If you’re setting some savings goals for the year ahead, it’s easy to compare yourself to other people. How much should you be saving for your age? Should you be making more money? How much income should you save each month, if possible?
It’s easy to fall into ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’. Your saving goals – and your ability to save – are unique to you alone. If you’re not yet at a point where you have a nest egg to fall back on, don’t worry. Life can get in the way!
That said, it’s always interesting to look at a few facts and figures to see how much people are saving elsewhere in the country.
In this guide, I’ll run through some intriguing savings and income facts and figures with you. You can also use the savings percentile calculator as well to help you get some more fine-grained statistics that are relevant to your age group.
But, again, don’t compare yourself too much to these statistics – they simply represent averages and medians.
Savings by Age Percentile Calculator for the UK
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What are the average savings by age in the UK?
The average savings data for the UK by age is difficult to find, but we do have access to the median savings data. Recall that the median slices the population exactly in half – it means 50% of the people are below the median, while the other 50% are above it. The median data is really what most people are interested in as it helps you figure out the middle point of the data for the population.
According to data from the ONS last updated in 2022, median net financial wealth (savings & investments minus financial debts) by age in the UK break down as follows:
|Age Range||Median Savings||Top 25%|
|Under 16||£500 to £5,000||£12,500+|
|16-24 years old||£500 to £5,000||£25,000+|
|25-34 years old||£500 to £5,000||£12,500+|
|35-44 years old||£5,000 to £12,500||£25,000+|
|45-54 years old||£5,000 to £12,500||£50,000+|
|55-64 years old||£12,500 to £25,000||£100,000+|
|Over 65 years old||£25,000 to £50,000||£100,000+|
|All persons||£5,000 to £12,500||£50,000+|
If you find this data confusing, here’s how to interpret this table: If we look at the age range of 35 to 44 year olds, the median for net financial wealth is £5,000 to £12,500. This means half of the people in this age range have a financial wealth level that is either in that bucket or below it. The other half of the people that are in this age range have a financial wealth that is in this bucket or above it.
If we focus on the top 25% of the people in that age bracket, their net financial wealth is £25,000 or higher.
A couple of clarifying points:
- net financial wealth refers to all forms of financials, which would include cash, investments, etc.
- the financial buckets have a large range, but unfortunately this is the best data we have from the census data compiled by the ONS.
The clear correlation here is that the older you are, the more likely you’ll have more savings. However, in a time of economic uncertainty in the UK, these aren’t figures absolutely everyone will be hitting.
For example, to be in the top 10% of savers aged 25-34 in the UK, you’d need to put aside at least £50,000. Across all other age groups, you’d need to have £100k+ to be in the top-10% club.
It’s a bit interesting to see the 25-34 year old age group being worse off than those that are younger and older than them. However on further examination, some plausible explanations do stand out.
Reasons for this are likely related to the “settling down” phase of life. As young adults progress in their lives and form families, they’re more likely to face a range of living expenses related to buying homes and cars, getting married, raising children (if you choose to), etc.
Do also consider that 25% of individuals have no savings or are currently repaying debt. Naturally here too, as you would expect, a greater proportion of younger and middle-aged people have low or no savings in comparison to those who are older (54+).
You’ll find that figures relating to savings by age in the UK will vary depending on the source and study. However, the correlation always remains the same – the older the saver, the more they are likely to have put by.
What are average monthly savings for UK households?
UK households save an average of £450 per month. However, the median household savings total per month is £180.
That means 50% of UK households save less than this amount, and 50% save more. Effectively, if you save around £180 per month, you’re somewhere in the middle.
Do keep in mind that this data is likely to change in line with inflation and cost of living. That said, studies suggest that households manage to save around 8.7% per month, and this has been the case for the past decade. The only major changes to these figures occurred during the lockdowns of 2020.
Per year, this data translates roughly into a median of £2,160. Again, that means this is the point of ‘split’. If you save less than this per year, don’t worry – you’re not in the minority.
If you’re interested in learning about how these savings translate into household net worth in the UK, do check out the linked article and associated calculator.
Before You Go…
We’ve looked at statistics related to average savings in the UK. But what does it take to get those points? How do you save up your first £5,000? Or your first £50,000?
Well you could do it on a lump sum basis, or alternatively, you could start saving on a monthly basis. My preferred option is to save and invest the money on a monthly basis. Once it’s an automatic routine, you don’t have to think about it much.
We’ve covered a few articles on the topic to help you get an idea of how quickly monthly savings can compound over time. Please do check them out: