Families saving less as debts rise

Updated: 
Child with piggy bankFamilies in Scotland are saving less than half of what they were a year ago as incomes decline and debts continue to rise, according to a report.

The Aviva Family Finances Report for August said the average amount being put away each month has fallen to £23 per family, compared with £52 in August last year.

It means the average Scottish family's savings are down to £717, more than £400 less than the UK national average of £1,131, said Aviva.

The average monthly income for a family in Scotland stands at £1,833, slightly lower than this time last year when it was £1,952, and £170 less than the national figure of £2,003, according to the report.
It said the most common source of income for families is from a primary earner (75%), followed by a second income from a spouse's job (30%).

More than a quarter (26%) of Scottish families cite benefits as an income source, the report said. Almost half (46%) of families north of the border have a mortgage, while 19% rent a property and 11% own their homes outright.

The finance report said families spend more of their money on debt repayment (12%) than on food (11%), but that the largest proportion of their income goes on housing (18%).

However, it said "diligent" debt repayment appears to be paying off, as the typical household debt in Scotland is £4,712, compared with the national average of £10,563.

Louise Colley, head of protection sales and marketing at Aviva, said: "Savings have taken a drastic hit in Scotland this month. While this is unsurprising considering the fall in monthly income, it is concerning that the amount being saved has more than halved to just £23 a month.

"Money that might otherwise be put away in a nest egg appears to be directed at paying off debt, which on a more positive note is far less in Scotland compared to the rest of the nation. However, we would urge that where possible savings levels are maintained to soften the blow should an unexpected expense arise."

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