Women in Europe save 28% more than men despite having significantly smaller budgets
Berlin How did the cost of living crisis affect saving rates in Europe in 2022? And how has the wealth gender gap influenced the behavior of female consumers?
For International Women’s Day 2023, The Mobile Bank N26 dug into the financial habits of women in 5 of its core European markets – Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The basis of the research is the analysis of the anonymized spending and saving data of over 2.7 million N26 customers in the above-mentioned markets during the period of January 2022 to January 2023.
INCREASING FINANCIAL PRESSURE ON WOMEN IN EUROPE
Against the background of rising costs and prices, women are particularly under financial pressure as their monthly budgets are significantly smaller than their male counterparts. However, despite having less disposable monthly funds, women demonstrated a greater capacity for planning and saving over the past year, in the various European countries analyzed. While they had on average 30% less money per month in 2022, they managed to save 11% more per month in the first half of 2022, and even 28% more than men in the second half of the year.
Leila Maria Kehl, Group Strategy Manager at N26 and founding member of the N26 Women+ ERG, attributes this observation to socio-economic reasons as well as gender patterns: “Globally, women do 75% of care work – an average of 4 hours and 25 minutes a day – more than three times as much as their male counterparts. This often involves setting aside money for children and the elderly. At the same time, women perceive a higher personal financial risk than men, which they often try to mitigate through saving. The so-called motherhood penalty, unequal distribution of wealth (women own only 32% of all global wealth, women are 80% more likely to be impoverished at age 65 or older, only 2% of VC [venture capital] money in Europe goes to all-women startups), and unpaid care work also contribute to the financial discrepancy.”
HOW THE COST OF LIVING CRISIS IMPACTS THE SAVING RATE OF EUROPEAN FEMALE CONSUMERS
In Europe, a common trend is emerging among women: from the first to the second half of 2022, their average monthly available funds increased: +4% in Italy and France, followed by +2% in Germany and Austria. Meanwhile, the monthly available budget for women in Spain remained stable.
Most likely caused by overall increased prices for many goods and services, the plus in monthly available budget did not lead to an increase in the average monthly amount women saved in H2 compared to H1. On average, in the second half of the year, women in Italy saved 15 Euros less, and women in Austria over 45 Euros less. Women in France were the only ones who managed to save 5 Euros more on average in the second half of the year, compared to the first.
DESPITE HIGHER INFLATION, SPANISH WOMEN WERE THE BIGGEST SAVERS IN EUROPE IN 2022
According to the study, Spanish women saved the most during the second half of 2022, and second most (only Austrian women saved more) in the first half of the year. Speaking in numbers: Austrian women set aside 9% of their monthly available funds between January and June, followed by Spanish women who stashed 8% of their monthly incoming budget, while German women saved 7%. French women saved least, with 2%. Between July and December 2022, Spanish women's savings (in relation to their available monthly funds) decreased by 1%, coinciding with the rise in prices from June onwards. However, despite the fact that Spain was affected by a higher inflation rate than most other European countries’ economies during that time, Spanish women were the biggest savers in Europe (compared to Austrian and German women, who saved 6% of their monthly available funds, and Italian women, who saved 1% in the second half of the year.
About Leila Maria Kehl
Leila Maria Kehl is a Group Strategy Manager at N26. Her primary focus is on OKRs - their successful planning, execution and reporting. After graduating in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship in 2018, Leila first worked in Silicon Valley’s big tech before then joining Plug and Play Tech Center as Associate and later Manager of GOAL, an acceleration program for international entrepreneurs.
In 2021, Leila was one of the founding members of the N26 women+ ERG, a group with the mission to forge the path for women to thrive, be represented and recognized, seize opportunity, celebrate their identity, and have a rewarding career. Today, Leila is one of the co-leads in the ERG, which has more than 185 members and three sub-groups.
N26 is today one of the fastest-growing digital banks in the world. As a fully-licensed German bank built on the latest technology, N26 makes banking faster, easier and more trustworthy. Founded by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal in 2013, N26 has welcomed more than 8 million customers in 24 markets to date and has raised close to US$ 1.8 billion from some of the world’s most renowned investors. Headquartered in Berlin, N26 has offices in multiple cities around Europe, including Vienna and Barcelona.
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