TALLINN – The results of a survey commissioned by Citadele Bank show that 15 percent of Estonian residents who took part in the survey have started saving or preparing for rainy days as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The share of people who managed to accumulate savings before the war but can no longer do so due to the high cost of living is also 15 percent, while 9 percent stated that they have already had to use their savings, Citadele said.
While 15 percent of people in Estonia stated that they have started putting money aside for rainy days, the share of respondents who said so was 13 percent in Latvia and 12 percent in Lithuania. At the same time, in addition to saving money, Estonians are the most diligent in terms of stocking up on food. Altogether 12 percent of people in Estonia said that they have stocked up on food for the fall-winter season. There were 6 percent of such people in Latvia and 8 percent in Lithuania.
"When compared to the Baltic neighbors, it emerged that the people of Estonia have been hit the hardest by the increase in the cost of living, and therefore it is difficult to set money aside," Rainer Moppel, head of the Estonian branch of Citadele, said in a press release. "While 15 percent of Estonians stated that they managed to save before the war, but not now, 9 percent of respondents in Latvia and 10 percent in Lithuania said so," he added.
In addition, as many as 44 percent of Lithuanian respondents stated that they set money aside before the start of the war and are still doing so now. There were 33 percent of such people in Estonia and 32 percent in Latvia.
The worse financial situation of people in Estonia is also shown by the result of the survey, in which 21 percent of Estonian people stated that they cannot afford to accumulate savings because they live payday to payday anyway. There were 16 percent of respondents who said so in Lithuania and 23 percent in Latvia. Due to the high cost of living, 7 percent of people in Latvia and 5 percent in Lithuania have already had to spend their savings.
In connection with the increased prices due to the war in Ukraine, Citadele Bank also investigated people's plans for heating costs a couple of months ago. Then it turned out that high heating costs have forced half of the people in Estonia to reduce costs and save more on heating, but at the same time, 52 percent of Estonians are willing to pay more for heating and electricity if it helps to become independent from Russian resources.
Among other things, this survey revealed that 3 percent of the respondents are likely to be forced to move to a smaller space or move in with someone else due to high heating prices. Altogether 4 percent said they are asking for financial help from relatives and 16 percent said they are trying to find additional work.