Already every second adult worried about money
50 percent of the Austrian men and women already worried about money some time in the past. Loss of income is stated as the main reason for this. It is striking that more women than men were affected by that (ratio: 42% to 36%). "Due to maternity leave and part-time work women experience disadvantages relative to income and that's exactly what brings us back to the misery of financial dependence," says Kiedler. Other troublemakers are high home loan rates (18%) or high unexpected costs (15%). But also ill health (14%) is cited as a reason. Kiedler: "Leisure-time accidents that are still underinsured may be an explanation for the latter. It is relatively easy, though, to make provisions for such a case by taking out an accident insurance. With regard to questions about money and financial matters, personal contact is important to Austrians. Their bank adviser is the number-one contact point for 78 percent of the Austrians, followed by the partner (52 percent), the family (46 percent), and friends (34 percent). Internet (31%) and media (23%) play a minor role. Every third couple sees the bank consultant together. In another third, one of the partners takes care of it for both and in another third, every partner keeps individual appointments with the bank consultant.
Controversial subject money: Fixed costs and contribution to household income point of contention
Especially when making financial decisions together, conflicts are inevitable for every second Austrian couple. Every fifth couple regularly argues about money, every third occasionally. Issues are primarily unevenly distributed fixed costs and the contribution to household income. Especially men complain about the latter (62%). However, this complaint is based upon the fact that as more women work part-time and take maternity-leaves, the man continues to be the principal earner in the relationship and he is aware of that. Another topic of discussion is when different priorities are set for expenditure, when money is constantly short or when money is carelessly spend. "The well-known handwritten budget book definitely had its justification. However, these days, more modern versions exist. In our digital banking app George, you can categorize all receipts and disbursement and get a very good overview of how much you spent on what," says Schwabl.
Women are less interested in securities than man
On average, women currently save 220 Euros per month, men 269 Euros. Since 2014, this amount has risen steadily with both sexes. The Top 4 reasons for saving money continue to be nest-egging (74%), financial security (70%), saving for larger purchases such as a house, a flat or a car (53%) and providing for the future (36%). When it comes to savings and investment products, both sexes favour security. Building loan contracts, savings accounts and life insurances are on the top of the popularity scale. Shares, funds or bonds are noticeably less interesting. The gender comparison shows clearly that women have different interests: while only 1 in 5 women (19%) is interested in securities for example, 1 in 3 men is (37%). Yet that this might be the wrong strategy as far as investments are concerned is illustrated by the following example: If you had paid 5,000 Euros into your savings account five years ago, you currently would have around 4,700 Euros. On the other hand, if you had opted for a fund with a 50 percent equity stake, you would have 5,600 Euros by now. "This example clearly shows that if you only focus on the passbook in times of low interest rates, you lose money. Securities are currently an important option, especially for retirement provision. With inflation at almost two percent and a key interest rate of zero, the loss of purchasing power is quite obvious," emphasizes Schwabl. Around three months' salaries should be available on the passbook for short-term expenditures. Planned investments should be hedged with products with mid-term investment horizons of approx. 5-8 years; long-term investment options should be selected for retirement provision. Schwabl emphasizes:"Build up your provision on three pillars, cover your financial needs with short-, medium- and long-term investment options. When it comes to old-age provision, the sooner you start, the better."
Money rain: What the Austrians wish for
What wishes would the Austrians fulfill themselves with a sudden cash injection? Travelling and purchasing real estate rank first and second with both sexes. When it comes to third place, however, the dreams of men and women differ: While a new car is very popular with men, women would like to share some of the money rain with their children and family members.
About the survey: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Erste Bank hired market research institute IMAS to conduct a telephone survey on the subject of “Women and Finances”. From 23 January to 2 February 2018, 500 people were asked among other things about financial matters in their partnerships, money as a dispute factor in relationships, financial provision and who the consult in financial matters. The results are representative of the Austrian population aged 18 and over.