New analysis1 from Santander UK reveals that when it comes to budgeting and spending patterns, over two fifths (43 per cent) of Brits say their parents have been their biggest influencer on their money behaviour while one in 10 (11 per cent) attribute this to their partner.

Interestingly, 40 million2 people (78 per cent) believe that being good with money is a learned behaviour that anyone can pick up with practice. The study, which investigates the savings habits of the nation, also reveals that over a quarter of Brits (28 per cent) say they overspend on a weekly basis, by a collective £788 million3 each week, the equivalent to £55* each.

The results of the study were brought to life through a social experiment where children were put in charge of the supermarket shop to see if some people are natural born spenders or if the ability to stay within a budget is something we learn from our parents.

With the help of Dr Sam Wass, Channel Four psychologist and research scientist at the University of East London, the bank’s video shows that children do mirror their parents’ spending habits, whether that’s sticking to a shopping list, staying within a budget or making impulse buys.

Dr Sam Wass said: “Our experiment reveals that children do take after their parents so if your parents are good with money then you’re more likely to be too. It also suggests that being good with money is a learned behaviour, and that’s great news as it means there’s always room for improvement!”

The survey also highlights that more than half (52 per cent) of respondents wish they could save more, on average an additional £388 each month. The most popular way to put money aside is in a savings account (53 per cent) followed by a Cash ISA (27 per cent). However, many Brits overlook investing as a way to manage their money with only one in 10 (12 per cent) saying they invest and utilise Stocks and Shares ISAs.

Half of Brits (53 per cent) say they wish they had received more money advice at a younger age rising to two thirds (66 per cent) for those aged 18 to 34, and decreasing to 42 per cent for those aged 55 and over. More than one in five UK adults (21 per cent) wish they had been taught more about budgeting, while 19 per cent wish they had received more advice about the different savings options available to them.

Helen Bierton, Head of Savings at Santander, said: “Our study and experiment reveal that those who receive good money advice at an earlier age usually take good habits into adulthood. Developing a savings habit – no matter how small – is really important as it not only provides a safety net but is a way of providing for your future, and those of your loved ones.

“Helping families prosper and make their money go that little bit further is something we are committed to. We have a range of products to suit individual customer needs and to help people achieve their savings goals. This includes our Regular eSaver with a market-leading five per cent rate for our 1|2|3 World and Select customers, as well as our Investment Hub which makes investments more accessible.”

For more information on Santander’s savings products please visit:

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Notes to Editors
1) Research was carried out online by Opinium from the 17th February to 20th February, 2017, amongst a 2,019 nationally representative sample.
2) 1,573 respondents said being good with money is a learned behaviour 1573/2019 = 78%. 78% of adult population (51,339,000) = 40,044,420
3) 28% of 51,339,000 = 14,341,355 people who overspend *£55 = 788,239,597.


 Region Average weekly overspend
 London £72
 South East £62
 West Midlands £60
 East Midlands £59
 North East £57
 East of England £57
 UK £55
 Scotland £54
 Yorks & Humber £52
 Wales £51
 South West £41
 North West £38
 Northern Ireland £37


About Us

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 60 university branches) and 67 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. It is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper, in a way that is simple, personal and fair. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 125 million customers, 12,200 branches and 188,000 employees at the close of 2016. Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,204 million in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

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