 9.7 per cent +4.5 £255
South West 5.7 per cent 10.1 per cent +4.4 £247
Wales 5.0 per cent 8.9 per cent +3.9 £197
North West 5.6 per cent 9.5 per cent +3.9 £239
West Midlands 5.3 per cent 8.6 per cent +3.3 £232
Yorkshire & Humberside 5.3 per cent 9.7 per cent +4.4 £233
North East 5.1 per cent 7.6 per cent +2.5 £175
East Midlands 5.5 per cent 11.3 per cent +5.8 £277
Scotland 5.2 per cent 10.7 per cent +5.5 £282
South East 5.1 per cent 10.2 per cent +5.1 £279
London 4.5 per cent 9.1 per cent +3.7 £303
Northern Ireland 4.9 per cent 9.2 per cent +4.3 £229


  1. Research conducted by One Poll in February, 2014 and by Reddot research in February, 2015. On both occasions a representative cross section of over 2,000 adults in the UK were surveyed.

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