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The finances of Swiss households in 2018

Positive outlook for the 2018 financial year. Source: iStock

Almost a third of the Swiss population expect to fare better financially this year than in 2017. This is not the case in Ticino, where only one in five anticipates an improvement to their financial situation. Overall, men and young people are the most optimistic, while those wishing to cut costs prefer to spend less on electronic devices and going out. These were the results of our representative survey.

The Swiss consider their financial prospects for 2018 to be positive on the whole. Two thirds of those surveyed can either afford almost everything or are at least happy with their finances, even if a few wishes remain unmet. However, over a quarter of respondents have to make serious cutbacks in order to stay on top of bills. Seven per cent of the population do not have enough money to meet their financial obligations. Overall, the Swiss consider themselves to be slightly better off financially than they were a year ago. 

Regional differences – Ticino struggling

The German-speaking Swiss had the most positive outlook with respect to the way their personal finances are panning out. A third expect to see an improvement in 2018 (26 per cent in the French-speaking part, 20 per cent in Ticino). People in Ticino are are particularly susceptible to financial difficulties. There, more than half stated that they can barely keep up with their expenses, if at all. In German-speaking Switzerland, only one in three is struggling financially, while in the French-speaking part, around 40 per cent need to track every franc in order to make ends meet. 

Men and young people upbeat

Men in particular see their financial situation as positive – 36 per cent said they would be better off or somewhat better off financially in 2018 compared to 2017. Only 25 per cent of women held this view. Young people appear to be particularly optimistic. Almost one in two people under 36 stated that their financial situation would be better or somewhat better than the previous year.

Preferred ways to cut back? Electronics and going out

If the Swiss need to curb their expenditure, they prefer to do this by avoiding unnecessary and spontaneous purchases. Products they are most likely to cut back on are electronic devices. The Swiss also find it relatively easy to reduce how often they eat out or go out in the evenings.

Men invest – women relax and enjoy themselves

By contrast, those who have some money to spare prefer to put it aside. Men and women are noticeably different when it comes to how they handle their surplus funds. While men would invest this money, women are more likely to use it to treat themselves to beauty and wellness activities.