Secret savings hoard tops £3.7 billion

17 July 2015

Secret savings hoard tops £3.7 billion

  • Total UK secret savings at £3.68 billion, up from £3.05 billion in 2014
  • One in ten people in a relationship in the UK keep some of their savings secret from their partner
  • The average UK couple now keeps 68% of their savings and investments in sole accounts
  • Londoners keep the highest proportion of their savings in sole accounts at 75%

The 2015 Lloyds Bank Family Savings Report reveals that secret savers in the UK have now reached 2.2 million, hoarding an average secret savings pot of £1,675. This means that there is a total UK secret savings stash of some £3.68 billion, up 21% from 2014 (£3.05bn), and a rise of 32% in the past two years (£2.8bn in 2013).

The Secret Savers

One in ten (10%) people in the UK keep some of their savings secret from their partner.

Women are more likely to keep secret savings than men, with 11% of women with partners keeping secret savings, compared to 9% of men. The highest prevalence of secret savings was found among couples aged 35-44 (13%), with the highest prevalence of secret savings found in the North West (15%), and the lowest in Northern Ireland (3%).

The typical secret saver now keeps just under half (46%) of their savings secret, a significantly higher proportion than last year (34%) and 28% in 2013. Conversely, 7% of people with partners in the UK pretend to have more in savings than they really have, compared to 4% last year.

The Secret Spenders

42% of secret savers are simply keeping their savings for a rainy day, and a quarter (25%) keep a secret stash to prevent their partner from spending it. Only one in ten secret savers said that treating themselves was a main purpose of their fund. Of this group, for over half (54%) clothing and gadgets are the two most popular purchases for secret spenders and 39% choose to spend their stash on shoes. 31% spend their secret savings on nights out with pals, whilst 8% like to splurge on everyday treats like cabs and coffees.

The UK’s total secret funds for clothing, and for gadgets and electronics, are both estimated to total some £89 million, while the nation’s secret shoe fund totals £64 million, and the total stashed away to be spent on hair, beauty treatments and cosmetics is £63 million.

The Solo Savers

The report shows that couples are also continuing to save more independently, with the average UK couple now keeping 68% of their savings and investments in sole accounts, up from the 63% recorded in 2013. The percentage of couples’ savings held in sole accounts is highest among younger couples, rising to 75% among 18-24 year-olds, compared to 58% among 55-64s.

London couples keep the highest proportion of their savings in sole accounts, with 75% of Londoners saving solo, compared to those in Northern Ireland at 55%.

Tightening Purse Strings

Of those with joint savings accounts, just under half (45%) would always expect their partner to tell them when spending from it, with only one in ten (9%) saying their partner would never need to tell them before spending.

However, the average spending limit without having to ask a partner’s permission has decreased to £249 compared to £286 last year. In addition, men’s spending continues to be more closely monitored by their other halves, with men now needing permission to spend £194 or above, compared to £245 last year, while the ‘free spending limit’ is £290 for women.

Fewer women also give their partner ‘carte blanche’ when it comes to joint savings, with 57% of women expecting to always be told about spending verses 34% of men. Couples in the North East (£105) and Wales (£137) maintain the tightest rein on each other’s access to savings.

Philip Robinson, Savings Director for Lloyds Bank said;

“The stash of secret savings is on the rise, with the UK secret savings pot 20% larger than it was this time last year as more and more couples seek some degree of financial independence from their partner.

“With four in five people agreeing that couples should also have their own funds to spend, this is a ringing endorsement for further financial independence. However, couples may also want to consider maximising the interest their savings receive by grouping more of their funds together as well as saving solo.”