By Claire West

Summer savings are being raided to pay for holidays and weekend breaks, with the average amount withdrawn from savings accounts standing at more than double the average amount deposited.

More than three quarters of people (77%) managed to save something over the last three months, putting away an average of £829. However, over a third of people (35%) have raided their savings over the same period, taking out an average of £1,824.

Despite the fact that holidays top the list of things that people are saving for (23%), they are also the most likely cause for people to have to dip unexpectedly into their hard earned funds (21%).

In addition to holidays, saving for retirement (14%) and a house deposit (12%) are the most common things people are currently saving for, although almost two thirds (59%) are putting money aside for a rainy day or have no specific savings goal in mind.

Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings, says: "Whilst it's great to have some money put aside for a rainy day, saving for something specific makes it harder to justify dipping into your savings because you can see the impact on the things the money could be used for."

"Savings can be a great way to help you realise both long and short term goals, but, just like any other area of your finances, they are most effective when managed as part of your overall budget."

After holidays and weekend breaks, overspending (17%) and unexpected home or car repairs (16%) are the most common reasons that people have recently raided their savings.

Men more likely to make savings count

Not only do more men (71%) than women (64%) have savings, but men save more than their female counterparts - men saved an average of £1,100 in the last three months compared to the average £570 saved by women - and are also less likely to raid their savings. Since April this year, 37% of women have raided their savings, compared to 32% of men.

Regional Raiders

In every region, apart from London, the amount raided by savers was more than the amount saved (Table 1).

90% of people living in the North East managed to put some money aside in the last three months, the greatest proportion of any region, whilst those living in the East of England were least likely to save.

Wales was the area where most people were likely to dip into their savings (47%), with savers there raiding almost four times the average amount saved.