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A third of Brits have less than £250 in savings

New research from HSBC shows that more than a third of people in the UK – around 8.8 million households – have £250 or less set aside as a financial safety net.

The survey revealed that 25% have no savings at all to fall back on, up from 19% in 2012, while 10% have £250 or less. Based on average monthly outgoings of £1,500, they would only last five days before running out of funds.

The number of households in this situation has risen by almost 800,000 since October 2012, when just over eight million had £250 or less in their savings pots.

The 18 to 24 age group are the worst off in terms of savings, with a third having nothing to fall back on and 6% having less than £250 in their nest eggs. However, 35 to 44-year-olds are not far behind, with 33% having nothing in savings and 12% having less than £250.

Almost a third said they would be unable to pay their bills or accommodation costs if they were unexpectedly to lose their income, up from 28% in October 2012, while 36% would be dependent on their savings.

Oliver Cook, head of savings at HSBC, said: “Getting into the habit of saving and making regular savings, no matter how small, can help to build up a financial safety net that avoids having to resort to methods that add to debt.

“There are many savings accounts in the market that are designed to help people get into this habit, such as regular saver accounts. As a target, it’s important to keep in mind that as a general rule, a minimum of three months’ salary should be available for a rainy day.”

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