COVID-19 pandemic did not affect finances of nearly half of Poles: report

Nearly 47 percent of Poles did not experience significant changes in their finances in the last year and 40 percent said their financial situation has worsened,” shows a study for the report “Has the pandemic changed the attitude of Poles to financial awareness?,” carried out by IBRiS in July 2021 for the Santander bank.

According to the study, the pandemic changed the Poles' approach to their household budgets. Every second Pole paid more attention to everyday expenses, and every fourth limited at least some of them,” This group includes most of the people under the age of 30 (65.5 percent) and rural residents (46.8 percent).

46.9 percent of Poles have not experienced any significant changes in their finances over the last year. In turn, 13 percent declare that their financial situation has improved during that time - this was indicated mainly by the inhabitants of metropolises such as Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and people with higher education (19 percent in both cases).

At the same time, 40 percent of respondents said their financial situation had deteriorated over the past year. Among them, the largest group was young people aged 18-29 (53.3 percent), who were often employed at restaurants and shopping malls that were closed during the pandemic.

A spokesman for Santander Consumer Bank, Magdalena Grzelak, pointed out that those earning between PLN 2,000 and PLN 2,999 netto (47.9 percent) and rural residents (51 percent) were also the least satisfied with their situation, "which can be explained by weaker prospects that have been further adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic”. She noted that this group also included over 40 percent of people with higher education.

Over 30 percent of Poles refrained from some major purchases in the last year, the study shows. Such a strategy was adopted especially by people earning up to PLN 2,000 or from PLN 2,000 (EUR 436.78) to PLN 2,999 (EUR 655.11) per month (42.8 and 42.9 percent respectively). Every fourth respondent also began to reduce daily expenses (27.5 percent). This behaviour was typical of people earning minimum wage (40.1 percent).