When it comes to saving money, behaviour varies among nations – but it’s a universal truth that we all love a good bargain. Whether it be a voucher or a discount code, most of us will try to save money where we can.
But which cities around the world have seen the highest increase in savvy spending habits?
The rising cost of living means that more people around the world are looking to cut their spending and save some pennies, and at Merchant Machine we want to find out which places have the savviest spenders with the best financial knowledge and money-saving techniques.
We analysed 30 cities in Europe to discover more about their spending and saving habits. We looked at average monthly searches for discount codes, the percentage of disposable income being saved, financial literacy, credit card use and household spending per year to determine which cities have the savviest spenders.
Which cities have the savviest spenders overall?
Below is the full list of all cities analysed, ranked from highest to lowest.
|Country||City||Avg. monthly searches for ‘discount codes’||Adults who are financially literate (%)||People aged 15+ who have a credit card (%)||Disposable income, 2020 per capita (PPP)||Household spending per year (million USD)||Household savings (% of disposable income) per year||Index score|
According to our research, residents of Luxembourg City are the savviest spenders overall. They did particularly well for spending and saving habits, saving an average of 18.11% of their disposable income per year and having a relatively low amount of yearly spending compared to most other cities.
Next came Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. These locations perform better than Luxembourg City when it comes to financial literacy and discount code searches, however score worse for household spending and saving.
The UK and Ireland both came in the top 10, with London and Dublin doing particularly well for discount code searches and credit card use. However, Dublin fares much better than London when it comes to household savings – in fact, Dublin is the top city for savings, whereas London is one of the worst.
Which cities search for discounts the most?
We researched the average monthly number of Google searches for the term ‘discount codes’ to discover which cities were performing the most searches and actively looking to make savings.
Below are the top 10 cities hunting for discount codes.
|Country||City||Key word||Avg. monthly searches|
|United Kingdom||London||discount codes||1,900|
London topped the list for discount searches, with an impressive average of 1,900 searches per month.
It’s no surprise that UK residents are looking to get discounts where they can – many are no doubt feeling the burn of recent price increases, making discounts more desirable than ever.
Which cities save the most money per year?
Searching for discounts is a good indicator of a money-saving mindset, but which cities are actually saving the most?
We researched what percentage of their disposable income per capita each city was saving per year to find out. Disposable income is measured in purchasing power parity (PPP) to adjust for cost of living.
|Country||City||Disposable income, 2020 per capita (PPP)||Household savings (Total, % of disposable income) per year|
Despite London’s discount code hunt, it didn’t actually make the top 10 list for money saving.
Dublin, Ireland came out on top, with residents saving on average 21.38% of their disposable income per year. Iceland’s capital Reykjavík came in just behind at 20.85%, and Sofia, Bulgaria came third with average savings of 19.6% per year.
In comparison, residents of London only manage to save an average of 7.48% of their income every year – one of the lowest out of all 30 cities analysed.
Which cities have the most financially literate adults?
Financial literacy is a measure of how financially knowledgeable we are and is a necessity for developing savvy spending habits, as it allows us to make informed and responsible financial decisions.
We measured which cities have the highest percentage of financially literate adults.
|Country||City||Adults who are financially literate (%)||Household savings (Total, % of disposable income) per year|
The Nordic cities of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen placed in the top three for having the highest percentage of financially literate adults, with all three having an impressive 71% of all adults who are financially literate.
London also performed well for this metric, with 67% of adults being financially literate.
Cities with the highest credit card use
Credit card use can be a good indicator of financial awareness, and can be a good way to build up your credit score, cut costs and make savings if used responsibly.
Below are the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of credit card users.
|Country||City||People aged 15+ who have a credit card (%)|
Nordic cities performed well again, with Oslo topping the list at 70.5%. Helsinki, Finland also came in fifth place with 62.78% of residents owning a credit card.
There is some overlap between the top 10 countries for financial literacy and the top 10 for credit card use, which could indicate a relationship between these two metrics.
How to adapt your business to meet consumer needs
No matter which cities have the savviest spenders, it seems clear that we’re all eager to save money where we can. Most people are now shopping smarter and prioritising good deals, which raises the question – how can you adapt your business to attract customers who are looking to make savings?
Adopting an economy pricing strategy is an effective way to entice customers who are shopping on a budget.
Economy pricing essentially means offering lower prices on products due to lower production costs. Big box stores such as Costco are a good example of businesses using an economy pricing strategy to appeal to consumers looking to make savings.
Ian Wright from Merchant Machine advises, “Offering products and services at a lower price than competitors, even if not a big-name brand, will most likely attract more customers to your business. Savvy spenders are always on the lookout for good deals, so ensuring your business is offering the best deals is crucial.”
- Average monthly searches for ‘discount codes’ – Keyword planner
- % of financially literate adults – https://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/3313-Finlit_Report_FINAL-5.11.16.pdf
- Household savings – https://data.oecd.org/hha/household-savings.htm#indicator-chart
- Household spending – https://data.oecd.org/hha/household-spending.htm#indicator-chart
- Household disposable income – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposable_household_and_per_capita_income
- Household savings – https://www.centralbankmalta.org/file.aspx?f=999#:~:text=The%20aggregate%20household%20saving%20rate%20in%20Malta%20fluctuated%20significantly%20over,the%20years%202008%20to%202012.
- % of people 15+ with a credit card – https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/people_with_credit_cards/