Half of twenty-somethings have "no" savings - BBC Report

I put the “no” in inverted commas because even with their own stats - It’s not technically true.

To be honest, I hate these kinds of reports, as it never paints a true picture, and there is generally an agenda behind how the numbers are presented.

One of the key things that did stand out on it’s own, was:

However, there is some cheer for young adults in the data, which shows 37% of this age group were in debt compared with 49% a decade ago.

Significantly, this debt does not include student loans.

Those with debts, seen in the chart below, owe an average of £1,900 - some £100 more than the typical debt 10 years earlier.

The 10% most indebted owed at least £14,200, the latest data shows.

I don’t know what classes as “debt” - Would a car fall under this category?

Either way, it’s great that young people in debt is dropping - A 12% drop is pretty significant over 10 years!

Sorry to be a pedant here, but it is a 12 percentage point drop. It’s actually a 24% drop to get from 49 to 37.


I love a good pedant - Pedant away!


I can see their point and understand why they could be in so much debt.

It has become a trend now to have the latest tech and designer clothes RIGHT NOW because everyone wants to be cool and have it first. This is where people get a £1,000+ iPhone on a contract, buy now pay later on a massive HD TV or put clothes it on their Very.co.uk credit account. Don’t even get me started on payday loan companies too.

All of these can be argued as unnecessary and in my opinion are luxuries but people don’t see it that way.

I also don’t think a lot of people live within their means anymore because of how easy it is to get credit on things and they often don’t think long term. I don’t blame them and I’m guilty of it too. I blame all the companies pushing this down their throats and creating this kind of culture.


Doesn’t this report say that “trend” is being bucked? It’s hard to tell without having all the figures (which is why I don’t like these reports).

But they are saying only 37% of young people are in debt, compared to 49% from 10 years ago - That’s a good thing, and shows people are indeed changing their buying habits for the better.

I’d have said that people are now accepting that they’ll have a phone for 2/3/4 years, rather than every year - Although there is definitely still a “I need it now” culture (which I’m just as guilty of).

I wonder what the 10% most indebted owed 10 years ago, and how it compares with the £14,200 from today.

I would have thought that a car didn’t come into it…

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Yeah fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

I agree that the report is a bit vague because it then goes on to say that people can’t afford houses which again I would argue that if they didn’t feel the need to have all these luxuries and nights out parting every week they could possibly put this money to one side and start saving for a deposit. But again people want things now and don’t want to or can’t save. Probably the latter.

Huge sweeping statement that doesn’t apply to everyone in all situations but I’m sure you understand my point :slight_smile:

IMO - this is a big part of it. I’m outwith the age group listed, but I know a few people in their 30’s who complain about not being able to afford X,Y & Z but think nothing of blasting £50/60+ on a night out and going on several holidays a year…


Yeah, there’s a whole load of unknowns in the report, and to say that if you have less than £1,000 saving, you fall into the “No saving” category is a bit harsh.

But the fact that a whole load of young people class themselves as debt free now is great (I don’t know how many people that 12% drop represents, but I’d assume it’s many thousand).

On the house thing - There is definitely some of what you say, but also a lack of salary increase to match the living increase (not to mention the house prices).

Basically… It sucks to be a young person trying to work your way through the world right now!

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:thinking: Is that also showing almost half of 22-29 are paid less than £20k? I would struggle to put money into savings after paying rent/mortgage and bills, food and fuel etc on that.


It sucks no matter what age/generation because it is a huge lifestyle change this is needed. Nobody wants to grow up, put away for savings and work to pay bills etc :laughing:


I hate the thought of being in debt. If I feel like I need a new phone I’ll save up for one rather than get a contract. At least then I know I can actually afford it, and that I own it outright/unlocked. It’s not like it’s a surprise when the latest and greatest phone gets released.

I agree.

Although I’d argue that this forum is probably not representative of the population.

We are all here to better our finances and learn from past mistakes (of ourselves, and others).

That being said, there are some people who see/do things differently, and if it works for their situation - Great.

I’m not surprised by this but at the same I dont understand how it’s possible to have “no” savings without their either being some extenuating circumstances e.g. high rent, had to move away from home etc or people my age not being great with money.

Im 21 and am fortunate enought to be able to pay bills and still save but a lot of young people my age have a really warped relationship with money e.g. don’t understand overdrafts and credit cards aren’t free money


I’m 35 and the only savings I’ve got is the £50 odd quid in a pot for a trip to Dublin next year.


I read the FTs article on that ONS report and it defined savings as “savings account or an individual savings account (Isa)”. I wonder how many people have their savings in a current account because interest rates are minimal or like Santander pay interest.


This would be an interesting one. If I counted only ISAs and specifically savings accounts, I’d show as having significantly less savings than I actually do (by over £5,000!).

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It’ll be interesting with the other stats like if living alone, or sharing bills or have dependants.

If you’re on say £17k and living alone thats £1245 a month after tax. I’d say a good £1000 of that is just living costs with rent/mortgage (500), bills (250), food (150) and transport (100).

That would leave £8/day to spend or save, so if you spend just £50 a week on anything like Shopping/Entertainment/Eating out/Personal Care etc you’ve wiped out any chance of saving anything.

However if you split that £1000 (or say £1250 with higher food and bills) in living costs with another person 50/50 then yeah it should be easier to save each month.


There is an assumption made (by those who are in a comfortable place themselves) that saving is easy, or that if people would just stop having their daily pumpkin spiced avocado latte they would have the means to buy a home in a year.

In reality many people I know under 30 live from pay cheque to pay cheque, and it’s because getting a well-paid job is hard (even for graduates) and they don’t have the fallback of leeching off parents etc. The day to day cost of living, sometimes combined with the cost of a new baby, for example, exceeds their disposable income.

In my experience, savings are WAY down the list when it comes to managing money.


This is why I mentioned extenuating circumstances, as you’re definitely right. A lot of people can’t afford to save but even saving £10 a month would be a good goal to work towards.

For sure this would impact someones ability to save. Especially if the live alone in a high rent area which they need to be in for work purposes

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