Focus - Lifelong financial planning

What Influences the Savings Decisions of the Hungarian Population?

Annamária Horváthné Kökény
PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Finance and Management, College of Szolnok

Zsuzsanna Széles
Dr. habil., Associate Professor, Institute of Business Studies, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Szent István University

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2014/4 (p. 425-443.)

SUMMARY: We created a theoretical model of the main factors that influence household savings based on our secondary research, then conducted a questionnaire survey involving 4106 Hungarian households in the scope of primary research. The examined households had a low level of financial knowledge. They believe that financial literacy needs to be developed, since in general it is true that they are not adequately familiar with the various financial services and state aid options related to them. We came to the conclusion that households clearly believe that developing financial culture among the Hungarian population is of key importance. Four household types were distinguished from each other: 1. “Wishing to provide for themselves”: Their knowledge of savings products is above average, and they also try to take advantage of various tax allowances to a moderate degree. 2. “Lives for today”: They are least familiar with the various savings options. Exploiting State tax incentives is of no interest to them. 3. “Conscious and financially literate self-provider”: They are most open to State influence through tax breaks when making savings decisions. 4. “Self-provider, with no financial knowledge”: Although they are not familiar with the various financial options, they seek to take advantage of tax benefits as broadly as possible. All four household types believe that the primary focus should be on the education of vocational and high school students. Developing the adult population’s know-how should also be treated as a priority, but improving the financial literacy of primary school pupils is also considered necessary.

KEYWORDS: savings, self-provision, state influence, financial know-how, education

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE (JEL) KÓD: A14, A20, D03, D12, D14, D31, E21, G02, G28, H21, H24, H31, I22

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