Dutch households remain sombre about their financial situation. Just as last year, one in five households expect their circumstances to deteriorate in the coming twelve months. Older single people are most often gloomy about their finances.
Pessimism remains high
Pessimism about households finances remains high. In the first ten months of this year 19 percent of households expected their financial circumstances to worsen in the next twelve months; 14 percent foresaw an improvement. Just as last year, therefore, the pessimists outnumber the optimists.
Opinion on household financial situation
Households are also negative about the recent past: 36 percent say their financial situation has deteriorated in the past twelve months, while 11 percent say the situation improved.
Over-45s especially gloomy
People aged over 45 in particular are pessimistic about their financial future. Nearly one quarter of them expect the situation to get worse in the next twelve months. Older couples without children are also pessimistic, but less so. Younger households and families with children are considerably more optimistic.
Households who expect their financial situation to deteriorate, January-October 2004
No money for furniture and clothes
Although most households do not experience any serious financial bottlenecks, nearly one quarter of them said they did not have enough money to replace worn furniture. Also, one in six said they could not afford to buy new clothes regularly.
Fewer households are in arrears: nearly six in every hundred households reported that they were in arrears with payments of their regular overhead costs. All in all 13 percent of households said they found it difficult to make ends meet.
Financial problems of households, 2003
One-parent families feeling the pinch
One-parent households in particular have difficulty getting by financially. Just over 60 percent did not have enough money to replace worn furniture, and nearly half could not afford to buy new clothes regularly. One-parent families have less income on average, and also often have less capital to fall back on.
Ger Linden and Henk-Jan Dirven