European parents struggle to increase their savings

Europe’s parents are less happy with their ability to save than non-parents, according to Intrum’s annual research on consumer payments.

While insights from the European Central Bank show the overall propensity of households to save has reached unprecedented levels during Covid-19, our survey shows a different picture. 61 percent of European parents expressed frustration with the amount they are able to save each month, while 53 per cent of non-parents said the same.

Covid-19 accelerated economic inequality

This can be explained by the accelerated economic inequality we see as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, putting some consumer groups under additional financial pressure.

The economic implications of the pandemic have exacerbated financial differences between consumer groups; consumers who have not had their financial situation directly affected by the pandemic are better placed to make prudent financial decisions, whilst those individuals who are directly affected by the pandemic, such as parents, low-income consumers and young adults, are more vulnerable when it comes to changes in income.

Differences across Europe

Those in Romania, Greece, Estonia and Poland are the most dissatisfied – 80 percent of those in Romania said they weren’t happy with the amounts they could put aside, the highest in Europe.

I am dissatisfied with the amount I am able to save each month (agree)

However, in these countries, non-parents also expressed high levels of dissatisfaction with their capacity to save. The countries with the biggest gap between the two groups are Sweden, the UK and Denmark, where parents and non-parents report quite different levels of satisfaction.

  • 59% of Swedish parents are dissatisfied with their saving – compared with only 39% of non-parents – a gap of 23%

  • The gap between parents and non-parents is also high in the UK (16%) and in Denmark (15%)

“These figures demonstrate a gulf between parents and non-parents in some countries, where financial pressures for families are significantly higher,” says Anette Willumsen, Managing Director CMS Sales & Service Development and Markets at Intrum. “The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated those inequalities as families juggle work and childcare responsibilities.”