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.
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.