How and what do Finns spend? (2018)

What do you think your monthly income will be, what are your regular expenses? Finnish consumer habits have changed and grown in recent years, although we are still moderate consumers in international comparison.

But how do you know that Finns consume more these days and do you recognize these habits? The Duke and the Dauphin got acquainted with the consumption habits of Finns and their changes.

We spend 10 times more than our ancestors


According to a survey by Statistics Finland, Finns consume up to 10 times more than 100 years ago.

The world has changed dramatically in 100 years, Finns have moved from agriculture to the technology economy, and their consumption habits have changed accordingly.

Over the last 20 years, spending has increased and diversified further. At the same time, the standard of living has increased by 30% between 1999 and 2008, for example.

In recent years, households have focused their spending on, for example, tourism and health services.

According to an old study by Statistics Finland (2008), Finns spend the most on housing, which consumes 28% of household assets. The next largest contributor to transport, 15% of the funds. Almost the same amount is spent on food (12%) and culture and leisure (11%).

The corresponding figures for 2016 have slightly changed, mainly increasing. Housing costs have remained unchanged, with 28% going to housing. Food and drink account for more than 16% of spending and health-related expenditure is already 5%. Purchase of transport equipment is another cost item worth mentioning, well over 14%.

By contrast, the household saving ratio is minus -0.9%. Savings ratio refers to the ratio of savings to disposable income.

Compared internationally, Finns are moderate consumers and still below the OECD average.

Three consumer groups


According to Statistics Finland, three different groups of consumers have been subdued, or have been born among Finns:

  • high consumption group
  • middle class
  • low consumption group

The first group includes senior staff, entrepreneurs, couples without children and families with two parents.

The second group consists of lower staff, farmers and sole proprietors.

The third group includes the unemployed, students, pensioners and single parents.

Consumption patterns have changed, consumption expenditure has increased and the structure of consumption as a whole has become more diversified, but the structure of consumption among different population groups has become similar. This has happened despite the widening differences in consumption expenditure.

What Finns consume

What Finns consume

Finland’s GDP has been slowly upward, and according to a compilation released by Statistics Finland last year, GDP grew by 1.9% in 2016. The value added generated by the production of goods and services in euros was a staggering 216 billion. Households in particular have increased their consumption.

It has already been mentioned that Finns are now spending more and more on tourism and health services, whose share of consumption expenditure has increased. But what else do Finns focus their spending on? Yle has listed 5 things that make consumption growth visible.

1. Restaurants Filled When times are scarce and you don’t want to spend anything so-called extra, the first things to haggle about is eating out. In Finland, eating in restaurants is still combined with luxury, celebration and other special occasions that are easily abandoned when you have to save something.

When times are better and spending money is possible, it is also reflected in the filling of restaurants. There are plenty of sun worshipers on the terraces during the summer and table reservations must be made well in advance.

2. Traveling is out of hand Traveling is also a luxury that is easily compromised when spending has to be curbed. Traveling from Finland is expensive, especially if the whole family is traveling.

The improvement in the financial situation is reflected in the interest in holiday travel. It is possible to escape cold seasons to the heat of the south, especially long-distance trips have attracted more and more Finns.

3. Expensive Cell Phones Make Their Stores Phones and other electronic equipment are not replaced until they are broken. Simply updating your model is not enough to justify a purchase decision. Again, this identifies a financially tight time.

However, nowadays there is a growing demand for the latest flagship products and more Finns are interested in using their mobile phones smoothly while traveling. Inexpensive models are no longer of interest to few.

4. Replacing cars New cars are expensive purchases not only at the time of purchase but also in terms of maintenance. And even if you get a car at a relatively low cost, insurance premiums and other expenses will seem like expenses.

Consumers’ confidence in the financial situation is always reflected in their purchasing preferences, and when cars are replaced, it may well be a sign of economic growth. When the financial situation is good, we are ready to make big purchases.

5. Scaffolding predicts home appliance trade Housing trade, and new construction in particular, is slowing down when consumers have no access to new homes. This may also slow down the trade associated with this, such as the replacement of household appliances.

Scaffolding and construction sites, which are now increasingly visible in at least major cities, are anticipating new housing, home sales, and growth in the supply of ancillary supplies and services. New homes also need new appliances.