Savings behavior

Good savers tend to be steady consumers

By on 24 October 2016

Does your purchasing and consumption behavior show a lot of fluctuations? Then researchers doubt you have built up a substantial financial buffer. A scientific investigation in 34 western countries and 83 emerging countries namely shows that the consumption pattern of people putting a relative big part of their income in their savings account, has significantly less peaks and troughs.

Also the results show that the consumption pattern of people borrowing often compared to others, has relatively few peaks and troughs. Maybe because of the loan obligations, they seem to be more motivated to maintain a more steady level of consumption. For people living in emerging countries this effect doesn’t show up, according to the researchers because they relatively don’t often (are able to) get a loan.

The research results could be interesting for policy makers: they can educate and stimulate people to stabilize their consumption pattern more. The ones having a more stable consumption pattern, are namely more efficient in securing a substantial financial buffer. Also, the results urge for financial constructions that discourage inhabitants of emerging countries less to borrow.

Especially in emerged countries

Researchers also point to results showing that in western countries a relatively stable consumption pattern leads to a greater significant contribution to a financial buffer than in emerging countries. This is of course to be expected: because of unfavourable economic circumstances it costs inhabitants of emerging countries generally more efforts to create a financial buffer. Nevertheless the positive effect is also significant in emerging countries.

People in emerging countries have to take into account they have to be more careful in changing their savings behaviour: results show that the more they save, without having an income increase proportionate to the increased personal savings rate, the more their consumption behavior can fluctuate later.

In perspective

A consumption pattern is of course not decisive. Building up a substantial financial buffer is dependent of a lot of other variables. The state of the economy, your parents, the labor market conditions and education are just a few of them. If you have curiosity about the savings rate of entire national populations, take a look at the OECD’s figures below.



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Bas van Essen

Savingsmonitor is a news blog reporting about savings behavior and statistics across whole the European Union. Bas van Essen is responsible for the content. Bas is a former business reporter, who covered the Dutch startup scene, the job market and personal finance. Bas served the Dutch Financial Times ('Financieele Dagblad'), the Dutch 'Financiële Telegraaf',, and IDG. He followed a Master Communication Science and MBA Big Data & Business Analytics at the University of Amsterdam.