UK disposable income on the rise at around 8% of take home pay

17th June 2014

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Britons have seen a three percentage point rise in their disposable income over the last three months. On average, people in the UK now have eight per cent of their take home salary left each month, up from five per cent since last quarter.

The findings come from the latest Disposable Income Index from Scottish Friendly, which examines people’s attitude towards saving and investing. According to the report, the increase in disposable income has prompted a rise in the levels of saving with 60 per cent of people in the UK now choosing to put money aside each month; up five percentage points since the last index. UK residents are currently putting an average of £287 per month into savings accounts or ISAs, equating to £10bn per month in savings across the UK.

The boost in savings contributions could be linked to a general wariness about the future: 28 per cent of people surveyed in June believe that their financial situation will get worse in the next three months, up from 25 per cent last quarter.

For the next three months, a third – 33 per cent – do not have a top financial priority. One in five – 22 per cent – say that their focus is paying off their debts and a further 14 per cent claim their top priority is to avoid getting into debt. Both are good indicators of an improving savings and investment culture in the UK.

People in Scotland and London are leading the country in terms of disposable income, by quite some margin. Each region has, on average, £263 left over each month after essentials are paid for. There is a significant gap between Scotland and London and the third best well off region, Yorkshire and Humberside, where there is an average disposable income of £217. Wales and the North East are lagging behind, with £193 and £182 left over each month, respectively.

Neil Lovatt, product director at Scottish Friendly says: “The results show a stronger mood of personal responsibility amongst savers in the UK, across all income levels. Clearly this may be underpinned by a general wariness about the immediate future but the fact that people are addressing this by saving more for a rainy day is positive indeed. Debt is a preoccupation for many, and it is encouraging to see that repaying and avoiding it is amongst the top priorities for Britons today.”

Region of UK

Average month disposable income

Scotland

£263

London

£263

National average

£219

Yorks & Humberside

£217

South East

£215

North West

£210

West Midlands

£207

South West

£206

East Midlands

£204

Northern Ireland

£196

Wales

£193

North East

£182

Among those that are regularly saving, women are just slipping behind their male counterparts, putting 10 per cent of their salary away each month, compared to men, who put 11 per cent of their wages into savings each month. This equates to a one percentage point drop for women on the last index, at which point the sexes were level pegging.

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