Savings, how boring. Think again!

Published 26 May 2021 2 minute read

Select Parent
Select Child

The Foundation were briefed by their UK-based client to investigate people’s attitudes towards money and savings with a view to developing more
relevant, consumer-centric savings propositions that went beyond the usual rate-based offers.


What drives people to save or spend? Why do people choose savings products? What would motivate people to save, given an unpredictable labour market and uncertain times?

On the face of it, you might guess that saving behaviour is motivated by how much money people have in the first place or, that once you know someone’s life stage, their saving behaviour becomes more predictable.

So, it’s boring right? Wrong!

The Approach

The Foundation used their client’s existing customer segmentation.
They then:

  • Selected 12 participants and conducted qualitative research
    with each person.
  • Used Together, Further’s online community platform, to devise
    creative research activities and tasks for participants.
  • Followed up with face-to-face interviews at the homes of participants.
    4. Validated the results against a nationally representative sample
    of 1,000 people.
  • A creative approach that engaged participants and elicited genuinely
    insightful responses was critical.

For example, using projective techniques, the team involved participants in drawing and describing a ‘Savings Superhero’. They also wrote a ‘Letter to Your Younger Self’ using hindsight and experience to advise on what they ‘now’ think they should have done at a younger age.

 We wanted to get detailed information on participants’ spending and saving behaviours and on different types of expenditure. We needed to track how these changed over the course of a month. We also wanted to tap into unexplored emotions linked to money management and savings.

Our aim was to get fine-grained individual profiles to enrich subsequent face-to-face, in-home interviews. Using Together, it was also possible to let senior stakeholders within the client organisation ‘walk in their customers’ shoes’. This was invaluable.

Anna Miley,
Director, The Foundation

The results

Saving behaviours are far from straightforward. As it turns out, they cannot be predicted by demographics, life stage or, most surprisingly, wealth.

The key to understanding people’s saving behaviours are their attitudes to saving. These attitudes are linked to people’s confidence in their long-term ability to meet their financial needs, as well as their ‘financial socialisation’ at home i.e. those whose families openly discussed financial matters are more likely to save than others.

Perhaps the most unexpected finding was that no one, regardless of wealth, was
particularly happy with their approach to saving. To test how far the findings could be generalised, The Foundation used the insights from the 12 participants to commission a survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people.

The results confirmed the insights and established that 78% of people would need help to save. Unexpectedly, 82% of people with £50K in the bank already were ‘not happy’ with their saving status.

The impact

These insights are challenging. If heeded, the financial sector should fundamentally review its product portfolio and communications relating to saving, as the reality is that everyone needs a little more help in this area.

The research did not produce just a single proposition for a new savings product. It resulted in a complete shift in how the client thought about savings products, and the beginning of a journey to develop a genuinely evidence-based, customer-centric approach that went far beyond rate-based offers.

 To be honest, online community platforms tend to have very similar functionalities, although Together probably has the best analytical tools.

When you choose to work with Further, you don’t just get a platform. What you buy is their digital research expertise, the way they work with you to get the best out of their platform, generate amazing engagement and brilliant insights.

They don’t shout enough about that aspect of their work but, to my mind, this is really what makes Further stand out and why I would always go to them.

Anna Miley,
Director, The Foundation

Yours to keep


Discover our platform and services


The insight platform for online qual, research communities, digital diaries, ethnography and more.

Services & Support

A range of expert research services and resources to help you deliver your projects with ease, speed and reach.


Human insight with impact; leveraging our academic and industry experts to uncover insight, create impact and make confident decisions.

Palmolive Colgate

The engagement with the online community in China has been phenomenal. Our online activities and a product trial have been executed flawlessly.

We helped Colgate Palmolive better understand people’s experience of using skincare products in Asian markets


Working with Further was a refreshing and eye-opening experience…...the qualityof their output which was excellent.

We helped Unicef generate insights to support the development of a mass market, sustainable fundraising product.

Zwift image

Strategically, Further’s insights provided clear and directional answers that will guide us through our next phase of growth

We helped Zwift understand users and non-users needs and wants so they could prioritise their innovation pipeline


We frequently work with Further to explore our target audiences’ mindset on a wide range of complex (and often controversial) social and political issues.”

We help opinion research consultancy Goodwin Simon understand the attitudes and pinions of the US public faster and better than they previously did.

Linkedin image

With Further’s support, we developed a deep understanding of employees’ needs in order to create more effective and compelling L&D solutions

We helped LinkedIn engage with their employees to discover, create, evolve and iterate new Learning and Development solutions.


We were amazed at the level of insight we achieved in just a week. Further opened our eyes to new ways of researching and understanding our staff

We helped Conde Nast International define a new global mission and vision statement


Further really understood the brief and were extremely proactive. We are now very confident that we’re taking the right products and proposition to market.

We helped this insuretech startup tailor their customer value proposition for the UK market ahead of a planned launch


Further's expert team pushed us to clarify our assumptions and to think harder about how to communicate the value of our products and services.

We helped Keyhouse enter a new market and understand what target users of their case management software needed and how to position their offer

What next?

Browse our site, download our resources, request a demo of our platform or speak to one of our experts

Browse our work
Contact Us