SAVERS across Scotland have seen their finances take a hit over the last 12 months with the vast majority of Scots (85%) seeing the increased cost-of-living directly impacted their finances, according to latest researched revealed today by Scottish Building Society.
The new survey takes into account the responses of 1,002 savers across Scotland, revealing that 30% have had to reduce long-term savings goals and 26% have had to scrap saving aspirations completely because of the continued inflation across energy, food and household bill costs, as well as changing interest rates.
However, more positively, 49% have still been able to put money aside over the last six months – albeit less than they had originally planned for.
The Scottish Building Society Savings Barometer also measured how respondents are changing grocery and non-essential items spending, which subsequently has an impact on saving aspirations.
42% of respondents now shop around for deals more often and go for cheaper, own-brand alternatives. One third (33%) of people have had to cut out non-essential items altogether and now scrutinise the cost of an item before making a purchase.
Luxuries such as going on holiday and buying a new car in 2023 were also off the agenda for 50% of Scots, with 47% of unlikely to move home due to concerns about current mortgage rates.
Milestone events including weddings have also been put on hold for 31% of respondents.
Paul Denton, CEO at Scottish Building Society, said: “Undoubtedly, the cost-of-living crisis and changing inflation rates have impacted spending and saving habits for the majority of people with 81% of respondents still concerned about how this will play out in the year ahead.
“Our dedicated Scottish Building Society Savings Barometer lifts the lid on the day-to-day financial decisions and whilst generally optimism about the ability to save remains low, we must take positivity in that a significant proportion of people have still been able to set money aside over the last six months.
“The changed economic landscape has forced many people to take stock of how and where they are spending and make changes to lessen any negative impact. As Scottish Building Society celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2023, we have been helping our members make important financial decisions for generations and whilst times may have changed, our ethos has not.
“As a mutual organisation, we are run by and for the benefit of our members. We have been continuing to help our members ensure that any savings they have, are in the right place with Scottish Building Society and that they are working as hard as they possibly can for them.”