The question “Where does the average Bulgarian spend his/her money?” is not that hard to answer, especially if one bears in mind that salaries in this country are the lowest in Europe. According to the regular three-month report of the EC on employment and the situation in the social sphere in the member-states, more than 50 percent of the Bulgarians suffer a lack of money. If the citizens of a country fail to buy at least 3 out of 9 basic products, this comes to show that they are poor, the report reads. 56 percent of the Bulgarians respond to that criterion. So, it is clear that in most cases money comes to satisfy everyday needs only.
According to the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria /CITUB/ 79 percent of the Bulgarians do not have the chance to save money and do not think this will change soon. Over 90 percent of the polled say that the government should invest urgently in the opening of new jobs, which will bring the economy back to life and will provide an opportunity for better incomes. Barely 3 percent have responded that the covering of this country’s debt should happen before the economic measures take place. Statistics says that the average salary in Bulgaria reached some EUR 375 over the first trimester of 2012. Labor is paid best in the sectors of finances and insurance, energy, telecommunications, information and media services.
Those Bulgarians with better incomes or who have any other possibility to save do the wisest thing in times of crisis – they keep their money in banks. The savings exceeded the record sum of EUR 17 bln. end-June. The financial wealth gives a sense of safety and the interests that are still good encourage the process of saving. Experts say that only in 2011 the Bulgarians increased their savings through deposit interests by some EUR 600,000. However, the process of reducing these interests is on its way and it will change the situation, although in a slow manner. The experience of the Bulgarians over the centuries has proven the power of money and sayings such as white money for black days prove that.
People in this country also invest a lot in the purchase of an own flat via a loan. However, the crisis prompts that it is dangerous now to rely on a loan, since anyone can lose his/her job in these difficult times. And the loan requires regular installments. It is a tradition in this country, though, to have a flat. The opportunities in that direction increase by the gradual decline of interests on mortgages and several bank promotions that will last till the end of the summer. Mortgages with a fixed interest for a certain period are quite popular among young people, aged up to 30. Thus their income that is not that big can bear a loan for a flat. According to Credit Centre the average sum of mortgages in June was nearly EUR 33,000, with a slight growth marked on May. CEO of Credit Center Tihomir Toshev says that the reducing of interests on these loans and the acceleration and easing of the process for their taking will increase the activities on the credit market.
However, the Bulgarians traditionally have no doubts about the taking of two loans – for education of their children and for the health of the family. This is the most precious investment, since being healthy and educated – this is the key to success.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev