The average Brit can last just 96 days on their savings, according to new research.
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A study of 2,000 adults shows that most have just £3,769.92 set aside for a rainy day, and even then 58 per cent will dip into this fund whenever they are short of cash.
In fact, while the average person saves £95.35 a month for holidays, and £76.04 a month for their children’s future, only £106.58 is put aside for their own needs.
As a consequence, after just over three months, the average adult would need to find another way of supporting themselves when they run out of cash.
But seven in 10 people admit they have absolutely no plans in place should they find themselves out of work and out of savings.
While one in six of those polled don’t have a single penny saved at all.
A spokesman for research experts www.OnePoll.com which carried out the research said:
“We find it reassuring that most adults do have some money put away for an emergency, so while it might not last long, it will certainly buy some time before things get desperate.
“The reality is that with the high cost of modern living, it is getting more and more difficult to save money without making sacrifices in other areas of our lives.
“So unless people want to ditch holidays and instant gratification for longer term planning, they’re not going to have enough money in the pot to save very much.”
The study shows 12 per cent of adults fear their savings would only last them a week if they had no other income at all, while one in 10 think they would be lucky to get through a fortnight.
When faced with the notion of coping without a regular income, 48 per cent say they would try for temporary work as a quick way of generating cash.
The same percentage of people would start selling any possessions they could do without at car boot sales and on auction websites, while 21 per cent would use the overdraft to the maximum limit.
More worryingly, 14 per cent would consider taking out a loan to keep them afloat – despite having no known means of paying it back – and one in 10 would take out more credit cards.
A fifth of folk would approach mum and dad for a loan, and if desperate, eight per cent would ask for money from friends.
For those people who have already dipped into their savings to tide them over when money has been tight, wanting to book a holiday and having to make emergency repairs to the car are the biggest reasons for withdrawing money from the rainy day account.
Other reasons given for spending the savings include having to urgently pay off debt, needing to pay for children’s school trips and wanting to make home renovations.
People will also spend any money they have stashed away on decorating, bailing out another family member or when having to take time off work due to sickness.
Interestingly, two thirds of adults wish they could save more money to ensure they have a bright future ahead of them, but 33 per cent claim to live hand to mouth each month.
Four in 10 people say they have absolutely no money left to enjoy once all the bills and essentials are paid for, and a fifth say they run out of their wages partway through the month anyway.
But for some people, spending disposable income is more important than saving it.
Indeed, 15 per cent want to live life to the full and enjoy every second of it now, while 17 per cent admit they would rather spend their money on holidays, socialising and having fun
The spokesman for www.OnePoll.com continues:
“While many people choose to spend their savings on socialising and holidays, more often than not it is life’s little unwanted surprises and emergencies which lead up to spend our savings.
“It is impossible to foresee a failed MOT, car breakdown or plumbing catastrophe, and all of these things can be expensive to fix.
“So unless people have a separate account set up for emergency funding, they have no choice but to dip into their small savings account to cope with the unwanted bill.”
‘PLAN B’ – HOW BRITS INTEND TO COPE WITHOUT A JOB AND NO SAVINGS
1. Try to get temporary work
2. Sell unwanted possessions on auction sites and at car boot sales
3. Use the overdraft to its maximum limit
4. Ask for handouts from mum and dad
5. Spend on the credit card to its maximum balance
6. Take out a loan
7. Open more credit cards
8. Borrow money from friends
9. Only purchase reduced items
10. Stop spending money on clothes, gaming, socialising, public transport etc