Hard-pressed Scottish households unable to think about future savings until at least 2025

A report from Scottish Friendly and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has revealed that more than a third of Scottish  (36%) can’t plan beyond a rainy day fund buffer until 2025.

The Family Finance Tracker report shows that despite the cost-of-living pressures easing, Scottish households are still focused on their immediate finances and a fifth (19%) reported finding it more difficult to balance their financial priorities now than they did ten years ago.

The study, which included a survey of 2,600 UK consumers, revealed that the highest proportion of Scottish respondents (37%) ranked their immediate savings goals, such as saving for a rainy day, saving to pay everyday bills, and putting money aside for a holiday, as their top priority.

Meanwhile near future savings goals, such as paying for home improvements, were put on the backburner, with only one quarter (23%) of respondents citing it as their priority.

Long-term financial goals – which includes retiring early, paying off mortgages early, or leaving an inheritance for the family – was ranked in the middle, with 32% of respondents saying it was their main priority.

For Scottish households planning over the long-term, Cash ISAs (34%) were the preferred vehicle over Current Accounts (19%). This was followed by Investment ISAs (19%) and Stocks and Shares (16%).

Kevin Brown, savings specialist at Scottish Friendly says: “The results of our first Family Finance Tracker make for very interesting reading. Household spending power has finally reached what it was pre-pandemic. However, it still falls short of where it was immediately prior to the cost-of-living crisis.

 “Growth in real earnings have supported improvements in household spending and saving power. However, this advance follows on from a long period of contraction and so will take time to fully spread through the economy. Spending power across the UK in Q4 2023 still stood 6.8% lower than where it would’ve been if it had continued growing at its pre-pandemic and pre-cost-of-living contraction.

“The knock-on effect of that is that a higher proportion of Scottish households must still focus their attention on immediate financial goals such as saving for a ‘rainy day’, paying large bills, or just putting money aside for their summer holidays. Saving for future goals are either being put on the backburner or being prepared for with vehicles such as Cash ISAs which is likely due to households being more risk adverse and feeling like they may need to access their money quickly should another financial shock emerge.

“The hope is that the whole UK economy gets back to growth sooner rather than later and that permeates through to our pockets quickly. That will ease pressure and help households to be able to consider and adopt a more balanced approach to their immediate and future financial planning. That in turn may mean they feel able to use vehicles like stocks and shares ISAs and pensions to help them achieve their future goals.”

For interview requests and photos, please contact Sam Prince-Mernick in the first instance.

Contacts details:

Sam Prince-Mernick

MRM London

07471351584 / [email protected]


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 Editors notes:

About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly is a leading UK mutual life and investments organisation. It provides investors and their families with a wide range of investment and protection solutions and provides life and investment products and services to other financial organisations.

Scottish Friendly has roots stretching back to 1862. Established as the City of Glasgow Friendly Society, its name changed in October 1992 when it took over Scottish Friendly Assurance.

The Group continues to flourish through a three-part growth strategy of organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, and business process outsourcing.


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Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority

Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited.  Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.