Brits’ lack of personal savings is leaving a third of working families one month’s salary away from losing their home, according to a new report from Shelter.
Research published by the homeless charity has revealed that more than one in three working families in England (37 per cent) would not be able to cover their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job.
Furthermore, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of working parents wouldn’t be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment if they lost their job and couldn’t secure another straight away.
Of the 1,581 working parents interviewed in July, almost half (48 per cent) cited housing as the biggest financial strain on their budget.
The survey underlines worries highlighted by government figures which suggest that 16.5 million UK adults of working age have no savings at all.
Shelter CEO Campbell Robb said that housing costs are stretching paycheques to breaking point and that the government should show its support for working families by improving its welfare safety net.
“It’s vital that if life does takes a turn for the worse, there’s enough support available for families so that they don’t go hurtling towards homelessness,” he said.
In the US
This savings shortfall appears to be just as big a problem stateside too, with almost two-thirds of Americans (63 per cent) having no emergency savings tucked away for urgent car repairs or a $1,000 (£776) trip to the emergency room.
When asked how they’d make ends meet, a fifth said they would reduce spending elsewhere, while one in six would borrow from family or friends, or use a credit card.
Experts advise that homeowners save three to six months’ salary in the event of expensive emergencies, however with the Bank of England cutting the base rate to 0.25 per cent, many savings accounts offer little incentive to save, offering virtually zero interest.
Anyone who is worried about losing their home can get free expert advice by visiting shelter.org.uk/advice or calling the Shelter helpline on 0808 800 4444.