Brits are Demonstrating Saving Optimism (Nationwide)

Article Submitted by: Sam Gooch

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Britons are taking an increasingly positive view towards saving money, research from one building society shows.

People appear increasingly willing to make use of savings accounts, if a new set of figures are anything to by.

Data released by Nationwide in its latest Savings Index revealed an overall score of 94 points for March. Not only is such a figure three points above that recorded in the previous month, it is also 15 higher than the tally of 79 noted in March 2009.

Such growth appears to be driven by an increased propensity for regular saving, as some 51 per cent of people now claim they are setting cash aside into UK accounts on a regular basis, up three percentage points from February. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people believe government policy is encouraging them to set aside money for a rainy day.

And having a particular impact on people's opinions on saving, however, appears to be individual saving accounts (ISAs). With March the last full month consumers had to invest in the account before the end of the fiscal year, the building society claims many people have focused on making the most of the tax-free savings that such products offer.

The building society goes on to report that two-thirds of the total ISA business in the savings industry takes place between February and May, making March a particularly popular month to make use of such products. However, with the next financial year now underway consumers may be keen to continue making contributions to such products.

Andy Hutchinson, head of savings for Nationwide, states: "Now that the new tax year has started, some savers' attention will be switched on to saving as early as possible in an ISA to maximise their tax benefit. With this in mind, it wouldn't be a surprise to me if the Savings Index rose again in April. There has already been a nine-point increase since January 2010."

With such comments in mind, those keen to make use of an ISA could be well advised to be aware of how much they will be able to place into such accounts. Recent research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks showed nine out of ten (89 per cent) Britons are unaware of how much they can place in the tax-free savings products, while one-fifth state they did not know they could make regular deposits into such accounts rather than investing lump sums.

__________________________________________ With gratitude, I base this blog on the book "Learn to be an Optimist: A Practical Guide to Achieving Happiness" by Lucy MacDonald, a Quebec-based motivational speaker with an academic background in psychology and counseling.

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