Matt Morton/PA Wire
Britons who set themselves regular savings goals put aside over £40 extra per month compared with those who don't, adding up to an additional £500 saved every year, according to new research from NS&I.
Nearly a fifth of those with a savings goal manage to set aside over £250 each month, or over £3,000 each year. However, surprisingly, less than a third of the population say they have a savings goal.
On average, Britons with regular savings goals are managing to set aside almost £140 (£139.79) each month, compared to £97.28 for those without a goal. Nearly a fifth of people with a savings goal set aside more than £250 each month, compared to less than one in ten of those without savings goals.
However, despite the clear boost to savings from having an objective, less than a third say they set themselves a goal and save for something specific.
NS&I savings spokesperson, John Prout said: "Our research shows that savers who set specific targets stand to reap the rewards. For instance an extra £40 a month saved could cover the cost of insuring your car for a year, or perhaps pay for that very special weekend break. Setting a specific objective is a good way to stay motivated, even if it's only a small amount being set aside each month."
For those who set themselves a goal, the biggest motivation is to buy a property, with over two fifths saving for this reason - an increase of 35 percent compared with the last quarter. Other priorities include:
Saving for a holiday or special occasion (37 percent)
Saving in case of an emergency (23 percent)
Saving for retirement (20 percent)
Saving for a car (18 percent)
Saving for children's future (14 percent)
Across the population, savings levels have dropped for the second quarter in a row, despite increases in the average monthly income. As a result, Britons are now setting aside just 7.49 percent of their income every month, down from 8.31 percent in spring 2011. Furthermore, a quarter of Britons are now saving less than £50 per month.
Mr Prout continued; "We would encourage people to think carefully about their daily expenditure, and use a goal to motivate them to help boost their savings pot. Keeping a weekly diary of spending can be a good way to keep track of outgoings and there are lots of great online tools and free apps available to help with this."
Additional results from NS&I's Savings Survey reveal that for the second quarter in a row, 13 percent of Britons admit to having no savings at all, while a fifth have less than £1,000 in savings. With the average monthly income at £1,265.07, many Britons therefore have less than a month's income set aside in case of an emergency.