Scots lagging behind rest of UK in savings stakes

The average Scot has three weeks' wages in savings, well below the three months' worth recommended by financial experts. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The average Scot has three weeks' wages in savings, well below the three months' worth recommended by financial experts. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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People in Scotland are among the worst in the UK when it comes to squirrelling away money for a rainy day, according to a new survey.

The study, by online investment service Wealthify, found the average Scot has just three weeks’ worth of their salary in savings – the joint second-lowest level in the UK.

Financial planners recommend that people should have the equivalent of at least three months’ wages in savings, but the Wealthify regional savings index found that the national average stands at just four weeks.

The East Midlands came out on top with 11 weeks’ worth, followed by London with seven weeks. Scotland was joined by Northern Ireland and south-east of England in second-last place, while the north-west of England and West Midlands were ranked at the bottom with just two weeks’ wages in savings.

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Richard Theo, chief executive and co-founder of Wealthify, said: “The purpose of this index is to highlight how badly people are protecting themselves against financial shock. Hopefully the index will help people recognise the risks they are taking by having inadequate savings.

“Hardly anyone in the country is putting away the three months’ equivalent salary recommended by financial advisers, let alone having a proper long-term plan. Something has to change.”

The survey was compiled from data based on a sample size of 1,000 people aged 18 to 55, earning less than £50,000 a year.

It also found that just 1 per cent of Scots saw their long-term financial future as “affluent”, below the UK average of 5 per cent. Almost a third – 29 per cent – predicted they would be “comfortable”, while 52 per cent said they would be able to “get by” on a tight budget.

Theo added: “We will continue campaigning to highlight the fact that Britons need not only to save more, but take better care of their money too. If they don’t, people’s financial futures could be far from comfortable.”

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