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Interest-Bearing Accounts, Real Estate, Cryptocurrencies – How Poles Multiply Their Savings

FINANCEInterest-Bearing Accounts, Real Estate, Cryptocurrencies - How Poles Multiply Their Savings

Almost half of Poles are saving money to secure themselves against the effects of inflation, according to the “Savings Barometer 2023” study from the National Debt Register. The most significant proportion, 29%, set aside between 251 and 500 PLN each month for this purpose. One in every five Poles allocate between 501 and 1000 PLN for the same. The most popular way to increase cash reserves is by keeping them in an interest-bearing bank account. However, a startling 53% of the surveyed population does not save any money to shield against the negative impact of inflation, mainly due to insufficient incomes.

The financial situation of Poles is reflected in the National Debt Register’s database. It shows that the average consumer’s debt currently stands at 20.5 thousand PLN and the total arrears amount to 44.2 billion PLN. In 2023, a record number of consumer bankruptcies were noted, as many as 21,000, an unprecedented result in history. According to National Debt Register experts, this year could see a slight reduction in debt. An increase in purchasing power and recent wage increases outpacing inflation provides hope for an improvement in the situation.

According to the “Savings Barometer 2023” study, 78% of Poles have savings, although not everyone in this group is saving out of fear of the negative consequences of inflation. Instead, their main goal is to build a “financial cushion” for the future. The value of these assets varies greatly. One in every four consumers has modest amounts not exceeding 5,000 PLN saved up, while 23% have accumulated over 20,000 PLN.

The most popular way Poles enhance their savings is by keeping them in an interest-bearing account in the bank, with almost 1/3 of the respondents doing so. Meanwhile, 28% hold interest-bearing term deposits. One in every ten individuals invests in stocks and bonds, 9% in foreign currencies, and 7% in gold. A further 5% invest their savings in real estate and the same percentage in cryptocurrencies.

However, nearly 40% of Poles do not grow their savings at all, relying on what they have and not taking any action to increase their funds. This group mainly consists of individuals who have little accumulated cash, with 65% declaring they do not increase their savings. Consumers with larger sums, i.e., over 20,000 PLN, are more active in growing their savings. Interestingly, individuals with average savings are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than those with small and large savings.

In the face of high product and service prices, despite an average wage increase to 7194 PLN in the third quarter of 2023 (2.7% more than in the previous quarter and 11.02% more than the previous year) many people are still regularly trying to put aside even nominal amounts. Nearly half of Poles save to protect against the effects of inflation. Most people, who are saving money regardless of the motive, often set aside between 251 and 500 PLN, and every fifth can allocate between 501 and 1000 PLN for this purpose. Despite the challenges, the value of overdue financial liabilities in the National Debt Register is decreasing steadily, indicating that consumer incomes are growing enough to repay their debts.

Still Low Level of Saving Culture

However, a majority of Poles (53%) do not save as a hedge against the negative consequences of inflation. The main reason is insufficient income (63% of respondents), followed by the need to cover large expenses (14%), other important matters (11%), or skepticism about the effectiveness of savings (10%). Only 6% of consumers said they don’t save money because they can rely on their family. Using income for essential current expenses is mainly declared by people with average savings.

However, 13% of respondents in this group are not worried about their financial situation at all. These are primarily people who already have substantial savings and therefore do not feel the need for additional protection against the negative effects of inflation.

The survey “Savings Barometer 2023” was conducted by IMAS International on behalf of the National Debt Register in November 2023 using the CAWI method on a representative sample of 1007 Poles aged 18-74.

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