Support #795

Savings Variables in Wave A of Understanding Society

Added by Damian Finlayson almost 7 years ago. Updated almost 7 years ago.

Questionnaire content
Start date:
% Done:




We are looking to assess the extent to which consumers are saving. As part of the research, we are looking to compare UK household savings (and expenditure) over time with a view to understanding the extent to which the levels (and patterns) have changed over time. As part of our research we have been looking at the BHPS and Understanding Society datasets, amongst others. In this respect I have a small query.

To understand which savings variables appear in each wave of the BHPS and Understanding Savings surveys (as well as a description of these variables) I have been looking across the different surveys. For example, some of these variables include (while the prefix “a” refers to wave a of the BHPS, these variables can be found in other waves of the BHPS):
- asave: Saves from current income
- asaved: Amount saved in each month
- asavey: Reason for saving

Understanding society has similar variables, such as those shown below. (While the prefix “f” refers to the wave of Understanding Soceity, however, some of these variables can be found in other waves of Understanding society):
- f_save: Whether saves
- f_saved: Monthly amount saved
- f_savereg: regular saver

Although wave A of the Understanding Society survey has the savings variable “a_matdepf” (regular savings), it seems to omit many of the other variables which appear in the BHPS survey and Understanding Society surveys (such as those listed above).

In this regard, it would much appreciated if you could indicate whether wave a of the Understanding Society differs from the BHPS survey and later Understanding Society surveys. If not, please could you indicate which savings variables (if any) in wave a are consistent with the BHPS survey and the later waves of Understanding Society.

Lastly, would you be able to provide a list of savings variables for both the BHPS and Understanding Society Surveys?

Thank you again for any assistance you may be able to provide.


Updated by Victoria Nolan almost 7 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Feedback
  • Assignee changed from Victoria Nolan to Damian Finlayson
  • % Done changed from 0 to 80
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Dear Damian,

Understanding Society contains some useful information on savings behaviour, although the detail is not at the level of, say, income.

An individual level “Savings module” is asked at EVEN waves. This asks respondents whether they save an amount of their income, if yes then the monthly amount, whether they do this on a regular basis and then a final follow up question about saving motives (short or long-term motives). You can compare the variables to the equivalent ones in the BHPS you listed.

The rotating “Wealth, assets and debt module”, which is repeated every four years starting wave 4, contains a question on whether a respondent saves informally through a credit union, savings club, with friends or family, money in a jar, asking a friend or relative to look after money or buying gold or jewellery.

(matdepf is asked at even waves + wave one)

We hope this helps
Best wishes,



Updated by Victoria Nolan almost 7 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Closed
  • % Done changed from 80 to 100

Also available in: Atom PDF