Are Brits using their savings during the lockdown?

Over a third of Brits have had to dip into their savings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lockdown measures imposed by the government on 23rd March closed down many businesses and sent others into economic downturn. This pushed the unemployment rate to a record high and impacted millions around the UK. But can the average British household cope with a sudden loss of income? The short answer is no.

Since the start of the lockdown, over a third of Brits have had to dip into their savings to make ends meet. However, 2 in 5 Brits (41%) don’t have enough money to be unemployed for a full month. We’ve done some research to find out which areas in the UK have the least amount of savings and whether gender and age have an effect on how much people have had to withdraw.

Quick stats

  • Overall, 36% of Brits have had to use some of their savings since the lockdown started.
  • Those who have had to dip into their savings have used an average of £1,421, which is 21% of the UK’s average savings pot.
  • The average Brit has £6,757 put away for a rainy day.
  • 9% of Brits have no savings at all.
  • 41% of Brits don’t have enough savings to live for a month without income.

How much savings do Brits have?

The majority of Brits have some savings, with almost 4 in 5 (78%) having something put away for a rainy day. The average amount saved per person is £6,757, although a lot of people don’t have this much.

Despite 17% of the population having over £20,000 stashed away, 32% have less than £600 put aside. Some (7%) aren’t aware if they have any savings, or how much they have if so, while 9% have no savings at all.

Picture not described

How long would these savings last?

Personal finance experts commonly recommend having 3 months worth of living expenses saved up, which for the average Brit would be £4,701. Worryingly, 41% of Brits don’t have enough savings to last a month, leaving them at risk if they ever become unemployed.

How long they can last without pay Percentage of Brits Number of Brits
Don't have enough for 1 month withouy pay 40.93% 21,446,069
Have enough money to last 1 month without pay 3.93% 2,056,831
Have enough money to last 2 months without pay 3.93% 2,056,831
Have enough money to last 3 months without pay 38.63% 20,240,792
Don't know how much savings they've got 6.50% 3,406,217

How much savings are we using during the lockdown?

Over a third of Brits (36%) have had to dip into their savings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These Brits have used an average amount of £1,421, which is 21% of the average amount saved in the UK.

Current savings Savings used
£6,756.81 £1,421.64

Gender differences

More UK men (37%) than women (34%) have been digging into their savings lately. Of those who have started to use their savings since the lockdown, the average man uses more than twice as much as the average woman. On average, men have used £1,941, while women have only used £898.

This could be due to the fact that women have less savings in general – £6,087, compared to £7,450 for the average man.

Regional differences

Out of all the regions, Londoners have the biggest savings accounts (£7,945 on average), followed by those living in the East of England (£7,681). Perhaps due to the high cost of living, Londoners have also had to dive into their savings the most. 45% have done so, and they’ve also had to spend the most of their savings, at £2,519 each on average.

The lowest average savings can be found in those from Northern Ireland and the North East, who have saved, on average, £4,111 and £5,674, respectively.

The residents who have been lucky enough to have to dig into their savings the least live in Wales, where only 28% of the citizens have needed their savings to help support them. They’ve spent on average £292 each.

However, the citizens of Northern Ireland have used the least of their saved income, with 38% of residents using just £264 on average.

Region % of people who have been using their savings
East of England 32.78%
East Midlands 38.57%
London 45.24%
North East 37.04%
North West 34.39%
Northern Ireland 38.33%
Scotland 30.12%
South East 37.10%
South West 30.12%
Wales 28.28%
West Midlands 34.95%
Yorkshire and the Humber 34.20%

Generational differences

Out of all the generations, baby boomers are the generation that has the most saved, with an average of £9,759 per person. The second-highest savings are with the silent generation, who is sitting on £9,498 on average per person.

Those born after 1996 (gen Z), who have been working the shortest amount of time, have the smallest savings accounts, with £2,531 on average.

Since the lockdown started, millennials (born 1981-1996) have been spending the most money out of their own savings, at £1,847 on average. However, gen Z is the generation that has the highest percentage of people using their savings recently, with 58% needing to use some of it.

The generation that has dipped into their savings the least is the silent generation, with only 16% doing so and only £106 taken out on average.

Generation Average current savings
Generation Z (Born after 1996) £2,530.71
Millennials (Born 1981-1996) £4,614.04
Generation X (Born 1965-1980) £6,160.57
Baby boomers (Born 1946-1964) £9,758.54
Silent generation (Born 1928-1945) £9,497.96

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

Methodology

  • Finder commissioned Onepoll in May 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

Related articles

More guides on Finder

  • Drone industry forecast

    By 2025, the drone industry is set to double what it was 2020, with the UK set to see an £11 billion uplift from the adoption of drone technology by 2030.

  • The UK’s average pension pot stands at just £42.7k – 18% of the recommended total

    A survey conducted by the personal finance comparison site, finder.com, has found that the average pension pot in the UK stands at just £42,651.This figure drops even further for non-retirees, who only have £33,809 saved on average.

  • Pension statistics

    Does the UK know how much it needs to save up for retirement?

  • Why it pays to be a patient investor

    One way to develop healthy investing habits is to make regular contributions to your investment pot over a period of time, instead of investing a large lump sum. This is called “pound-cost averaging”. It’s a way of investing without trying to time the market.

  • Car accident claims: when do Brits claim on their insurance?

    The average British driver wouldn’t claim for damage under £667, but how does this differ by region, age and gender? We’ve done the research to find out.

  • Millionaire calculator: How long would it take to save a million?

    Use our calculator to find out how long it would take you to save up a million pounds based on the interest on your savings account.

  • Cryptocurrency statistics 2021

    We explore the latest statistics in the world of cryptocurrency, including who is and isn’t buying cryptocurrency and how much they’re investing.

  • Best pension drawdown

    Find out the best pension drawdown for different sized pension pots and different investing aims. We’ve compared the different providers.

  • Over a quarter of Brits now have an account with a digital-only bank

    Currently over a quarter of Brits (27%) say they have at least one bank account with a digital-only bank. This is a percentage increase of 16% from last year when 23% of Brits said they had an account with a digital bank. It is also over 3 times the amount of Brits who had one in January 2019 (9%).

  • Boxing Day Statistics 2020

    Which brand received the most search traffic from UK shoppers during one of the biggest retail days of the year? We’ve done some analysis on the search figures to find the brand took the crown.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site