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The Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) 2020 was published on 19 May 2022. Since the first publication of 2020 estimates, the CCR has been retrospectively added to the 2018 data. As 2018 and 2020 estimates are now produced using the same methodology, comparisons can be made between them. This publication has been updated on 16 May 2023 and now includes references to 2018 estimates.

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In 2020, more than a half (53.1%) of households reported that their regular expenses in the 12-month period prior to their interview date were less than the household’s income. The corresponding figure for 2018 was 40.1%. An increased ability to save in 2020 is reflected in the increase in the median value of savings compared to 2018, as seen in the Assets chapter. See Figures 7.1 & 7.2.

X-axis label20182020
Don't know1.41
Expenses exceeded income13.27.6
Expenses about the same as income45.338.3
Expenses less than income40.153.1

The households who said that expenses were less than income were then asked to list their most important reasons for saving (households could list multiple reasons for saving). The most common reason for saving in both 2018 and 2020 was for the provision of unexpected events, increasing from 53.0% of households whose expenses were less than income in 2018 to 59.8% in 2020. In 2020, households were less likely to be saving for travel and holidays than in 2018 with the rate dropping from 42.1% to 31.5% in that time. This is most likely due to the COVID-19 related travel restrictions that were in place around the time of the survey in 2020. See Figure 7.2 and Table 7.1.

X-axis label20182020
Provision for
unexpected events
Old-age provision 40.638.1
Education/support of
children or
grandchildren or
other relatives
Other major
purchases (other
residences, vehicles,
furniture, etc.)
Purchase own home16.318.1
Paying off debts13.29.8