Why Do People Save? Attitudes to, and Habits of Saving Money in Britain


Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Adrian Furnham, Department of Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1.


This study investigates the relationship between demographic (age, sex, education, vote, and income), psychological beliefs (alienation, Protestant Work Ethic, and conservatism), and attitudes toward, as well as habits of, saving money, in Britain. Over 250 people from a variety of backgrounds completed a number of standardized self-report measures. A factor analysis of the attitude toward saving scale revealed five clearly interpretable factors, which were later computed into five subscale scores. Analysis of variance showed that age and education most differentiated subjects' attitudes toward saving. A canonical correlational analysis showed age, vote, income, and alienation were clearly related to various attitude toward saving factors. Analysis of the saving habits questionnaire showed that sex, age, and income were among the most important discriminators of saving habits. These results are discussed in terms of economic socialization and various social policy decisions are considered.