High savings don't mean better quality of lifeNew savings survey from Halifax

05 September 2011

Halifax savings survey

High savings and quality of life don't always go together

A new review of the savings market from the Halifax examines the relationship between customer savings (specifically individual savings balances) and quality of life. 

The Halifax Quality of Life Survey tracks where living standards are highest in Great Britain by ranking local performance across key indicators, covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education and health.

The results show that while many areas with a high quality of life also have a high savings balance, this is not always the case. Residents of Kensington and Chelsea have the highest average savings balance of £10,185 in the country, but the Royal Borough is well outside the top 50 best areas for quality of life, currently ranking 80th.

Seven other areas in Britain's top 20 for the highest savings balances also rank outside the top 50 areas with the best quality of life, including Christchurch (110) , Shetland Islands (207), Derbyshire Dales (133), Cambridge (172) and the London boroughs of Harrow (97), Barnet (150) and Westminster (168).

Surprising results

Nitesh Patel, economist at Halifax, said of the research findings: 'It is in many ways encouraging to see that there is not a direct correlation between the quality of life ranking and the level of savings balances, with keen savers showing it is important to build a healthy savings pot regardless of location.

'Eight of the local areas in the UK's top 20 with the highest savings balances rank outside the top 50 areas with the best quality of life. Most notably, the area with the nation's highest savers - Kensington and Chelsea - is well outside the top 50 in terms of quality of life.'

Areas where both measures are high

Paul Davies, savings expert at Which?, said of the findings: 'There are some strange results here but also some areas where residents rank highly in terms of both savings balances and quality of life. Nine of the 20 areas with the highest savings balances, including Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Chiltern and St Albans, are also among the top 20 areas with the highest quality of life.

'Wherever you live you should try to put some money away for a rainy day if you can, and ensure that you are getting the Best Rate possible on your savings. Getting the most from your savings is equally important if you live somewhere with a perceived lower quality of life or a more affluent region.'

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