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News: Where does all the money go?

New research reveals a third of Britons don’t know what they spend their money on after they’ve paid their mortgage, bills and living expenses.

The research from Alliance & Leicester reveals that we have, on average, just over one sixth (£276) of our salary left for spending each month after clearing regular outgoings such as the mortgage, bills and living expenses.

But as a nation we want to be better savers. Two in five (39%) Britons intend to change the way they approach saving this year, but 19% reckon they save enough already.

So what happens to our left-over cash?

Saving:

  • Over half (56%) of us manage to make some savings, with the average amount being £143 a month.
  • A quarter (27%) of savers save from £10 to £50 a month, one in ten saves between £50 and £80 and 16% save over £250 a month.

Spending:

  • 22% spend it on entertainment and eating out
  • 14% spend it on treats for their family or friends
  • 14% spend it on themselves generally
  • 13% use the excess cash to stock their wardrobes with new clothes and shoes

One way to avoid frittering your cash away is to commit to a regular savings account. Saving even £50 a month will amount to at least £600 over a year, points out A&L but by saving in their top-paying account savings are boosted further.

While not everyone is saving, they know what they’d do if they had £3,000 saved up:

  • 35% said they would use it to pay off debts/mortgage
  • 33% would save or invest it
  • 25% would finance home improvements
  • Other favourites were a dream holiday or a new car.
  • Over a third (35%) of Britons say they would switch their current account if they could access a 10% savings account, and a further 46% would consider it.

Simon Ripton, current account manager at Alliance & Leicester commented, "People could make substantial savings just by changing the way they manage their money on a monthly basis and who knows, after a year of regular saving you might have enough for a dream holiday as well as paying off those nagging debts."

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