Wednesday 30 March 2016 12:01 am

UK savings: People in their 30s and 40s are adopting a YOLO attitude and failing to set money aside for their future

It may well be the hashtag that defines generation Z but, when it comes to savings, it's those in their 30s and 40s who have adopted a you-only-live-once attitude.

Research published today by Scottish Widows has found that almost half (45 per cent) of those aged between 35 and 49 are shunning saving for the future in favour of spending now, with more than a third (37 per cent) saving absolutely nothing over the past year.

By comparison, more than a third (37 per cent) of those aged between 18 and 34 are actively trying to top up their savings pots for both the short term and the long term.

However, those in their 30s and 40s may not be embracing the YOLO lifestyle as much as the initial figures suggest, as half (50 per cent) saying they simply cannot afford to save and a third (34 per cent) confessing that they were all too painfully aware that they were not saving enough to meet their needs in the future.

"The emergence of a 'spend now, save later, if at all' attitude among this generation – usually assumed to be more financially secure than its younger counterparts – shows there is work to be done to increase engagement with savings and ultimately plug this gap," remarked David Lascelles, savings expert at Scottish Widows. "The prospect of saving for tomorrow may feel too distant for some, but to achieve long-term goals, including financial security in retirement, consumers need to consider reprioritising their needs to give themselves a better financial future."