Zero savings and cutting back is the story of 2011

The research from Norwich and Peterborough Building Society reveals an alarming number of people seemingly living hand-to-mouth, with very little money set aside for emergencies, long term sickness or unemployment.

One third of Brits do not have any savings behind them at all, and in many areas half of the population has less than £1,000 in accessible savings. What might be of even more concern is one in four of those aged 55+ have no accessible savings at all.

Gary Lacey, savings product manager at N&P said: "It is extremely worrying that millions of people have no savings whatsoever, and half of the people in many areas have less than £1,000 saved up.

“We know that three quarters (77%) of Brits are cutting back on their day-to-day spending and tightening their belts, but with the increase in unemployment it is possibly even more important now for people to have a little put aside for a rainy day."

The research showed:

  • Overall one in three (31%) said they had no accessible savings
  • Half of people (48%) have no savings or less than £1,000 saved
  • Women are more likely than men to have no savings, with one in four men (27%) having no accessible savings and one in three women (35%)
  • Six in ten (60%)16 to 24 year olds have no, or less than £1,000 in savings
  • One quarter (23%) of those 55 or older have no accessible savings