The Number: 30% - Britons are catching the savings bug

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The Independent Online

Old habits die hard when it comes to shopping, but more of us are trying to turn over a new leaf to start saving for our futures, according to new research.

In a study for Bradford & Bingley, 30 per cent of those interviewed said they were committed savers, but a further 27 per cent proved to be reformed spenders now wanting to save. Only a quarter remained keen shoppers. In particular, researchers for the bank found that 25- to 34-year-olds were making a conscious effort to cut back on their extravagant lifestyles. Forty-one per cent of those included in the study were reformed shoppers who now saw the virtue in planning for the future. Most reformed spenders cited debt and a lack of cash as the main reasons for reining in their habits.

Around 43 per cent said they wanted to be able to afford to buy larger items such as a house or car. And 10 per cent said their changes in lifestyle stemmed from warnings about the state of the economy.

Paul Whitlock, head of savings for Bradford & Bingley, said: "Given the very high levels of consumer spending and borrowing over recent years, we are hopefully witnessing a turnaround. Although there is a long way to go before we move away from the 'buy now, pay later' culture, it appears people are on the right path."

Almost 40 per cent of Britons try to live within their means but occasionally overspend, the bank reports, and over half consistently balance the budget.