Just over two out of three (64%) people surveyed in April said savings of up to £5,000 would make them happy, compared to four out of five (82%) in 2010*, a drop of 18%. The results show that between £10,000 and £20,000 in savings is now required to give as many people peace of mind.
|Amount in savings||% happy 2010*||% happy 2012|
While people are keen to increase their savings, the amount of income they say they need to be happy is relatively modest. Over a quarter (26%) would be really happy with less than £25,000 a year and almost two thirds (62%) would be really happy with an annual income of £50,000 or less.
Graham Bentley, Skandia UK’s head of investment proposition comments:
“The rise in the cost of living, uncertainty with the economic climate and talk of recession is clearly making people wish they had a larger nest egg than they might have considered necessary before. However, the amount of annual income they need to make them happy is surprisingly modest, possibly because rising unemployment is making them put more value in having a job that provides predictable income.”
In terms of debts, two in five (41%) owe money on credit cards, although 18-24 year olds are less likely to use credit cards with just 16% saying they owe money in this way. Half (50%) of 45-54 year olds have money outstanding on plastic. This age group (33%) and the 35-44’s (32%) are also most likely to have a personal loan.
Although many people are taking advantage of borrowing money via credit cards, there’s resentment at having to pay them off. Asked which debts they are most unhappy about paying, credit card bills came top at 12%, with just 4% saying personal loans and 1% hire purchase loans.
Unsurprisingly 18-24 year olds have the highest level of student loan debt (54%), which could account for almost two in five (39%) saying they would need over £10,000 to pay off their debts and almost one in five (19%) saying they would need more than £20,000. One in five (20%) of this age group say their student loan is the thing they are the most unhappy about having to pay.
Graham Bentley comments:
“It’s clear the student loan is having a big impact on the liabilities carried by 18-24 year olds, but the student loan can be viewed as a tax, given repayments are linked to earnings. This is far less onerous than repaying money borrowed on credit cards, where those repayments can very quickly get out of hand. Our survey indicates that very few young people are over-extending themselves financially through credit cards and personal loans, and this is very good to see.”
In terms of other monthly outgoings aside from debts, council tax and energy bills (both 14%) top the list of things that people are most unhappy about having to pay, with almost one in ten (9%) unhappy about the TV licence fee. Energy bills are particularly unpopular with the over 55s, with over one in five (21%) saying this bill makes them most unhappy.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total samples size was 2067 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th-26th April 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
* Published findings from a study of 1000 adults aged 16-64 by TNS in September 2010