When the French are asked how much money they need at the end of the month to live “comfortably”, the answers vary depending on profiles and situations. Obviously, the real statistical interest is the average, and that’s the whole point of the CSA Research/Cofidis barometer, published every year. The 2022 harvest results released by RTL have just arrived, highlighting the increasingly tight budget in families.
Almost 500 euros to have the account in order at the end of the month
According to this CSA Research / Cofidis barometer, published on Thursday, May 12, 490 euros is the amount that is now on average missing every month in the portfolio of French households for a normal life. This is 23 euros more than last year and is, above all, a record since 2014.
This is an unmistakable sign of the impact of higher living costs on households. Fuel, food, energy… Inflation becomes structural and affects all items of expenditure.
In this context, it is not surprising to note that the end of the month is becoming increasingly tense in households. The richest do not change anything in their way of life, the middle classes put up or tighten their belts, and the humblest fight to stay above the waterline.
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Which profiles are most affected by inflation?
It’s a fact, inflation affects everyone, but not equally. While typically two out of three families expect a loss in purchasing power in the coming months, it is the most vulnerable households – those for which the situation has already been very difficult – that are most affected by rising living costs.
78% of single-parent families, for example, say their lifestyle has changed in recent months. The output is the same for three workers out of four. The CSA Research/Cofidis Barometer also shows that young people between the ages of 25 and 34 are hit hard by inflation. It should be noted that some combine these three profiles…
What items of expenditure were affected by the crisis?
Forced to adapt, many households were forced or tried to reconsider their consumption habits and began to hunt for the excess.
In the coming months, 81% of them plan to cut their spending. The first option is to reduce the cost of heating or gasoline, the prices of which have skyrocketed, especially since the start of the war in Ukraine. 25% of households plan to heat less, and 22% plan to travel less.
“It shows that the French are not waiting and, on the contrary, they are preparing to adapt their daily lives in order to survive the crisis.”,
A sign of a deep crisis: 23% of French people are preparing to cut their food budget, 45% are betting more on cutting clothing purchases, 41% on travel, 38% on leisure and 36% on cultural goods.
Almost a third of French people (29%) also plan to postpone or abandon their plans, such as vacation, work or even buying a new car.
Sometimes cost cuts are not enough to offset price increases. Then you have to dig into savings when you have them… This is what 42% of households would have done by now. Now only 38% of the French manage to save money.
Others have no choice but to use an authorized overdraft (15%), a bank loan (6%), or even ask others for money (8%).
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These figures go hand in hand with official INSEE statistics. In the first quarter of 2022, household consumption fell sharply: -1.3%, and even 1.7% for the purchase of goods. Ultimately, this drag could wreak havoc on sectors that have already been hit by the health crisis, such as hotels and restaurants or even concert venues. With the key recession risk.
Associations will also suffer from a decline in the purchasing power of households. According to another annual study by Les Apprentis d’Auteuil, donations fell by 274 euros last year.