Are you a frugal people – or are they anyway? According to our study, one in three Finns lives without savings.
According to the traditional notion, the ordinary Finn is not prone to shopping. But do we save for a bad day? We wanted to find out how many Finns have a buffer fund and how big these funds are. In the survey, the buffer fund meant the amount of money saved for a bad day.
A sign of good economic governance
The Buffer Fund is one of the cornerstones of the home’s financial management and the first recommendations to be tackled in financial matters. Good financial management is about preparing for unexpected expenses. It’s a good idea to have buffer funds or even unused credit on your credit card, so you don’t have to resort to expensive loans. However, if you have a legitimate need for a loan, compete with providers before applying for a consumer credit or other loan.
According to our survey, almost one in three Finns (29.8%) does not have a buffer fund. A survey conducted by YouGov Finland’s Consumer Panel found that 47% of low-income (those earning less than 26,999 per year) leave no one in Finland and no surprising expenditure is prepared.
Thus, there are many households in Finland with little or no savings. Our CEO, Good Finance, is concerned about the results and urges Finns to save for a bad day.
It is often recommended that you have at least a few months’ worth of net salary as a buffer against a bad day. It is somewhat surprising that most Finns do not live up to this recommendation. How can people cope with surprising spending, if not with buffer money? Even a small reserve fund provides financial security and peace of mind.
According to Jussi State, a reserve fund can help ensure that if something unexpected happens, you don’t have to buy into debt or resort to expensive consumer loans right away.
During this year, the media has dealt with Finnish debt and payment defaults in various contexts. Namely, even spending money with debt seems to attract Finns more than saving. It has also been pointed out that the problems of managing one’s own finances do not only affect low income earners, but are present in all income categories.
The scale of the problems speaks in their own language about the significant number of consumers who lack financial literacy. It is difficult to make good financial decisions if your knowledge, know-how and ability to evaluate are not up to date with changing markets. Poor preparation for unexpected expenses can be a sign of poor financial management.
Why are so few Finns saving?
Your finances may be tight, which will work as long as everything goes as expected. If something unexpected happens and income drops, for example, or spending goes up, it usually easily leads to, for example, a debt spiral. Therefore, even in good times, preparations should be made.
According to Good Finance, it is a good idea to start saving early, so you can increase or decrease your savings depending on your life stage. For example, when you go on parental leave, you may be able to take advantage of these savings and thus even out your consumption throughout your life.
– On the other hand, there are a large number of people in Finland, whose income is so low that there is no money left after saving for compulsory expenses. There are also many people who should, in principle, be able to be prepared in advance and save, but good intentions do not materialize for one reason or another. Saving is all about the difficulty of getting started, and often the misconception that own money is not enough to save.
Economy budgeting and tracking make it easier to get on the cart with your own unnecessary expenses, after which it is much easier to change your own spending habits. This also leaves more money for savings. Regular Monthly Savings is the key to a functioning buffer fund. By saving a certain amount each month, the Buffer Fund will become significant within a reasonable time. Saving can be started easily, for example with automatic credit transfer. When you make this kind of advance, the interest rate mechanism works on the saver side.