Many people are surprisingly clueless about their personal finances. They know whether or not their monthly salary is sufficient for their lifestyle. But even the question of what maximum amount could be set aside each month is overwhelming and may stand in the way of a solid savings plan.
The Corona crisis has fundamentally changed the way people handle money in many households. It may have been a surprisingly long time since you last went to the ATM. On the other hand, a lot more money flows through online shopping in a comfortable home office cloakroom or finances fitness equipment for at home.
Private spending in Europe
How much the Covid-19 pandemic will change financial behavior cannot yet be said. However, the European statistical authority Eurostat has already taken stock and examined for 2019 what people in the EU spend the most money on.
By the way, private consumption expenditure in the 27 EU member states corresponded to 52.9 percent of the gross domestic product. The statisticians found the highest expenditure in relation to GDP in Greece (76.1 percent) and Croatia (73.0 percent). The Irish (28.2 percent) and Luxembourgers (32.9 percent) had to spend the smallest part on their private consumption.
This is the top 10 editions in Europe:
@imago images / Sven Simon
# 10 communication
Eurostat examined the main categories into which household expenditure in the European Community could be broken down in 2019. Communication landed in tenth place. According to Eurostat, the average EU household spent 2.4 percent of the private consumption budget on this.
@imago images / photothek
# 9 alcohol and tobacco
Europeans spend more on alcohol and cigarettes than on education (0.9 percent) or the internet. Alcohol and tobacco came ninth in the spending ranking for 2019, at 4.0 percent.
@imago images / Ralph Peters
# 8 health
Just ahead of alcohol and cigarettes, private spending on health came in eighth with 4.4 percent.
@imago images / Geisser
# 7 clothes and shoes
In 2019, private households in the EU spent around 4.6 percent of their budget on clothing and shoes, according to Eurostat. That meant seventh place.
@imago images / Norbert Schmidt
# 6 Furniture and household
This item could show a plus in the statistics for 2020. In the Corona crisis, many people spent more money on furniture and furnishings as well as household appliances in order to spruce up their homes. In 2019, this item still amounted to 5.5 percent of total expenditure.
@imago images / Sven Simon
# 4 restaurant and leisure
In this area, however, the corona crisis could have a negative impact on the next annual statistics. In 2019, households in the EU member states each spent 8.7 percent of their spending on restaurants and hotels as well as on leisure and culture. The two posts thus shared fourth place.
@imago images / Hans Lucas
# 3 Eating and drinking
Food and non-alcoholic beverages consumed at home ranked third among the highest private consumer spending in 2019. EU households spent an average of 13.0 percent of their budget on nutrition.
@imago images / Steinach
# 2 mobility
At 13.1 percent, mobility came in second, just ahead of food and drink, in the EU’s largest private spending.
@imago images / Westend61
# 1 living
Housing is by far the largest item in private consumer spending. According to Eurostat, the costs for rent, water, electricity, gas and heating averaged 23.5 percent in 2019. A share of almost 25 percent was reported for Germany. Eurostat was thus well below the figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). That had estimated almost 34 percent of private consumer spending on housing for 2018. When asked, a Destatis spokesman referred to the different calculation bases for the two statistics. Eurostat has therefore used the national accounts. The German figures, however, are based on a sample of almost 53,000 households. “Households with a regular income of over 18,000 euros a month are not included,” it said.