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More Brits save in a ‘coin jar’ than in a bank or building society

04 April 2013

There is £1.3 billion ‘under the mattress' that people have not put in savings accounts.

  • The average UK coin jar holds £38.35
  • 9 per cent of the nation's coin jars hold over £100
  • 45 per cent of Brits think it is a good way to save
  • 11 per cent are saving up for something specific
  • 13 per cent say it is an alternative to low interest rate accounts

More Brits regularly save cash in a coin jar than in a bank or building society savings account, according to new research released today.  Over 10 million more people stash their cash in a coin jar or other container at home than make monthly savings into a bank or building society account.
The survey, commissioned by comparison site, found that 33 million UK adults (69%) have coin jar savings, while only 21 million (44%) currently put money away each month in a bank or building society savings account.*     
And it is young adults who are the most likely to swerve the traditional savings account for DIY savings at home, with over three quarters of 18 to 24 year olds ‘fessing up to using a coin jar.
The survey revealed that the nation's coin jars are jam packed with an estimated £1.3bn of spare change, with the average pot containing £38.35**.  Most jars contain coins of a small denomination (coppers, 5p, 10p, 20p coins) while 40% of jars contain 50p coins, 31% £1 coins and over a quarter (26%) £2 coins.  9% of ‘coin jars' currently hold over £100.
Nearly half (49%) of those who save coins at home do so because they don't like carrying spare change around, while 45% think that it is a good way to save. 23% use the money saved to treat themselves, and 11% save up their coins for something specific.  However, 13% use a coin jar because they think it is a waste of time putting money into a savings account due to current low interest rates.
Jeremy Cryer from commented: "Coin jars are clearly a convenient way of storing nuisance loose change from pockets or purses, but for many people they are also a way of saving small amounts of cash.  Our survey shows that they are being used as an alternative to traditional easy access savings accounts to save significant amounts of cash, often for a specific purpose.
"While many of us have probably emptied out coppers into a jar instead of carrying them around there are a lot of people saving up £1 and £2 coins at home as well as £10 and £20 notes.  Indeed, nearly 10% of coin jars in our survey have over £100 in them."

Notes to editors:

On the 4th-6th March 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

* According to the Experian Demographic Summary there are 47,755,246 adults in the UK (aged over 18).  Therefore 69% of Brits say they have a coin jar, equating to 32.9 million people.  44% of all those surveyed said they are currently putting money away each month in a savings account, which equates to 21 million.

** The average amount in a coin jar is £38.35 and there are 32.9 million people with a coin jar.  So to calculate the total amount in the Nation's coin jars: £38.35 x 32.9m = £1.26bn.