"Saving is as important as ever": winter survey finds

As Brits navigate the rising cost of living, Furness Building Society’s survey finds savings accounts are more vital than ever.

The sacrifices people are willing to make to keep saving this winter

Despite the government’s recent introduction of an energy price cap, many Brits are still preparing for an uncertain winter. Utility bills, groceries and consumer goods are rising at a rapid pace whilst undefined support measures are circulating from a transitioning government. Figures show that “annual energy bills for households using a typical amount of gas and electricity have now risen to £2,500, an increase of £500”.

As cost concerns take hold with the general public and businesses alike, we wanted to understand how savings account holders are planning for the months ahead. Our winter survey asked a representative cast of the general public how the UK’s savers are affected by the cost of living crisis.

The importance of a rainy day fund

We surveyed the general public to ask how their finances have been impacted by the cost of living crisis. You told us that, while you may not be saving quite as much as before, regular saving is as important as ever. Many of you are determined to keep making regular payments so that you may call on your savings if the spending squeeze continues.

Of those surveyed, 64% admitted their finances have been impacted by the rising cost of living but 54% are still able to make regular payments into their savings accounts. We’re viewing our rainy day funds as a reassuring back up during times of financial stress.

Cutting corners with cutbacks

78% of respondents claimed they are not planning on making ‘drastic changes’ to survive this winter and 76% say they’re not going to any extreme lengths to save money just yet. However, many of you are turning to loyalty schemes and have begun brand swapping and cutting back on luxuries.

For example, a significant 75% stated that they are now actively seeking out offers and promotions when making purchases, whilst 64% confirmed they have switched to cheaper alternative brands. Treats such as takeaways, holidays and any added extras came out second highest when it came to cutbacks, with 69% of respondents avoiding the purchase of luxuries altogether.

It seems we’re consciously evaluating our daily habits as a means of cutting costs as opposed to putting our saving deposits on hold completely.

Seasonal savings

We all know that Christmas can create a significant dent in our finances at the best of times, but marry this with rising costs and the belt may need to be tightened further this winter.

According to our survey, 68% of respondents are planning to spend less on their family’s Christmas this year, with only 2% planning to spend more than usual.

Where savings are concerned, nearly 40% are taking measures to help spread the cost this Christmas and using saving methods to help with this process. One respondent claimed to have set up a ‘savings account in January which receives £20 every Friday’.

However, many Christmas-loving Brits aren’t willing to give up their seasonal lifestyle choices as the cost of living crisis hits. Nearly 30% declared they will spend the same on Christmas in 2022 as they did last year. But those families did concede they may need to utilise extra income or dip into their savings to help fund this.

The true cost

Despite over half of respondents managing to keep depositing savings on a regular basis, only 16% are putting away the same amount as they had prior to the cost of living increases. 38% claimed to still be saving but at a lower rate than in previous months.

Our survey has shown that unsurprisingly, many of us are feeling the pinch and are preparing for this to bite harder in the winter months ahead. However, the rising cost of living seems to be enabling many of us to truly see the importance of saving, something which may have not been as apparent to us during times of greater financial freedom.

We may not be able to save quite as much as we could previously but there is a very real desire to continue to do so.

Next steps

With saving accounts helping a huge percentage of the general public navigate their way through the cost of living crisis, now is as good a time as ever to start your rainy day fund.

Send us a message, call our team on 0800 781 4311 or visit us in branch to find out more about how our savings accounts can help you negotiate your finances better.