Gransnet forums


Whatever happened to "saving for a rainy day"?

(288 Posts)
Grandmagrewit Tue 09-Aug-22 14:11:41

I've just been listening to a Radio 4 phone-in about the luxuries we can't give up, even with the rising cost of living. Callers cited things like the gym, expensive perfumes/ soaps, nice cars, designer clothing and a daily copy of The Times. When asked by the interviewer, none of the callers appeared to have any problem with affording these things although some said they were swopping their supermarket shopping to Aldi to cut back on spending! A finance expert on the programme said that Covid restrictions and lockdown resulted in many households having a stash of spare cash and people are now spending that on holidays, clothing, home improvements and such like. Now we have another shocking announcement about the expected energy costs over winter and I'm wondering how many of those households are putting away that spare cash to cover these terrifying bills. The concept of saving for emergencies (for those who can afford it) seems to have all but disappeared in the under 50s, probably not helped by low savings interest rates for many years. Do people now just rely their credit card - or the State - to help them? I have just a basic state pension for my income but as I have saved all my life, even when I was a single parent, my modest savings now disqualify me from any additional benefits, and so I will need to use them to meet my energy costs this coming winter. I'm 70 and beginning to think that the savings habit I grew up with is just not worth it any more. Have others chosen to spend rather than save?

Calendargirl Tue 09-Aug-22 14:18:04

I would hate to have no savings, it was how I was brought up. You did without until you had saved enough to buy whatever.

As we get older, I am aware of how much might be needed for DH’s and my care, so savings might be needed for that.

If not, I’m sure DD and DS will easily find a use for any spare cash they inherit!

Having said that, I am not a miser. We have worked hard and our money helps us live comfortably.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 09-Aug-22 14:18:14

Those people are not in crises.

The groups that are/will be in crises are

Pensioners whose income are at state pension level or a little above
Families with children already needing help

They don’t stand a snowball in hell’s chance this coming winter, because they have had little opportunity to have a pot of savings, and what they do have will soon be used on bills.

Adelaide66 Tue 09-Aug-22 14:53:48

Private housing is a huge obstacle to saving

Doodledog Tue 09-Aug-22 15:16:55

I think that a lot of people who will be badly affected by the fuel crisis won't be those who have frittered away their money though. They will be those who have to spend the majority of their income on rent/mortgage, childcare and bills and will have little or nothing left over. If they have a gym membership, a newspaper or fancy soap, why not? Everyone needs a bit of luxury, particularly if they are working all week.

I don't think the full crisis falls into the category of 'a rainy day', but I know what you mean in general. I was also brought up to save for what you wanted and to 'put something by' for a rainy day. As I've got older, I realise that means tests often penalise people for doing so, and have wondered whether I'd have been better off spending more when I was younger. So many people are very keen to wonder whether others 'can afford' tp pay for things that others get free, or if they 'need' any concessions, and rather than see thrift as a positive thing see it as evidence that you were 'lucky enough to be able to save'. It does sometimes feel as though spending is rewarded and saving penalised.

JenniferEccles Tue 09-Aug-22 15:58:48

Exactly Grandmagrewit !
I have always said this. I think the idea of always ensuring we had savings was surely drummed into most of our generation.
Ok I realise that a few people have always lived a ‘hand to mouth’ existence, but I am always shocked when I read statistics revealing that a significant number of people have virtually no savings whatsoever.

I certainly remember it was a struggle when we were first married and paying up to 15% interest on the mortgage, but I would have felt very uneasy if we had nothing put by for the proverbial rainy day our grandparents talked about.

Sago Tue 09-Aug-22 16:10:02

I am a saver however during Covid my business suffered massively, I only made 10% of what I made in 2019.
We have been OK but I have now started to make major changes.
Rising fuel costs have caused me to end my gym membership, this saves me £80-£100 a month, I bought an Instant pot to cut down on the gas and electricity usage and we have never wasted food so nothing we can change there.
We do a weekly food bank shop and although we will continue to do it,we have noticed the price is creeping up.
I worry so much for young families trying to make ends meet.

LtEve Tue 09-Aug-22 16:20:31

I’ve saved all my life where possible but I’m spending now. I have 10 more years working and DH has 7 more. I see too many people dying before retirement and want to enjoy life while we are fit enough. It will take us a long time to get through our savings as we don’t have expensive day to day tastes except for holidays and meals out but we’re going to have as much fun as possible.
Our children are very frugal and have loads of savings!

JaneJudge Tue 09-Aug-22 16:23:21

How many working class people listen to radio 4 whilst they are at work?

Norah Tue 09-Aug-22 16:23:27

The people on holiday, getting nails, who have Land Rover - are not in crises and we needn't have opinions on their 'rainy day pots'. Unfortunately, the people in crisis haven't money to save and need not be judged.

nexus63 Tue 09-Aug-22 16:37:11

i live on benefit, i do not have savings, but i try to still have some money in the bank when my next benefit is due, i have been putting £20 every fortnight into my pay as you go electric, i have no debts or credit cards so i manage to keep some money each fortnight to do an online shop, i am lucky that my son got me a new fridge freezer and a microwave and when we go out he always asks if i need anything from primark and he pays for it. this winter is going to be really bad for a lot of people, i have got by the last few years with just one halogen heater in the living room and bedroom and my trusted electric blanket.

JenniferEccles Tue 09-Aug-22 16:40:17

Of course it is a balancing act for our generation.
Do we continue saving for possibly care needed as we get older or do we spend now to fully enjoy this stage of our lives?

As far as younger people are concerned, yes most manage to to live within their means, but it is a fact that too many are of the mindset that there is no need to save as the State will bail them out with handouts if needed.

Yammy Tue 09-Aug-22 16:44:06

What I would like to know is how you qualify to use a food Bank. Do you have to have a recommendation?
What do they take into account? Whilst I am sure many people would be justifiable in using a food bank and would tick all the boxes and I really sympathise with them.
Some grans seem to have very expensive meals out , foreign holidays, holiday apartments and buy very expensive dresses, and have gardens like Kew.
Yet they are eligible to use Food banks?
I think if I used one my red face would give me away.

pandapatch Tue 09-Aug-22 16:47:23

This is that rainy day for many people. Many of my sons friends have families and work really hard but at jobs which don't pay much. They don't have especially nice cars or designer clothes and their holiday this year is camping in the UK. They are just above the level where they can receive benefits but don't have money left over to save.

Doodledog Tue 09-Aug-22 16:48:51

Nobody who takes foreign holidays and has expensive meals out can use a foodbank. You have to be referred by social services or a GP.

Are you thinking of Sago's post where she says she does a foodbank shop each week? Sago will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that means that she shops for food to give to the foodbank, not that she gets her own food there.

Summerlove Tue 09-Aug-22 16:49:31

I’m not sure where you got that those people don’t have savings?

Who are we to decide how their money is divided up?

I don’t think we can accurately say that “the young” aren’t saving and expect handouts.

I don’t share the hatred of many of credit cards either. We put everything on ours, and pay it off in full monthly, almost everyone I know does the same. Credit cards are not inherently bad. But using the way we do we get many perks of free flights

Smileless2012 Tue 09-Aug-22 16:53:29

We pay in full on a monthly basis too Summerlove although TBH haven't used a credit card in since December. Credit cards used and managed correctly provide useful information when it comes to one's credit rating.

ExDancer Tue 09-Aug-22 16:54:54

I'm in the same position graandmamadeit, basic state pension and savings, so no handouts.
When I applied for a blue badge with AgeUK I was persuaded to fill in an application for Attendance Allowance but had to tell so many lies and make so many exaggerations I withdrew it

Yammy Tue 09-Aug-22 16:56:55

No, I don't have anyone in mind. I was just wondering how you are eligible. So many people seem to need them, often people like nurses and teachers and public service workers. Those who work very hard but are finding it difficult to cope who refers them I would hate to have to ask and feel so sorry for them.

Farzanah Tue 09-Aug-22 17:01:34

With regards to Food Banks as Doodledog says you have to be referred, but we also have something called a Food Hub, where surplus food which would otherwise be thrown out is collected from supermarkets then sold for small donations at various locations. This removes the stigma because anyone can buy.
The money raised is used for Food Banks.

I’m sure those attending food banks during the last few years would be only too thankful to have enough money to save for a rainy day.

Doodledog Tue 09-Aug-22 17:38:57


No, I don't have anyone in mind. I was just wondering how you are eligible. So many people seem to need them, often people like nurses and teachers and public service workers. Those who work very hard but are finding it difficult to cope who refers them I would hate to have to ask and feel so sorry for them.

Ah, my mistake, sorry.

It was when you said that people on Gransnet use foodbanks but also take foreign holidays and have expensive meals out that I got confused.

And yes, Farzanah, for many people it has been raining for a very long time.

Sago Tue 09-Aug-22 17:41:54

The food bank we support does not ask questions, no referral is necessary.
I think most of their end users are genuine.

Sago Tue 09-Aug-22 17:47:29

I’ve just read back! Yammy we don’t take food support from the food bank we give it!
I am so thankful not to have to worry where the next meal is coming from, I couldn’t take from anyone that needed help.

Callistemon21 Tue 09-Aug-22 17:48:38


Private housing is a huge obstacle to saving

We couldn't have saved anything when our DC were young and we had a very large mortgage at 15% interest due to having to relocate to an expensive area for work.

However, Adelaide66, I'm not sure it is the reason now because often repayments on a mortgage are sometimes less or no more than the extortionate rents some younger people have to pay out. Plus they have the insecurity and sometimes the need to find a new home, sometimes at short notice.

Doodledog Tue 09-Aug-22 17:59:34

My two both rent, and are both paying back student loans, so buying somewhere of their own is nowhere near as easy as it was for us, even though we bought at a time when prices were rising and interest rates very high.

I don't think it's fair to blame young people for not doing what we did - times are different. I also think that castigating them for buying little luxuries is unfair when they work so hard. We didn't buy fancy coffee* as it wasn't available, and also because saving the £3.50 every day might have moved us closer to the deposit for a house. It would be a drop in the ocean these days, so it's really not comparing like with like.

*insert 'frivolous' spending of choice.