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Managing my investments
Managing my investments

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1.2 Savings behaviour in the UK

The image is of a quick, single question survey of 'Savings Performance'.
Figure 5 How does the UK rate when it comes to saving?

So how much savings do UK households have?

The Family Resources Survey (DWP, 2023) provides evidence to explore this question. Remember, by referring to savings we mean the stock of such savings that UK households have.

Table 1.1 Percentage of households by totals of savings, 2021/22
Savings All households (%)
No savings 13
Less than £1500 26
£1500 but less than £3000 8
£3000 but less than £8000 14
£8000 but less than £10,000 3
£10,000 but less than £16,000 7
£16,000 but less than £20,000 3
£20,000 but less than £25,000 3
£25,000 but less than £30,000 3
£30,000 or more 20
(DWP, 2023, Table 7.9)

As you might expect, households have different levels of savings, with 13 per cent having no savings at all, while 26 per cent have savings of £20,000 or more.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that significant caution needs to be exercised when drawing firm conclusions from data on savings such as those presented above.

Activity 1.2 Caution

Why do you think the ONS might suggest such caution?

Make some notes in the box below.

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The responses provided to surveys where people have to provide personal information – particularly information about their finances – need to be treated with care.

The reason for the caution is linked to how data on savings is collected. Much official government data is based on surveys where households are asked to complete a questionnaire. An estimated one in four households simply does not know the value of its investments, while others may deliberately understate the value of any assets they have. Disclosing financial data can be seen as sensitive, and so collecting such data accurately can be problematic.