Polls / November 2, 2009

The easiest way to save money is

The latest eZonomics online poll shows about six in ten people (63%) think a regular savings plan is the easiest way to save. About a third (32%) prefer to save for a goal.

Savers with a regular plan save more
People who save money regularly save more, according to research. An economist in Germany found in 2007 that savers who put money aside regularly into a specific plan (such as a pension) saved 19% of their income. Those who saved regularly but without a specific scheme saved 15%. People with irregular saving patterns, such as spending first and saving later, saved only 10% of their incomes, the study found.

Why people save money depends on their age
The reasons people put money aside tends to change depending on what stage of life they are at.
The German research found, for example, that saving for a house is highly important for under 35s. Saving to provide an income for old age was considered important through out a person's working life.
Saving to provide a safety net in case of illness or another emergency is almost as important as saving for retirement - and remains crucial not matter a person's age.
Saving to pass money to others (such as a bequest or a gift) was considered the least important reason to put money aside.

Mix up your savings plans - don't rely on only one way to save
Nobody can rely on only one source of saving to meet the wide variety of needs they will have during their life. Saving for old age is important but it should not be the be all and end all. The German research noted that as people increased their savings for old age, they may reduce their saving for other things but the total amount saved did not change - an idea known by economists as a "substitution effect".
Even if you are a regular saver, with a robust pension plan, don't forget to put some money way for a rainy day - or to have a bit of fun.

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eZonomics team
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