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With winter on the way, many people in the UK are using now as an opportunity to take stock of their finances and budget as best they can for the colder weather and festive fun ahead. New research* from Virgin Money reveals how Brits are really feeling about their savings in the current climate, as well as their general attitude towards their finances.

In positive news, seven in 10 people feel in control of their money, two thirds (65%) agree that managing money makes them feel empowered to be able to do the things they love and over half (53%) admit they prioritise saving over spending, compared to just 17% who prioritise spending over saving.

Adding to this, more than half (59%) of Brits saved the same amount or more in summer (June-August) than in spring (March-May) this year, citing an increase in income (39%), cutting back on lifestyle spending (34%) and because they are saving for something specific (27%) as the main reasons for this. In fact, two thirds of men (66%) were more likely to have saved the same or more in summer than in spring, compared to just over half of women (53%).

While times continue to bring challenges for people, it's reassuring to see that many are managing to build healthy savings habits, as four in 10 Brits currently have over £10,000 in savings, and more than half (52%) have over £5,000 set aside. A quarter (26%) have managed to build up an impressive savings pot of over £25,000. One in two people (51%) reveal they have an easy access savings account, making this savings product the most popular with UK consumers. Other popular savings products include a regular savings account (47% of Brits have one of these), a savings ISA (41%) and a pension (40%), which shows people are working to maximise their money, both for now as well as for in the future.

However, there are some who admit that managing money makes them feel stressed and anxious (33%) and four in 10 say they feel confused by the financial landscape and the different options available. There seems to be a clear knowledge gap when it comes to Brits understanding their Personal Savings Allowance (a tax-free allowance that lets people earn interest on their savings without paying tax on that interest), for example – while 63% have heard of this allowance, less than half (45%) understand their PSA and more don’t know what their PSA is than do (43% don’t know vs 42% who do).

Ruth Brougham, head of digital banking at Virgin Money, said “At Virgin Money, we aim to empower our customers to manage their money in a way that works best for them. We recognise that, especially during these tricky times, building savings is an essential step to financial security, both in the near and not so near future, which is why we’re committed to offering a range of straightforward savings products that are designed to provide a solution for everyone, regardless of whether you’re a savvy saver or new to saving.

“With savers enjoying higher interest rates over the last year, it’s important for them to maximise their returns by understanding the personal savings allowance and taking advantage of the tax benefits available by saving in an ISA where possible.”

The Virgin Money mobile banking app Link opens in a new window is packed full of clever tools to help customers budget, top up savings and track their transactions to help people feel in control of their money, and Virgin Money also offers a wide range of savings products to help customers make their money work for them. View Virgin Money’s savings range here. Customers who are keen to build a healthy savings habit but aren’t sure where to start can find some useful tips here: Five ways to start a savings habit - and make it last | Brighter Money | Virgin Money UK Link opens in a new window.

Virgin Money also has an online support hub for people struggling with money worries. The hub provides advice on dealing with price rises and cutting bills, as well as signposting free help and support services. This is available to everyone - whether they’re a customer or not.

*Survey carried out by OnePoll with 2,000 UK adults between 13th-21st September 2023.