• A representative CRIF study on the rising cost of living shows the expectations of Germans concerning their financial situation in the coming months

  • 35% of German consumers consider it likely that they will look for a source of extra income

  • Expectations of cuts in daily life are particularly high in Saarland, Saxony, Brandenburg and Baden-Württemberg (over 70% of respondents in each case)


Germans see financial challenges ahead in the coming twelve months and expect to have to adjust their saving habits. This is one of the findings of a study recently published by the information service provider CRIF. A representative survey was carried out in July of this year aimed at identifying the expectations of European citizens over the next year in the face of rising costs. As part of this study, a representative sample of 1000 adult participants from Germany was also evaluated.

"Supply bottlenecks, the energy crisis and persistently high inflation are ubiquitous at the moment. The results of our study show that people are aware that they will also feel the effects of these events in their everyday lives," explained Dr. Frank Schlein, Managing Director of CRIF Germany. "Germans and Europeans in general expect their saving and spending behavior to change in the coming months."

Savings must be made

Although German consumers are confident they will be able to pay their current bills (82%) and, for example, rent payments (92%) in the future, the outlook for their basic financial situation is poor. 33% of Germans are concerned that their standard of living will decrease over the next twelve months and 37% expect their financial situation to worsen. In addition, almost every second German consumer (48%) expects to have less money left at the end of the month.

So it is clear to many: savings must be made. Not only do 65% of those surveyed think it is likely that they will have to save on non-essentials such as streaming subscriptions or food deliveries, but the same proportion of Germans also expect to have to cut back on essentials such as weekly shopping and spending on cars and water bills.

One in two also expects that the price increases will have an impact on holiday planning. For 46% of Germans, it is likely that they will reschedule or even cancel their holidays in the coming year. The proportion here is related to the income of the respondents: in contrast to almost every second German with a gross annual income of less than €70,000 (48%), only 28% of the group with a gross annual income of more than €70,000 want to change their holiday plans.

Debt is not the answer

Germans are expected to react not only in terms of the expenditure side of their household budget, but also in terms of income. More than one-third of respondents (35%) think it is likely that they will look for additional income in order to improve their financial situation. In the group of people under 55, this is as much as one in two (58% of 18- to 34-year-olds, 41% of 35- to 54-year-olds). A loan, on the other hand, is only an option for a small percentage of people. Two-thirds of Germans consider it unlikely that they will take on debt in the coming months. This applies to both loans from a financial institution such as a bank (63%) and money borrowed from friends or family (65%).

Germans prefer to look find their own solution to deal with harder times; as many as 41% of respondents say it is likely that they will draw on their savings to cover everyday expenses.

Many similarities across state borders - but also differences

In a comparison between the federal states, consumers in Brandenburg in particular expect to have less money left over at the end of the month (66%). At the same time, they are also the ones who most expect to have less to put aside as savings each month (43%). Rhineland-Palatinate leads this statistic (also 43%), but is slightly more optimistic about its monthly surplus, with 55% of respondents.

With 82% of respondents, Rhineland-Palatinate also leads the category of those who expect to make savings on non-essential items. When it comes to essential products, however, this federal state lands more in the middle (64%). Here it is above all Saarland (82%), Saxony (73%), Berlin (71%) and Baden-Württemberg (71%) whose citizens expect to accept cuts in essential items in the future. In Saarland, respondents can also imagine giving up holiday spending to a particularly large extent (65%). Hamburg (60%) and Schleswig-Holstein (56%) are also well represented in this respect.

For the CRIF study, a total of 7,000 participants from six European countries were surveyed from July 8 to 25, 2022. For the statements on consumer behavior in Germany, a weighted, representative sample of 1,000 adult Germans was evaluated. The study "Banking on Banks" shows not only the expectations of European consumers regarding their financial situation, but also their relationship with banks in financially difficult situations.