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UK Insights

Brits more likely to spend without thinking

Richard Keogh

Managing Director, Consumer, at Kantar Media UK

Economy 21.10.2015 / 09:00


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Comparing global spending and saving habits

Research from Kantar Media TGI has found that 18% of British adults agree with the statement: 'I tend to spend money without thinking', far higher than our neighbours in France (7%), Spain (8%) and Germany (8%).

The Kantar Media TGI team say matters of money and spending have been pushed to the forefront of consumers' minds around the world in recent years, even more so than would be considered typical for such important considerations.

The proportion of adults who believe they are no good at saving money varies widely, even across key Western European markets. In Germany, 31% of adults believe they are no good at saving money, compared to around half this proportion (16%) in Spain and France; British adults are caught somewhere in the middle at 22%.

Ownership of a savings account is a good indication both of disposable income and of consumer financial prudence. In the key western European markets, France and Germany are the most frugal, with 80% and 73% of consumers respectively owning a savings account, compared to 61% in Britain and 57% in Spain. For Germany, this may seem at odds with figures revealing that German consumers are particularly likely (compared to those in neighbouring markets) to believe that they are no good at saving money. But it appears likely that it is this very belief that makes them leading savers. If they are in a cycle of self-guilt, believing they could be saving more, then they are more likely to be doing something about it.

Elsewhere in the world, 87% of Chinese adults have a savings account, in Brazil the figure is 56%, while in Russia only 12% of adults have one.

We can get a clearer picture of the culture of saving in different markets by looking at how long consumers have had savings accounts. In Europe, again, it is German consumers who are clearly the European saving champions, with 37% of them having had a savings account for more than 10 years, compared to 31% of Spanish and only 18% of Brits. This is also reflected in regularity of their saving. 41% of Germans pay in to savings accounts every month, compared to 30% of Brits and 28% of Spanish.

Source : Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

The data used in this article is from Kantar Media TGI Great Britain, a continuous, single source survey of British adults (aged 15+) that is based on a robust, nationally representative sample of 25,000, with data released on a rolling quarterly basis.

Journalists, for more information please contact us.

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