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Press release   •   Feb 05, 2016 00:01 GMT

  • Two-thirds (66 per cent) of people say their savings habits is impacted by their parents
  • Nine million (18 per cent) think their parents were bad savers
  • ..and eight per cent hold them responsible for having a negative impact on their own savings
  • Savings begins at home: Post Office Money encourages families to talk to their children about the importance of saving

Two-thirds of the UK (66 per cent) say their savings behaviour was impacted by their parents’ – both in their good and bad habits, according to Post Office Money’s Future of Savings study.

The study compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for Post Office Money looks at the changing trends in UK savings: the how and why we save.

The report revealed the significant influence a person’s upbringing has on their own finances. More than half (57 per cent) say their parents’ savings behaviour had a positive impact on them, possibly providing the foundations for them to build upon and follow in their footsteps. However, nine million (18 per cent) grew up in households where they say their parents’ saving habits were bad and eight per cent say this has had a detrimental effect on their own habits as a result.

Those with parents who were ‘bad savers’ when growing up, said they rarely saw their parents put money aside (38 per cent), whilst 29% say their family was often in debt. Nearly half (48 per cent) admitted that a safety net wasn’t put in place for any money emergencies that might occur. One in five (19 per cent) said their parents would be unlikely to help them if they were getting into financial difficulty.

In contrast, children of ‘good savers’ felt their parents saved when they were able (54 per cent), regularly put money aside (43 per cent), and had enough money to cope with emergencies (45 per cent). Two-fifths (39 per cent) of those whose parents had a more negative impact on their financial habits say this was because they were regularly in financial difficulty.

Commenting on the findings, Henk Van Hulle, Director Post Office Money said: “Saving will begin at home for many of us, with our own financial behaviour heavily influenced by our parents – whether learning from their mistakes or following in their footsteps. Given that many people wish they had started saving earlier we would encourage families to talk about the importance of financial planning and saving money from an early age. Our research shows that younger people (18-24) are the most likely to feel that their parents have been a good influence on their financial behaviour, so families should use this influence to teach the best lessons possible.”

Those with parents who are ‘good savers’ are more likely to start putting money away from an early age; three-quarters (72 per cent) of those who started saving under the age of 16 would refer to their parents as ‘good savers’ compared with 44 per cent who held off until they were almost 40 (36-40).

Henk Van Hulle adds: “Often it can seem impossible to put savings aside every month but even getting into the habit of putting money away on a ‘little and often’ basis can make all the difference, particularly as a good example to your children. More needs to be done to provide young people with a robust financial education and help them see the benefit of having a financial safety-net for the inevitable rainy day.”


*ONS figures put UK adult population at 50,909,000. 66 per cent of 50,909,000=33,599,940

**Research carried out by Cebr on behalf of Post Office Money in July 2015 as part of its second annual ‘Future of Savings’ study. Findings were based on a YouGov survey of 2,083 people conducted between 12-13th August. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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