The Savings Report from Bradford & Bingley shows that only a third of people of people save regularly, with a fifth admitting they never save.
A further 11% also confess that they prefer to buy the latest clothes and gadgets or go on nice holidays rather than save.
While 27% of people cite the lack of cash as why they dont save, with the household debt figure over the 1trillion mark, it appears there remains a crucial imbalance between the amount people are spending and what they can afford to spend.
Steve Potter, head of savings at Bradford & Bingley, says: “The spending culture has certainly replaced the savings culture in the nations consciousness. With so many attractive interest-free deals many people are being tempted to buy now and pay later.
“Just how much they will later pay, however, remains to be seen. Whats clear though, is that if consumers dont start looking to the future and putting in place proper savings plans theyll be facing many cash strapped years.”
Bradford & Bingley says savers shouldnt take pot luck when it comes to finding a home for their money, and even those who do save, could be missing a trick. Only 12% frequently the monitor the savings market while 27% admit to never checking rates.
Just 6% would definitely move accounts to get a better interest rate, 32% would only move if the rate were significantly better and 11% said they would not move at all.
Over half of those questioned simply go to their existing bank or building society for their savings account less than four in 10 shop around for the best rate.
Thats probably because 60% trust their bank or building society to be paying a competitive rate. However, 44% have no idea what rate theyre actually getting.
Such blind faith could be misplaced though, warns Bradford & Bingley.
Potter adds: “The difference in interest rates can be considerable so savers shouldnt short change themselves when it comes to finding a suitable account.
“So-called rate tarts have suffered criticism over recent years, but our research shows savers arent nearly as proactive as perhaps they should be in making the most out of their money.
“While the interest rate is just one element to consider when choosing an account, it is an important element so savers should look around to ensure theyre getting a good deal.”