Does rise in Consumerism affect Savings??

Conventionally, the majority of Indians are consumerists. Every Indian, whether male or female, irrespective of their age and their income, is enthusiastic about the purchase of consumer goods. Buying or shopping has now become a means of entertainment and people tend to go on shopping to relax and become stress-free. A recent study showed that spending habit of Indians was Rs.17.05 billion during the third quarter of the financial year 2017-2018.

The shopping habit of Indians has increased exponentially over the past decade. Online shopping and smartphones are seen to be the main reason for this increase. TV commercials, discount sales, newspaper and radio advertisements, billboard hoardings, exciting offers at retail stores are all adding to the increase in spending and a decrease in saving habits of Indians. The above statement is not made to blame Indian consumers or their spending habits. Consumerism is healthy for any nation, especially for developing countries like India as it helps to improve the standard of living of individuals. It also helps companies and businesses to grow and also generate more jobs. In a way, the increase in consumerism helps in the economic growth of the country.

However, what we need to keep in mind is the decrease in the saving habit of individuals. According to statistics given by the Ministry of Statistics Programs and Information, savings by households dropped to 31.6 percent for the financial year 2015-2016 from the 32.3 percent for the previous year. As long as people were physically walking into stores and using physical cash to buy the things that they needed, their spending habit was always in check. Now with online shopping and internet payments, people tend to lose track of their expenses and thus savings seem to take a big hit. Also, the urge to buy things when retail shops or online sites announce some kind of sale has made Indian consumers to buy things that are not the need of the hour. They just buy things and stock them or keep exchanging items for newer models even when their old item is in perfect condition.

All these have led people to take less notice of their saving habit. It is true that online shopping or buying things during any sale will help consumers save money. But before jumping into the shopping mode, people need to sit back and think if what they are wishing to buy is really needed at that time. It makes sense to stock your pantry with grocery for a month or two or vegetables for a week. However, it doesn’t make sense to stock items for a longer duration or exchanging items constantly. The best way to increase your savings as well as enjoy shopping is to first keep aside a certain amount as savings for every month and then make use of the rest of your earnings for shopping and other expenses.

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