4 in 10 Belgians unable to save

4 Belgians in 10 say that they do not succeed, or hardly succeed, in putting money aside in savings. This has been revealed by a recent survey by the financial daily De Tijd. Most Belgians have the impression that their spending power has gone down over the past year or has remained status quo. In reality, statistics show that purchasing power over the last year has actually increased.

Belgians usually have an equivalent of 5 months of salary in savings. This is less than the normal rule of thumb which is to have the equivalent of 6 to 12 months of salary put aside in savings. Further, 4 Belgians in 10 say that they are hardly able to save money, not even €100 per month.

'Savings' for most Belgians means having the money on a classic savings account. Only 8 percent of the Belgians play the stock market. Belgians have become less loyal to their main bank. Last year 62 percent of the Belgians interviewed said they would not invest in financial products of banks other than their normal bank. This has now dropped to 47 percent.

Belgians have become more cautious due to the financial crisis. 56 percent say that they never drop into the red on their bank accounts. Three years ago 50 percent said they never went into the red. The number of Belgians who very occasionally drop below zero has decreased from 50 to 38 percent.

The Belgians have also become more pessimistic: 70 percent think that unemployment will increase next year. About the same amount of people say that they feel the consequences of the crisis at their work, in the form of a more work pressure, reorganisation of the company or layoffs. Noteworthy is that three quarters of the Belgians do not fear that they will be laid off.