Parents are saving less for their children – but still more than the grandparents are putting in

Online research by the Nottingham Building Society (known as The Nottingham) involving hundreds of parents and grandparents across the UK shows that while 66% of parents are saving for their children, less than half of grandparents are doing the same. 

Even though wages have been growing, over a third of parents actually saved less in the past year than previously. 

Parents beat grandparents in other areas too – 36% of them are intending to save more in the next year, but less than one in five grandparents (19%) are planning to do the same. Parents are also more than twice as likely to save regularly than grandparents, and they are also putting aside larger sums. 

A snapshot of parents and grandparents’ savings habits
The online research asked parents and grandparents about how much they had saved in children’s savings accounts in the past year, as well as asking a number of related questions. 

“We were surprised to find out how much more parents are doing for the next generations,’ said Jonathan Cartlidge, Senior Product Manager for The Nottingham. “Even though parents are the ones with the higher day-to-day expenditures and many retired people have fared much better since the financial crash, parents are saving much more.

“What's particularly worrying is that parents actually saved less in the past year than previously. However, a third of parents do say they'll save more in the year ahead.“ he added.

What people are saving for?
Parents and grandparents do agree on what they are saving for, with university topping the list, followed by driving lessons, and buying a home coming third. Whereas paying for a wedding would once have been a major concern, today it comes a distant fifth, with only 7% of grandparents and 9% of parents putting aside money for it. 

How the picture varies across the country
Parents and grandparents in London and the South-East save most. In contrast, parents in the East Midlands are least likely of any region to save: 53% saved nothing for their children in the past year compared with the national average of 34%. 

The key findings
  • 66% of parents saved for their children vs 44% of grandparents
  • More than twice as many parents as grandchildren plan to save more
  • 35% of parents saved less last year, while only 21% saved more
  • Only 9% of grandparents saved more last year, while 21.5% saved less
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