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Millions are struggling to save for the future

19 November 2015

11.7 million people have not been able to save any money for the future in the past two years, new research from Citizens Advice reveals today.

In a new study which looks at people’s need for advice to help them plan and manage their finances, the charity highlights that two in five people (37 per cent) say they rarely or never save for the future and over a quarter of people (28 per cent) find managing their money and making financial decisions difficult.

In the last twelve months local Citizens Advice helped with 1.8 million queries about debt and personal finances.

The research finds that people’s saving behaviour is directly related to their income. Forty two per cent of people on an income of £10,000 to £19,000 rarely or never save money, more than twice as many of those on £45,000 or more (19 percent).

The findings are from a YouGov survey of 2,041 GB adults. The report reveals that those struggling with saving isn’t isolated to one generation with respondents from all age groups saying they rarely or never save:

  • Over a third of 18-24 year olds (34%)

  • Almost one in 3 (32%) of 25-34 years old

  • 42% of 35-44 year olds

  • Over a third (37%) 45-54 year olds

  • 39% of those 55 plus

People aged 35-44 years old are the age group least likely to save, perhaps due to financial pressures such as childcare costs, mortgage repayments and household bills.

When asked where they would first turn for money guidance, 27 percent of people say that they would go visit their bank while one fifth (21 per cent) said they would turn to family, friends or colleagues on how best to manage their money.

Previous research from Citizens Advice found almost half of the adult population (48 percent) - 23.4 million people - would have taken money advice at different key moments of their lives, such as having a baby, starting a new job or the death of a partner, if they had been offered it.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice said:

“Saving for the future feels like an impossible task for millions of people.

“For a lot of households the money coming in often matches the money going out which means there is little or nothing left to save.  Without some sort of nest egg people don’t have anything to fall back on if there is a sudden expense or change in circumstances.

“Not everyone is confident in their ability to manage their money and many would appreciate support key moments in their life such as when they have a baby or buy a house.  That’s why it is really important people are able to access to free guidance and advice to help to manage their finances and sort out debts to ensure a more secure financial future.”

Notes to editors

1. Online YouGov survey of 2,041 adults carried out between 2nd - 5th October 2015. The figures have been weighted and are representative adult British population.

2. Any scaling up calculated by Citizens Advice is based on figures for the Great Britain adult population of 48,358,351 taken from the 2011 census. The figure of 11.7 million is (48,358,351 x 24.22%) while 23.4 million is (48,358,351 x 48.37%)

3. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.

4. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.

5. To get advice online or find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit

6. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.

7. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.