Over five million households not saving enough

More than five million households are not saving enough in the UK and many have to borrow money to pay the bills, according to debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service.

Research commissioned for the charity by the Financial Inclusion Centre has identified 4.3 million households with no savings and 1.1 million households with savings under £1,000.

The charity says people who don't have adequate savings are likely to rely on credit for unexpected purchases. This is backed up by recent research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which found that 27% of households with no savings rely on borrowing for everyday expenditure 'all the time' compared to only 9% with savings of £1,000 - £10,000.

The charity says that this can lead to a debt problem as low levels of savings are one of the main reasons that people fall into unmanageable debt and points to statistics which show that only 5.4% of people who seek help from it have any savings, and of those that do, their average savings are £5,334.

CCCS says that the situation will get worse as a range of budget squeezes such as high inflation, welfare benefit and tax changes as well as wage freezes will leave more people unable to save.

Delroy Corinaldi, CCCS external affairs director, says: "Low savings leave many families financially vulnerable and unable to deal with unexpected expenses without resorting to credit.

"Ideally, in addition to long-term savings, people should aim to have at least three to six months savings set aside as a cushion against an unexpected event.

"While not everyone is in a position to build savings, too many people are falling off a cliff as far as savings are concerned and more needs to be done to help people save and give themselves financial security."
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