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Nearly ten thousand pounds found growing on a tree

Posted on 8 September 2014

Nearly £10,000 found growing on tree – but why?

Figures quoted in this article are correct as of 2014

On 24 July 2014, in Potters Fields Park, opposite London’s Tower Bridge, in the shadow of the mayor’s office, a new tree had appeared overnight. And it was covered in £9,280 of crisp ten pound notes.

Even at 7am a crowd was gathering. Many came up close to examine the money to see if it was real, others took pictures on their phone. And then, people starting plucking the money from the tree.

Savings - What do UK families save guide

An orderly, and very British, queue of office workers, construction workers, tourists and tradesmen formed. Joggers made a detour to check out the tree. Dads lifted their children up to pluck a tenner from the highest branch.

Within a few hours the tree was bare and 928 people were ten pounds better off.But what was the tree doing there and why?

Here at SunLife our mission is to encourage everyone to save more today for a brighter tomorrow. So we planted the money tree to give lucky passers by a head start on their savings journey and put a spotlight on the importance of saving.

But why £9,280? Because our recent research into the nation’s savings and investment habits discovered that £9,280 is the average size of a family’s savings. But remember, that’s the average. Our research also revealed nearly half of working families have less than £1,000 saved and almost a quarter of Brits have savings of under £100, with nearly a third admitting they’d rather live for today than plan for tomorrow.

In fact, one in four Brits buy new things even when they can’t afford them and well over a third admit they sometimes run out of money before payday.

But at least our intentions are good. Almost four out of 10 18-50 year olds aim to save more money in the next five to 10 years. And, the most common advice older people would give their 20-year-old selves? Save more.

And why ten pound notes? Because money doesn’t actually grow on trees and most of us aren’t made of money. But making the conscious effort to save just a tenner a month today could reap rewards in the future.

As a young woman put it on the day, ‘If it was my tree it’d be more of a Bonsai.’ A statement many of us probably agree with. But get in the habit of saving even a small amount every month and that Bonsai could well grow into a larger tree.

*SunLife online research. We surveyed 2,000 UK-based 18-70 year olds during 24 April–6 May 2014.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.