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The national wealth service

Having money in the bank comes before “keeping up with the Joneses”, according to a survey by Marks & Spencer Financial Services.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 44 per cent said having more cash or money to invest would make them feel well off. Only 6 per cent felt that not being overdrawn was an indicator of wealth.

Traditional emblems of wealth, such as having two cars, taking a holiday, having a cleaner, personal numberplate or caravan, were only recognised as indicators by less than 5 per cent.

Nearly a third of people had resigned themselves to never being well-off. The optimism of the youngest gave way to the pessimism of those who were 50, with only 4 per cent thinking that they would become rich.

Regionally, the Welsh were most concerned about not being overdrawn and those living in London and the South-east most wanted to send their children to go to private schools. Not a single Scottish person rated going out to restaurants.

M&SFS savings & investment manager Mark Birch says: “The findings are certainly an eye-opener but are not so surprising. Wealth is relative but what is encouraging is that money matters came top, suggesting that people are perhaps more aware of the need to start taking control of their finances.

“However, people need to turn their thoughts into action and look at the ways that savings and investment can help them in the long term.”

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