By Daniel Hunter

More than over one in four Britons with an emergency fund has broken into their savings when they didn’t plan to, according to the latest NS&I Quarterly Savings Survey.

The new research also shows that the average Briton was saving £96 per month from June to August 2013 - an increase from £88 in the previous three months.

Half of people feel they have enough money in savings to cope in an emergency but alarmingly, one in ten doesn’t think they need an emergency fund at all.

Unexpected essential home maintenance costs have caught out two out of five, while unplanned bills caught out one in four. Also worryingly, one in four has had to dip in after losing their job.

Just over one in ten of 16 to 24 year olds think that only saving one weeks’ salary will create an emergency fund despite experts generally agreeing that people should be saving at least three months’ worth of their salary. However, less than half of all of the 2,489 surveyed have at least this amount put aside.

“By taking control of your finances, and if possible putting aside some money for a ‘rainy day’, you can protect yourself should anything unfortunate happen, and have peace of mind that you have your emergency fund to dig in to, in order to help cover the costs of any unforeseen circumstances,” said John Prout, NS&I retail customer director.

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