Saving becomes harder as incomes fall

Britons are struggling to maintain their savings levels in the face of falling incomes.

The average person set aside 82.92, the equivalent of 6.69 per cent of their income, in the three months to the end of December, the lowest level for the period since National Savings and Investments first began collecting data in 2005.

It was also lower than the 87.37 people set aside each month in the previous quarter.

There has also been a drop in the number of people who are regular savers, with only 50 per cent of people saying they set aside something every month, down from 52 per cent in the summer.

The group attributed the fall in savings to declining income levels, with average monthly take-home pay dropping to 1,239 in the quarter, down from 1,384 a year earlier. But 29 per cent of people thought they were more likely to save in 2011, while only 27 per cent said they were less likely to save, down from 40 per cent in the same period of 2008.

NS&I savings spokesman Tim Mack said: "It is pleasing to see that nearly a third of people are now feeling positive about their ability to set money aside next year. Many people appear to be approaching the new year as an opportunity to review their finances."