In Europe, someone comfortable financially was more likely to be a man, living with their long-term partner and without dependent children in the home – perhaps representing the so-called DINKs, dual income, no (dependent) kids. Adults aged under-35 or over-55 were more likely to be comfortable with their savings level. The strongest factor in determining their comfort was full-time employment – with full-time work very strongly linked with savings comfort even compared with self employment and part-time employment.
Signs of discomfort
On the flipside, those uncomfortable with their levels of savings, in Europe, were more likely to be a woman, single, with dependent children in the home and aged between 35 and 54 years. Unsurprisingly, those who were unemployed or employed part-time were more likely to feel uncomfortable with their savings levels.
The ING International Survey on Savings polled more than 18,000 people in 19 countries. It is the first report in a new quarterly series that aims gain an understanding of how retail customers – and potential customers – of ING Bank around the globe spend, save, invest and feel about money.
What are we saving for?
Asked if they saved regularly and what they saved for, “comfortable” savers responded:
- 63% to build an emergency fund
- 48% for a holiday
- 48% to buy an expensive item (such as a car or electronics)
- 34% simply to have spare cash
- 32% to repair or renovate their home
Those "uncomfortable" with their levels of savings responded:
- 43% build an emergency fund
- 35% could not save as there was no money left at the end of the month
- 25% to pay regular bills
- 23% for a holiday
- 19% to buy an expensive item (such as a car or electronics)
But we’re not all typical
The message here is not for single women with dependent children at home to despair about their savings. Nor is it for men, aged 55-plus, in full-time work to become complacent. Underlying the “typical” figures for Europe were a wide range of individual circumstances and country-by-country differences.
Keeping watch on the household budget and keeping track of finances can help build good money habits – for the rich and not so rich alike.
This article is related to the ING International Survey: