How we're saving in 2023

by Leeds Building Society

We've surveyed 2,000 people to find out about their savings attitudes, goals and habits in 2023.

According to Google Trends, interest in individual savings options has grown in the last 12 months, with UK online searches for information about ‘Cash ISAs’* up 183% year-on-year**. Searches for ‘Regular Saver’ also increased by 54% in the same period.

But how do people feel about saving? And is the cost-of-living crisis affecting how we save?

With a nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults, we’ve found out what’s driving our savings habits and what we’re saving for.

Is the cost-of-living crisis affecting how people save?

Our survey found that despite rising living costs, six in ten (59%) people are still finding it possible to put some money aside each month into savings accounts.

A third (34%) said their savings habits hadn’t been affected at all by the cost-of-living crisis, with them contributing the same amount to their savings accounts that they had before.

Some of those surveyed (5%) stated they were going to be saving more money in 2023 than they had done in previous years.

Are people still setting savings goals?

Our study also found that 61% of the people we surveyed have set themselves a savings goal for the year, aiming to set money aside for a range of different reasons.

23% of respondents said they’re looking to put more money into their savings for a ’rainy day’, while 14% are trying to save for a specific purchase this year such as a new car, holiday, wedding or house deposit.

A further 13% said their goal for 2023 is to make a start on saving money and building good saving habits. Around 11% of those surveyed are simply aiming not to dip into their savings at all during the year.

When comparing responses by age group, the study found that those aged between 18 - 24 and 25 - 34 were the most likely to plan to start saving money in 2023.

Age group % who aim to start saving money in 2023
18 - 24 20%
25 - 34 24%
35 - 44 17%
45 - 54 10%
55 - 64 6%
65+ 2%

Our study found that 20% of 18–24-year-olds said they want to start saving during 2023, and nearly 24% of 25–34-year-olds also plan to get in the savings habit this year.

How do those surveyed feel about saving?

19% of those surveyed said that saving makes them feel empowered. A further 19% said that saving makes them feel reassured. Just 4% said they found saving confusing.

If you’re feeling confused about saving, finding out more about different account types or terminology can be a good way to start building your knowledge.

For more information, take a look at our savings guide, or explore the blogs and videos in the Savers section of our Knowledge Base.

How can I still save with a tighter budget?

Our survey said 59% of people are still saving at the moment, despite the cost of everything going up. If you’re feeling the pinch of rising costs, putting money aside each month may not be a priority.

But there are ways you may be able to start working towards a savings goal.

Track your spending

  • Review your outgoings, to see how much you’re actually spending each month and work out what you can change. You could split your budget by essentials, such as your rent or mortgage, bills and food and then non-essential spending – things like streaming services, take-aways and clothes.
  • Set yourself a weekly or monthly budget for the non-essential spending and try to stick to it. It’s important to be realistic with your goal, and not cut out everything you enjoy.

Add to your savings first

  • Once you know how much you can comfortably save each month, add this money to your savings account as soon as you get paid and keep it out of reach.
  • You could move your non-essential budget or allowance into another account too and then pay yourself your allowance each week.

Even if you’re able to save just a small amount, every pound counts. Opening a regular saver account and putting away whatever you can afford each month is a great habit to form. It can help you slowly build up your savings over time.

If you’re worried about needing to dip into your savings, an Easy Access savings account could be the way to put your mind at ease. Meanwhile a Cash ISA offers the chance to save money with tax-free interest***. This could help you maximise your returns when saving.

All these accounts come with different limitations, so please make sure you check the product features and account terms and conditions before opening any savings account. Compare our full savings range to see if there are any of our other accounts that work for you.


This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

Our study sources and methodology

We ran a survey with 2,000 randomly selected, nationally representative UK adults in early March 2023 to gauge their views on their Savings patterns.

The data was split by respondent age, gender, region, and income level.

Google Search Trends data from February 2023

*Cash ISAs are available to individuals aged 16 or over who are resident in the UK for tax purposes”.

**Based on the survey undertaken by Leeds Building Society in March 2023, with 2000 people surveyed.

***Tax-free means that interest payable is exempt from income tax.