23/05/2011 16:47:51

Savings balances down 'as Britons dip into kitties'

British consumers are finding their savings balances are slipping down as people continue to dip into their rainy day funds in order to supplement everyday living.

According to figures from the ING Direct Consumer Savings Monitor, average values of such accounts now stand at £1,783 - which is £100 less than last year, meaning people's piggy banks have shed 12 per cent since the organisation began tracking them in 2009.

In the first quarter of 2011 along the typical savings balance fell by 2.8 per cent as a result of the cost of living, unemployment and tax hikes.

ING Direct chief executive officer Richard Doe said: "Wages aren't keeping pace with the costs of living, which means that many households are running down their savings to pay for necessities."

This follows a survey conducted by Standard Life, which questioned consumers whether they would prefer a £640 holiday this year or a £5,000 break in five years.

The results found that Britons were happier to spend now than to wait and save up for something more valuable in the future.