Synovate surveyed around 11,400 from 16 markets across the world to find out what they had changed about their money management style and attitudes in the year since the global financial crisis hit.
The survey showed that the way people around the world transact and bank has changed quickly and in some fairly dramatic ways over the past twelve months.
Around one in four respondents (26%) are using more cash now, yet 27% are using less. Half of all South Africans are using more cash which Alicia Gaddin, sector head of financial services for Synovate in South Africa attributed to control. “Using cash is a better way to curb spending. You watch it leave your wallet. Many South Africans are closing credit accounts and saving in order to make purchases.”
Credit cards are similarly both more and less popular depending on market, with an overall 14% using them more than they did a year ago and 18% using them less. Brazil is leading the credit charge with 29% using them more, followed by 28% in France and 26% in Denmark.
Much of the news about the global financial crisis has been about big structural changes at big financial institutions. But what are the ‘little guys' changing? Here are some fast facts on quick consumer changes:
ut not everyone has had to change. An overall four in ten have maintained status quo on all of these possible actions. Least likely to have changed anything were people in Hong Kong (56%), Indians (55%) and the French (51%).
The survey showed that people are making some life - or at least lifestyle - changing decisions. On the lifestyle front, one in five respondents have put off an overseas holiday in the past six months, topped by 37% of New Zealanders, 35% of Russians and 32% of Spaniards.
It's not just holidays that have been put on the backburner. Fifteen percent of respondents across 16 markets say they have postponed, or spent less, purchasing a car. This was topped by 34% of Brazilians and Gonzalis said, “This number could have been much higher if the Brazilian government had not provided incentives to reduce prices.”
Other life decisions that have been delayed or had less spent on them in the past six months are:
nd changes have been more personal too. An overall 4% have postponed or spent less on a wedding, including 12% in Brazil and 7% in each of Russia and Taiwan.
Six percent have delayed having a baby, led by 13% of Brazilians, 12% of South Africans and one in ten Russians and Spaniards. And 5% have even postponed surgery in the past six months, topped by 13% of Brazilians, 8% of Spaniards and 7% of each of the Danes, French, Americans and New Zealanders.
Braverman said, “With the relatively high unemployment in the US, those Americans who have lost one or more incomes in the family are making very difficult decisions each day… which bills do, and don't, get paid. This includes non-emergency surgeries.”
Of the people who delayed a major purchase, changed a life decision or spent less, the Synovate survey showed that 39% did this because they didn't have enough money, but there were some other more intriguing reasons too.
Fourteen percent across the 16 markets surveyed said they could afford it but thought it wise to wait, 11% were waiting for a bargain and another 11% thought it just seemed wrong to spend a lot at the moment. So it seems some could spend but are simply choosing not to… It is quite telling to look at the reasons for spending delays across markets:
It doesn't happen to many of us, but Synovate asked 11,400 respondents across 16 markets what they would do if US$1,000 (Approx R7700) landed in their lap today. Why? To help understand differing financial priorities across the globe.
Looking at all 16 markets, the priorities were:
Within each possible answer the top responses were:
One in four people agreed they were glad the world had an economic crisis as it has helped them realise their priorities; over half (55%) have permanently changed their attitudes to the importance of saving money and 47% are looking forward to being able to spend freely again.
The Synovate survey asked a series of agree or disagree attitudinal statements and a massive 80% of Malaysians say they are glad we had the economic crisis (in order to help them recognise their priorities).
Other attitudinal findings include:
This In:fact survey on money and finance was conducted in August 2009, surveying more than 11,400 respondents across 16 markets - South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Taiwan, UK and the USA.
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 6,000 staff across 62 countries. More information on Synovate can be found at www.synovate.com.