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Erste Group Survey – Saving Still Important for Citizens

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  • Just over half of citizens opt for savings. Forty percent of savers put away from 2,000 to 6,000 dinars a month, while seven percent put away more than 12,000 dinars.
  • Interest in savings products is approximately at the same level as in 2015.
  • For 71 percent of citizens putting money away is important. The trend of saving cash, at home or in a safe deposit box is decreasing – 32 percent of respondents opt for this type of saving.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents in Serbia save, while 20 percent of them are satisfied and 6 percent very satisfied with their current savings. This year the number of those who are dissatisfied with the money saved is somewhat lower at 22 percent, one percent lower than in 2015.

More than a half of the citizens stated that in the past two or three years they saved the same amount of money. One third of them saved less, while 13 percent saved more than in the previous period. Increased cost of living are cited as the reason for lower saving, claiming that their revenue remained unchanged. Twenty-one percent of the respondents state that the total income of their household went down, while 14 percent of them cut their saving due to increase family costs.

However, 71 percent of the citizens of Serbia consider saving important, while 40 percent believe it to be very important. The age group between 30 and 49 are the ones who attach most importance to saving. When it comes to investment, a large majority of citizens of our country describe themselves as “very” or “rather” safety-conscious: almost 80 percent of them would accept lower yield rates to protect themselves from loss. Only six percent believe that they are mostly ready to accept risks in exchange for higher interest.

The citizens’ interest in savings products of banks and other financial institutions remained at the similar level as last year – fixed savings deposits, a vista deposits and children’s savings deposits lead the way. Life insurance as a form of savings product remained at the same level (nine percent).

The main motivation for saving is still to form financial backup and put money away for emergencies. The citizens save as a precaution (93 percent), and when it comes to shopping, 32 percent of the repondents save to be able to “afford something”, while 20 percent of the citizens save for vacations and travel. Four percent of them put money away with no special reason.

When they need to ask someone for advice regarding savings or investment, almost half of the respondents (46 percent) go to their family and friends, with a visit to a bank branch ranking second. Internet, newspapers and magazines rank third as sources of information, while seven percent of the citizens consult with their personal bank advisor.

A high percentage of respondents (90 percent) still claim that they know the details of their financial situation at all times, and 79 percent of them believe that they have their monthly outgoings and expenditure under control. In spite of that, half of the respondents say that they often spend more money than planned.

A monthly financial diary that would help manage personal finance by listing expenses, earnings, savings and investments is maintained by 39 percent of the respondents, while only 12 percent of citizens keep a detailed record of their finances.

If the respondents suddenly received 30,000 dinars in their account, 70 percent of them would put that money in the bank in their current account as a vista deposit or would put the money in a fixed deposit. Almost one quarter of the respondents would not save any of the 30,000 dinars, with more men making such a decision – 30 percent of them would spend the entire amount. Of the stated amount, the respondents would save 11,881 dinars on average.

When it comes to saving in cash, at home or in a safe deposit box, 32 percent of the respondents opt for this type of saving, which is five percent less than in last year and 13 percent less than in 2014.

Twenty-three percent of the respondents believe that they are well-informed about the topic of banking products, whereas almost the same percentage of citizens claims that they are completely uninformed about financial topics.

COMPARISON OF SAVINGS HABITS IN SERBIA TO OTHER MARKETS

Apart from Serbia, the Erste Group survey was also conducted in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. In comparison with Serbia, in which citizens save 4,215 dinars (34 euro) a month on average, the average monthly savings in Romania is 46 euro, Hungary 52, Croatia 57, and in Austria 216 euros. The share of those who are very satisfied with their savings in Croatia is at the same level as in our country (six percent), while it is one percent higher in Hungary and Romania. In these countries a much higher number of citizens are completely dissatisfied with their savings, i.e. 35 percent in Croatia relative to 22 percent in Serbia.

 

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