19.12.2014 .

Survey: 41% of Latvia's inhabitants feel financially stable

Inhabitants in poor physical shape have significantly more difficulties in finding the motivation to save

In general, 41% of inhabitants admit that they feel financially stable and confident about the condition of their personal budget. It is characteristic that inhabitants who are physically active and are in good shape assess their financial condition more positively. Simultaneously, financial difficulties are most often reported by people in poor physical condition — 25% of these inhabitants assess their financial condition as average, whereas one third admits that it is bad, as shown by the results of the Financial Fitness Test from the financial education program Nordea Business School. During the test, two crucial preconditions of a full life were assessed — the physical fitness and “financial muscles” of inhabitants, as well as the interaction of these two factors.

39% of those surveyed assess their physical shape as good, pointing to walking as their most common method for staying in shape, followed by regular sports activities, in which 30% of those surveyed take part. In third place are fitness activities at home. In general, 43% of inhabitants do different physical exercises at least a few times a week, whereas almost one fifth of respondents admit that they almost never participate in sports.

41% of inhabitants who work daily towards achieving financial stability use their savings accounts to accumulate funds for larger expenses, as well as designate long-term savings as 3rd-pillar pensions or life insurance, assess their financial condition as good. Simultaneously, 26% of participants of the Financial Fitness Test indicate they are unable to divert money to savings, while 12% are unmotivated to save, even if they have the financial possibilities to do so. Moreover, one third of test participants admits that they often make impulsive purchases. This habit is  most widespread  among women — half of female respondents indicate that they often spend impulsively.

As Nordea Business School Manager Anna Fišere-Kaļķe points out, a crucial role in creating savings traditions is attributed to regular practice or the development of saving habits: “Taking care of one's finances is similar to regular physical activity — it is difficult to make time, yet all of us understand that it is necessary. Therefore, it is natural that most negative assessments of financial fitness are declared by respondents who are less involved in daily fitness. People who devote time to maintaining their physical health are obviously more active in other areas as well, including in managing their personal budget.”

Just 17% of those who are in good shape admit to financial difficulties, while in the group of respondents who assess their physical fitness as negative, this indicator is twice as high. It is notable that for young people under 24, 44% of which indicate that they have no possibility to save, assess their financial condition most negatively. Inhabitants age 25 to 44, however, show the greatest confidence in their finances.

In promoting the interest of inhabitants in assessing their financial condition and finding ways to ensure a stable, long-term personal budget, the fitness coaches of Nordea Business School and DCH Studio have created the first Financial Fitness Program. It offers a variety of “financial exercises” to help both newcomers who wish to learn the basic principles of saving and experienced budget-makers  who deposit on a regular basis.

*The Financial Fitness Test is available on the Nordea Business School website www.nordea.lv/naudasskola. By answering simple questions, each respondent can measure his or her physical and financial fitness and receive recommendations from professionals, namely fitness and financial coaches, on the most suitable program of “financial exercises”. Over 800 respondents have participated in the Financial Fitness Test so far.