One of the important structural problems of the Turkish economy is low savings rates. This situation has become more intense with the adverse developments in the economy after 2018 and the addition of the pandemic.
“What is the current household income and expense balance?” When the answers given to the question are analyzed, it is seen that only 22.3% of them have more income than their expenses. Especially, the continuation of high inflation and the fact that the increase in real wages is below this shows us the possibility of the current income-expense imbalance to continue for a while.
“Were you saving before the pandemic?” When the answers to the question are analyzed, it is seen that especially the C1 group has more savings compared to AB and C2 groups. We can summarize the elements that make up this situation as follows. Although the EU group has a relatively high income, it has less concern for the future compared to the middle income group due to its more qualified occupations. This is reflected in savings trends. The difference compared to the C2 group is that C1 shares a common concern for the future, but the possibility of saving is relatively higher than C2, as it can earn a little more income.
Again, before the pandemic, it was seen that a total of 65% of the group could save more or less, after the pandemic, this rate decreased to 46.2% in the last year. This situation is negatively significant both in terms of macroeconomic conditions and the course of production and investments.
Again, we are faced with two different situations with the effect of the Pandemic. Firstly, some of those who can save enough before the pandemic state that they cannot save enough, especially due to the loss of income in this process. Secondly, some of those who could not save before the pandemic state that they can save. While the reason for the situation in the first is loss of income, in the second one, that is; The reason why those who are unable to save can do so; Especially during the closing periods, the fact that the businesses are closed and the shopping malls are not visited as often as before, there is a decrease in their expenditures compared to the previous time.
Again, in order to catch the spirit of the time, when we try to understand the first items preferred for savings during the pandemic period, we see that the items that need spending due to socialization were first waived. For example; Clothing and cosmetics expenditures of a socializing person for personal care, good appearance and feeling good constitute two of the first three items among the first three items that are saved. We also see that socialization expenditures rank second among savings items. In other words, less socialization has resulted in less spending on looking and feeling good.
When society feels the need to save (due to the frequent occurrence of economic turmoil in Turkey’s recent past), it has developed a tendency to start on its own. Therefore, “In what areas do you usually save?” It is seen that personal tastes, clothing and cosmetic items come first among the answers given to the question.
Examining how consumers save money in food, which is one of their main expenditure items; First of all, it turns out that instead of eating from outside, he takes care to prepare food at home. We anticipate that there are several motivations that make up this situation. One of them is thought to be the motivation of not preferring anything from outside to enter the house, especially (also associated with contact with the outside). On the other hand, such a long time spent at home (supported by the trends in social media) has created the opportunity for consumers to rediscover their cuisine and cooking skills.
When shopping behaviors in the field of clothing are examined; Although it is not needed many times, it is seen that unnecessary products are bought because of feeling good. Based on this, when the savings in the field of clothing are examined, it is seen that in the first two places, I do not buy items other than I need them and even if I like it very much, I avoid buying too expensive items. This situation explains to us that, in fact, the feeling of feeling good in the field of clothing is saved. We see a similar attitude in the field of cosmetics.
We see that the two main motivations of saving are still up to date today. One of them is investment in the future, and the second is financial difficulties. However, with the pandemic, the anxiety about the financial difficulties prevents the expectation for investment in the future. In other words, between saving the present and building the future, especially in this period, saving the present is a little ahead.