Dutch are careful, not mean, with money

The Dutch may have a reputation for meanness but according to Monday’s NRC it is more a question of being careful with their money.

And saving is a national characteristic, says the paper. The Dutch save above the rate of inflation. In 1900 national savings were €76m; by 2008 they have reached €246bn.
‘It’s because of our wide, flat countryside,’ Cor Molenaar, professor of marketing at the Erasmus university, told the NRC. ‘The Dutch are used to looking far ahead.’
But things are changing, the paper says. The younger generation is not interested in saving schemes like Airmiles and petrol stamps. And they are borrowing more than their parents.
Last year 47,500 people needed help with their debts, an increase of 3% on 2006. But Michiel Vergeer of the national statistics agency CBS told the paper that youngsters have always spent more than their parents. ‘As they get older, they start saving,’ he said.

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