Only £250 saved up for over a quarter of families

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money and calculatorYou're probably feeling pretty skint after the excesses of Christmas and new year. Take some consolation from the fact you're not alone, according to a poll, anyway.

First direct reckons that more than a quarter of households have less than £250 in accessible savings, with over a fifth of us drawing a complete blank when it comes to having a nest egg saved for a rainy day.

The bank quizzed more than 1,000 households, finding that people aged between 25 and 34 - often young parents trying to juggle work and looking after toddlers - are worst equipped to deal with a cash crisis.

Nearly two fifths of people in this age group had savings of less than £250, at a time when average household outgoings top £1,500 every single month.

Almost a third of us said we'd struggle to cover the rent or pay the mortgage if we were to lose our jobs, but how does that tally with you?

Either way, the figures underscore the importance of saving what we can when we can, however little the amount.

Bruno Genovese, head of savings at first direct, said: "These findings demonstrate a worrying lack of financial preparation among the British public. With the current climate of uncertainty, it is of utmost importance that families are setting aside a realistic sum of money to be used in emergencies.

"As a general rule it is advisable to have three month's salary set aside in accessible savings for a rainy day.

"By putting away small amounts each month Britons can help themselves build up an emergency savings pot as provision for any eventuality without having to rely on a solution that will get them further into debt."

If you're wanting to follow his advice but just can't see where the money will come from, why not look over these suggestions for saving a little amount each month.