Saving Behaviour: Factors That Affect Saving Decisions
(Systematic Literature Review Approach)
Bayu Bastian Jumena*1, Steven Siaila2, Joko Rizkie Widokarti 3
*1 Postgraduate Student, Universitas Terbuka, Banten, Indonesia
2,3 Faculty of Economics, Universitas Terbuka, Banten, Indonesia
1 Section of Regional Accounts and Statistical Analysis, BPS-Statistics Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia
2 Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Pattimura, Maluku, Indonesia
A R T I C L E I N F O
Received – September 16, 2022
Revised – September 21, 2022
Accepted – September 22, 2022
A B S T R A C T
Savings have an important role as alternative funding when the primary income is
in trouble. Previous research on saving behaviour has been carried out
fragmentary, which causes the conclusions to be partial. Therefore, it is necessary
to research with a systematic literature review method to obtain a complete
conclusion about the factors that can influence individual saving decisions. In this
study, the articles used consisted of 124 published by Elsevier from 2012-2021. The
results show that over the past ten years, research on saving behaviour has been
carried out in 185 countries and ten regions, with the method used consisting of 18
analytical methods. The results of the meta-synthesis show that 15 factors can
influence the saving decision, viz: personal wealth, individual needs and
dependency, macroeconomic, demographic, financial literacy, anticipatory,
psychological and social, profit, self-obligation, financial service, savings product
marketing, job profile, self-preference, financial goals, and geographic. The fifteen
factors are classified into two groups: internal factors (consisting of 10 factors) and
external factors (consisting of 5 factors).
Humans as economic creatures cannot be separated from doing the job (to earn income),
consumption, and saving/investment activities. Therefore, each individual and household will be closely
engaged in cash flow management, which consists of cash inflow and cash outflow arrangements (Akeny
& Mwesigwa, 2021). In simple terms, those flows consist of income, expenses/spending, and savings.
Krugman & Wells (2006) and Kolmakov et al. (2021) also expressed these three variables as a general
concept in the consumption and saving equation.
In general, saving can be defined as income that is not consumed (Lee & Hanna, 2015). Therefore,
the amount of savings is strongly influenced by the income received and the consumption spent. The
existence of savings has an essential role in personal and household financial management. In many ways,
savings have a significant role as an alternative funding source when the primary source of income is in
trouble (Collins, 2015; Collins & Gjertson, 2013).
Concerning the public savings in Indonesia, the data from January 2019 to September 2021 shows
a steady in proportion. The absence of a positive trend indicates there is no increase in public interest in
savings. Moreover, the pattern during the Covid-19 pandemic shows that savings amount and public
investment have been eroded (CNN Indonesia, 2020). However, savings amount of above five billion
increased by three times during the pandemic (Kompas, 2020). Based on these contradictory facts, it
indicates there are certain factors that affect the level of savings. Therefore, it can be concluded that
various internal and external aspects can influence the decisions and behaviour of individuals in saving.
To solve this issue, new research is required to identify various factors that may influence saving
behaviour. Quantitative research methods using regression analysis (multiple regression, panel regression,
and logistic regression) as well as multivariate analysis (factor analysis, principal component analysis, and
structural equation modelling) can be carried out to determine these factors (Gujarati & Porter, 2009;
Vaughn, 2017). However, limitations related to data availability at the individual level are the main issues
that complicate the implementation of the two analytical methods. As the solution, qualitative research
using the systematic literature review (SLR) method can be carried out. This method is effective to create
a conceptual framework about the factors that can influence saving behaviour by referring to the up-to-
date research results (Edward & McCrae, 2020; Jesson et al., 2011; Saltikov, 2012).
Consumption and Savings
Consumption is a primary activity carried out by each individual. This consumption uses or
utilizes goods and services to fulfill personal needs (Kusairi et al., 2019). On the household scale, the
consumption amount will depend on the family size (Skinner, 2007). In simple words, saving may be
defined as a choice between consuming now or in the future (Masson et al., 1995; Swasdpeera & Pandey,
2012). However, a saving decision is intended to achieve financial goals, especially to maintain the
financial balance to fulfill emergency needs and to reduce risk when inadequate future resources (Haider
et al., 2018).
Two theories discuss savings: the life cycle hypothesis (Ando & Modigliani, 1963; Modigliani &
Ando, 1957; Modigliani & Brumberg, 1954) and the permanent income hypothesis (Friedman, 1957). In
the life cycle hypothesis, a person's motive for saving is to consume it in the future. The person is assumed
to tend to maintain a constant level of consumption so that the individual tends to consume less than the
economic resources they have. Meanwhile, the permanent income hypothesis reveals that individual
consumption will be proportional to the estimated permanent income. The person will adjust consumption
according to their perception of permanent income earned over a lifetime. If the perceived level of
permanent income changes, the individual will respond by adjusting their level of consumption.
Individual/Household Financial Management
Financial management can be defined as making regular financial plans, executing plans (paying
for consumption purposes), evaluating expenses, and allocating savings (Engel et al., 2019; Kartikasari &
Muflikhati, 2016; Sofa & Mukhlisin, 2020). In financial planning, the preparation process includes
determining financial goals and describing the action to achieve them (Altfest, 2004; Dzutsev, 2016).
Meanwhile, planning execution is an action to realize the targets. Then the evaluation consists of checking
the receipts (cash flow), expenses (cash outflow), total assets, and debts.
In principle, financial management aims to increase financial well-being, raise net worth, increase
liquid savings, and reduce debt. In addition, another purpose is the enrich the level of satisfaction based
on the current level of welfare and financial condition (Godwin, 1990).
Decision-making refers to an individual's action to choose one or several alternatives from many
available options. The selection has a broad scope, ranging from product preferences, investment, politics,
and other decisions (Takemura, 2014). Although it looks simple, there are various forms of decision-
making depending on the situation at hand. According to Takemura (2014), decision-making is
categorized into three groups: decision under certainty, under risk, and under uncertainty.
Every decision-making has a motive for why people choose a certain alternative. After the targets
are determined, there will be a set of options consisting of various considerations. After evaluating the
magnitude of the benefits and costs arising from these alternatives, a decision/choice will be made.
However, due to the limitations of a person's cognitive abilities, the decision-making process will be
carried out using the heuristic method, simplifying the decision process by eliminating and ignoring some
information and paying attention to certain aspects. Nevertheless, it is possible that someone will carefully
consider all available options (referred to as rational decisions) or decide intuitively (Willman-Iivarinen,
Saving Motives and Behaviour
Identifying individual decisions on saving money is not an easy thing. It is caused by diverse
situational factors faced by each person (Nyhus, 2018). Discussing those motives, one of the most
important economic theories explaining saving is the behavioural life-cycle hypothesis (BLCT) proposed
by Modigliani and Brumberg (1954). According to this theory, individuals will keep a portion of their
income to finance consumption in the future, especially when they are no longer earning. In this context,
the primary motivation that drives someone to save is the desire to collect money for retirement. Therefore,
the theory assumes everyone has three income accounts: current income, current assets, and future assets
In BLCT, it is also explained that each person desires to fulfill his every desire to maximize
enjoying his assets. However, the individual has difficulty in choosing between wanting to consume it
now or saving. Ultimately, the individual will reconcile his desire to consume and save by combining tools
such as framing, mental accounting, and self-control rules that aim to regulate the sources of
expenditure/consumption following the predetermined allocation (Statman, 2017).
In addition, according to the BLCT theory, every person will be faced with two choices in financial
planning if he lives: investment and saving. In investment decisions, individuals are faced with investing
premium costs into various options of financial assets that are available appropriately so that future
consumption can run smoothly. As for the decision to save, the individual must determine how smooth
their consumption is over time by considering the size of the pension premium and the benefits to be
received (Bovenberg et al., 2007).
Source and Population
The data used in this study are full paper articles obtained from the ScienceDirect database by
using "saving" as the keyword. These articles were published over the last ten years, from 2012-2021. All
of the articles in ScienceDirect have high quality because it was published by Elsevier and indexed by
Scopus. Accessing the database can be obtained through membership in the National Library of the
Republic of Indonesia. Data access is done through the National Library's e-Resources service (https://e-
To simplify the process of management and analysis of the article, this research utilizes Microsoft
Excel, Publish or Perish, Zotero, and NVivo. Microsoft Excel and Publish or Perish are helpful to manage
the results of extracting data from the database consisting of title, abstract, year of publication, and other
essential information. NVivo is used to assist in coding/re-coding the findings in the article.
In addition, inclusion-exclusion parameters were applied in the data collection process. It is
intended to maintain the quality of the articles obtained. The parameters consist of research themes, journal
indexation, period/year of publication, type of research, journal subject, and publication type. In detail,
the criteria and explanation of each of these parameters are contained in Table 1.
Table 1. Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Research published in the range of
2012 – 2021 (last 10 years)
Research published before 2012
Subject in economics, econometrics, and
- Indexed by ScienceDirect Published in
not predatory journal
- Not indexed by ScienceDirect
- Published in predatory journal
Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed
Analyze the factors that influence saving
Source: Authors’ own research, 2022
Stages and Techniques of Data Analysis
In general, the stages carried out in this research include four steps, namely:
1. Step 1: search for a particular theme using ScienceDirect's database. The first step is open the
website www.sciencedirect.com or via https://e-resources.perpusnas.go.id/lib/37 and type the
2. Step 2: select 42,164 documents and applying the inclusion-exclusion provisions until get 124
3. Step 3: synthesizing 124 selected articles by copying in RIS format into Zotero, VOS Viewer, and
4. Step 4: conduct an analysis of the selected articles, including quantitative analysis using meta-
synthesis and content analysis.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
Based on the systematic literature review (SLR) process, 124 articles were obtained and were
worthy of further analysis. Table 2 shows that the articles come from 42 journals. Every year, an average
of 12.40 articles are published and discuss the factors influencing saving behaviour. As for the type of
research and the analytical method used, 95 percent are quantitative research, while the others are
qualitative research. In addition, the most common analytical method is regression, with 81 percent.
Table 2. Overview of SLR Results
2012 – 2021
Average number of publications per year
Number of authors
Number of document (single author)
Number of document (collaborative author)
Source: Authors’ own research, 2022
In addition, if examined based on article indexation, all articles are published by Elsevier and have
been indexed by Scopus. In detail, 74 articles have been indexed by Scopus Q1, which means that 60
percent of the articles used have the highest rank. Furthermore, as many as 43 others were indexed in Q2
(35 percent), one article was indexed to Scopus Q3, and six are not categorized into certain quartiles.
The results of a meta-synthesis of 124 articles show that 15 factors can influence a person's or
household's decision to save. The fifteen factors can be grouped into two groups/classifications: internal
and external. In further detail, these factors showed in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Conceptual Map of Factors Affecting Saving Decisions
Source: Authors’ own research, 2022
The accumulation of assets owned by a person will be used for consumption, both now and in the
future. When the current consumption posture does not change significantly, the wealth level will affect
the saving rate (Altug & Firat, 2018; Bucciol & Trucchi, 2021; Gelman et al., 2020). However, the savings
amount is determined by income relatively, i.e., when individuals have a higher-than-average income in
their domicile will tend to save more (Gruber, 2018).
Furthermore, accumulating assets and wealth also influences a person's savings. Richer individuals
will save more caused of precautionary motives (Caporale et al., 2014; Ma & Toda, 2021; Yin, 2021). In
addition, the desire to save will increase when the wealth has positive growth (Achury et al., 2012). Besides
it, being born into a rich family will increase the tendency to save money in the future (Brounen et al.,
2016). Unfortunately, the pattern will differ if reviewed based on the ownership of long-term assets (e.g.,
land). Ownership of these assets has an inverse relationship with savings rates, where individuals with large
land assets tend to have a much lower annual willingness to contribute/deposit (Mitchell & Mukherjee,
Individual Needs and Dependencies
In the economic equation, income will equal total consumption and saving. Assuming that there is
no change in income, a difference in consumption will directly affect the amount of the individual's savings.
The details of individual expenditure can be categorized into four categories: current necessity, debt
ownership, future necessity, and other necessity.
Although savings are intended for long-term future necessities, sometimes these funds are used to
cover urgent necessities like emergency incidents (Sherraden et al., 2013). These needs vary with the
person's burden, for example, the number of dependents members in the family (Doker et al., 2016; Gu et
al., 2020; Horioka & Terada-Hagiwara, 2012). Specifically for the burden on the family, increasing the
dependency ratio will cause the household to decrease the saving rate, both in the short and long term (Akay
et al., 2021; Ismail & Rashid, 2013). The dependents ratio consists of caring for parents and children who
have unemployed. Concerning parental care, the share costs will be higher when the number of siblings is
less. Likewise, the number of children that increases will cause a high cost of fulfilling their necessities.
Therefore, the urgent necessity and dependency will lower the saving rate (Ge et al., 2018).
As for debt, its existence has a positive role in increasing liquidity. However, it has implications
for the payment burden in the future. The amount of the repayment gives an additional portion to the
expenditure posture. Consequently, the saving allocation will automatically decrease (Khanthavit, 2017;
Tunc & Yavas, 2016). Nevertheless, there are differences in the effects caused by the type of debt. For a
hypothetical loan, this debt is mostly used to accumulate home equity, and it can be considered savings.
However, it implies the addition of the instalment portion in the future. Then the consumptive loan, which
is used for consumption purposes, has a more significant negative impact on savings rates. The last is a
productive loan which is used to inject capital purposes. It will positively affect the level of savings (Tunc
& Yavas, 2016).
Literacy in finance management is quite essential for each person. With this knowledge, a person
understands the financial problem better and can arrange the financial plan carefully and appropriately
(Brounen et al., 2016; Kapounek et al., 2016; Ongena & (Ania) Zalewska, 2018). Even financial literacy
may affect to total contribution to saving, the choice of the type of savings or investment, to the decision
to participate in retirement savings and insurance that have long-term benefits (e.g., health insurance and
life insurance) (Goda et al., 2020; Jappelli & Padula, 2013; Koh et al., 2021).
At the individual level, the person with good financial literacy tends to have additional assets like
deposit accounts. However, they have a low interest to save in life insurance products. It is caused by the
low return they obtain. These preferences and behaviours seem more straightforward in the middle
economic class (Grohmann, 2018). In conclusion, the effect of financial literacy broadly is in increasing
financial inclusion and savings (Morgan & Long, 2020). Therefore, for anticipating other individuals with
low financial literacy, automating participation in savings programs become the option to increase their
savings (Goda et al., 2020).
The potential for financial shocks is very likely to occur at any time. Among the risks that cannot
be insured is uncertainty in household income and expenditure (Wang & Wen, 2012). Therefore, one of
the savings functions is covering that possible risks (Barceló & Villanueva, 2016; Carroll et al., 2021; De
Nardi & Fella, 2017; Gu et al., 2020; Levenko, 2020; Wang & Wen, 2012). In In addition, the motive of
saving for anticipation is essential in influencing individual behaviour on allocating the consumption and
saving (Kim, 2013).
Based on prudential motives, savings aim to build sufficient reserves to cover incidental expenses
due to adverse events such as illness or accidents. Similarly, anticipatory protection refers to achieving a
level of savings that is quite enough to pay for certain expenses such as housing, college education, or
retirement (Bohr et al., 2019; Chamon et al., 2013). In addition, the precautionary motive has an important
role in influencing the sensitivity of high-debt households to be warier of future income declines caused by
unemployment. Also, it motivates the person to have adequate savings at the end of life (Nakajima, 2020).
Psychological and Social
Internally, the psychological condition and the learning results have a relationship with financial
attitudes and behavior. From the external, the surrounding society has influenced the dogma adopted.
Therefore, if related to several more derivative variables, psychological and social factors have four derived
variables: self-control, learning outcomes, individual experiences, social comparisons, and prevailing
social values and norms.
Some individuals find it difficult to save for long-term goals which are caused by several reasons,
including the temptation to spend their current income (Piotrowska, 2019; Sherraden et al., 2013). The
existence of high self-control and the right mindset toward financial behavior allows the individual to set
long-term financial goals, and expenditure planning will increase (Hayo & Neumeier, 2017; Rey-Ares et
al., 2021; Sherraden et al., 2013; Yao et al., 2019). The learning that individuals have experienced as adults,
teenagers, and when children influence saving behavior today (Otto, 2013). Even individuals with their
children are accustomed to saving and tend to have a positive relationship with saving monthly in adulthood
(Brown & Taylor, 2016).
Regarding savings, the attitude of comparing to other people's saving motivate the individual to
increase the amount of savings (Ashtiani et al., 2020). Meanwhile, related to social norms, individuals who
live in a society that upholds collectivism, tend to have low savings rates. It is due to the understanding of
the community that upholds public interests rather than individual interests (Srivisal et al., 2021).
Profits to be Gained
Everyone has different financial freedom targets, including differences in managing their liquid
assets. Each individual's preference for saving is based on the desire to obtain utility from actions to
accumulate wealth (Dreyer et al., 2013). Therefore, when a person's financial target has been achieved, the
effect on the individual's saving behavior will change. It can even stop the saving habit that has been done
so far (Sattinger, 2013).
Regarding possible profits, a case study on access to cellular savings (mobile money) shows that
increasing interest rates affect the number of deposits in these banking (Batista & Vicente, 2020). In
addition, when the savings are intended for long-term purposes (e.g., retirement preparation savings),
obtaining adequate information regarding the benefits of saving becomes very important. Sending
information about the phases of accumulation and deduction of retirement savings can make more
significant contributions to retirement accounts. In contrast, individuals who do not obtain this information
will not have higher growth motivations (Goda et al., 2014). In addition, the existence of programs that can
accelerate the achievement of financial targets will be an attraction for someone to save. Some catchy cases
are intervening savings by prizes (e.g., annual sweepstakes). Although prize savings are not the only
formula to increase individual savings, the effect is significant, especially for the low-income group (Atalay
et al., 2014; Cookson, 2018; Linardi & Tanaka, 2013).
Maintaining a commitment to keep saving for some individuals is tricky. That responsibility can
be encouraged through the continuous and consistent application of self-discipline. Therefore, applying
and determining the mandatory contribution amount are the right ways to overcome this problem (Ongena
& (Ania) Zalewska, 2018). However, the contribution amount must be considered according to the profile
of each customer. In some cases where customers are poor, increasing the contribution rate will reduce
savings (Knapp et al., 2021). In addition, the amount of the obligation also affects other groups of society,
especially those who use savings products to prepare for retirement. Unlike the case for individuals who
do not allocate savings for retirement preparation, the increase and determination of the deposit amount do
not affect all the savings (Goodman, 2020).
In addition, the existence of reminder services and savings advertisements (such as text messages
sent to customers) positively impacts maintaining the saving commitment. Even these advertisements can
encourage an increase in formal savings among the public (Kast et al., 2018; Rodríguez & Saavedra, 2019).
These messages can be sent regularly 1-2 times every month containing the campaigns about savings
benefits and promos(Loibl et al., 2018). Overall, that strategy can improve the financial literacy of
individual recipients of the message, which in the end, the individual realizes and feels the need to save
(Mitchell & Mukherjee, 2017).
In general, the source of income for most of the community comes from wages/salaries and profits
from entrepreneurship. Therefore, job ownership is essential to a person's saving behavior (Doker et al.,
2016). When someone does not have a job, that individual has no cash flow. As a result, budgeting
allocation of income for consumption and saving/investment purposes will not occur at all. It is different if
one has a job as a laborer or an entrepreneur, they have cash inflow into their balance sheet, which requires
them to manage their financial posture, including allocations for consumption and savings.
Regarding employment status, individuals working in the public/formal sector tend to have higher
savings than those in the non-public/non-formal sector (Lugauer et al., 2019). The same is true for those
who work in the agricultural sector, where most workers in the agricultural sector tend to have lower
savings rates than workers in other sectors (Mishra & Chang, 2012). Both are caused by the low bargaining
power of wages in the agricultural sector and other non-formal sectors. Moreover, the absence of social
security/safety net and similar insurance has exacerbated income disparities between sectors. In addition,
employment status as a laborer or entrepreneur and retirement age affect savings rates differently (De Nardi
& Fella, 2017; Knapp et al., 2021).
Even if a person has a good financial literacy and knows that the general purpose of saving is to
prepare funds for future consumption, it does not necessarily mean that the individual decides to set aside
current income and save. Each person has a preference in determining the use of their finances. In some
areas and countries where people's welfare is quite good, the older generations are reluctant to save. It is
based on their preference to obtain immediate satisfaction at the current time (Dobrescu et al., 2012).
It is different for the young generation, who have different preferences for preparing finances for
the future. Time preference is another alternative chosen based on the logical framework since there is a
trade-off between the utility of funds for now and in the future. When an individual thinks that preparing
pension funds is mandatory, they have chosen a preference to fulfill their consumption in the future (Finke
& Huston, 2013).
In various aspects, the actions taken by a person have a specific purpose. This motive drives people
to do anything, including the decision to set aside money and save it. In the financial aspect, many financial
targets want to achieve. However, of the many goals, financial independence and financing for future needs
are the two dominant motives that encourage someone to save (Bucciol & Trucchi, 2021). The findings in
the field reinforce this fact. The case studies of banking customers show that low-income customers who
open savings accounts without clear and explicit financial goals tend to have low savings commitments
(Rodríguez & Saavedra, 2019).
From the macroeconomic aspect, many derivative variables can influence a person's decision to
save, ranging from the amount of income tax, interest rates, inflation, and bubble economy phenomena to
- Income Tax
Assuming that the aggregate cash flows of income and expenditure are constant and ignore
potential adjustments to consumption patterns, an increase in income tax rates will directly
affect the residual income that is not consumed. The increase in the tax rate will reduce the
disposable income that the individual can consume. As a result, when the number of real
incomes decreases while consumption patterns remain, the number of funds to be saved will
decrease. Therefore, mathematically an increase in the average income tax rate will reduce the
level of financial and total individual savings (Creedy et al., 2015).
- Interest Rate
Based on the substitution hypothesis over time, the real interest rate earned by individuals
positively affects savings. Although this effect may be cyclical, it makes sense that the interest
rate is a determining factor because it affects the amount of income/yield that customers will
get through savings (Achury et al., 2012; Adema & Pozzi, 2015; Altug & Firat, 2018; Gu et al.,
2020; Ma & Toda, 2021).
However, the effect caused by the interest rate will differ for everyone. It depends on the
duration of the savings they chose. In short-term savings, the interest rate will not have a
significant effect because the primary motive for saving someone is dominated by the security
motive to deposit money before it is used for consumption soon. Unlike the case with long-term
savings (such as retirement savings and time deposits), the effect of interest rates is very
significant because it is correlated with the level of income and accumulated savings that will
be obtained (Karlan & Zinman, 2018).
Inflation reflects the rate of change in the prices of commodities consumed by the public. From
the perspective of currency exchange rates against goods and services, inflation describes the
weakening of the exchange rate of money against purchased commodities.
Inflation that occurs continuously and is high will negatively affect individual saving decisions
(Akay et al., 2021; Hayo & Neumeier, 2017; Ismail & Rashid, 2013). The amount of money
kept under high inflation will only be harmful. It is caused by the amount of money saved in
real terms will continue to decrease. It is contrary to the purpose of saving individuals who use
saving activities to accumulate some funds to be spent in the future. If the interest rate cannot
substitute the inflation rate, saving becomes an irrational option because the real value of money
saved in the future will be smaller than the current real value.
- The Bubble Economy Phenomenon
The current era often shows unique economic phenomena. One of them is the increasing
popularity of certain commodities and assets unnaturally. This impropriety can be seen in
quickly creating a reasonably high economic value. Some examples are the wave of love, agate,
NFT, and cryptocurrency.
The individual's response to buying these commodities and assets at high prices will burden the
individual's balance sheet. This burden will be exacerbated when the purchase motive is for
investment and speculative purposes, with the funding source coming from debt. As a result,
within a certain period, the individual will experience a loss of assets which will ultimately
affect the withdrawal of the number of savings on a large scale so that the cumulative amount
of savings held will decrease significantly (Nofsinger, 2012). Therefore, the existence of a
bubble economy is precarious for individuals with low financial literacy, and its effect on saving
behavior is negative.
- Economic Stability
A good economic performance which is illustrated by the growth of Gross Domestic
Product/GDP will give an optimistic perception to the people. This optimism is related to the
sustainability and availability of current and future resources, which can stimulate production
and consumption. Therefore, this condition allows individuals to take advantage of existing
resources to be utilized and create economic value. On the other hand, this condition also gives
confidence to individuals to save to fulfill investments or consumption in the future. Therefore,
the impact of GDP per capita growth is positive and significant in the long term
(Bussolo et al., 2017; Gu et al., 2020; Ismail & Rashid, 2013; Lyons et al., 2018; Niculescu-
Aron & Mihaescu, 2014).
A person's demographic profile also influences the decision to save. Several variables derived from
these demographic factors consist of education, gender, age at marriage, number of child ownership, health
level and life expectancy, age, and age at first having assets.
Education level has a strong correlation with literacy level, including financial literacy.
Therefore, individual achievement in education will positively affect a person's savings
probability (Brown & Taylor, 2016). It is different for individuals with low education and low
socioeconomic backgrounds. It is closely related to the preference not to save (Lyons et al.,
- Gender and age of marriage
For married individuals, women's participation in household financial management will impact
the tendency to have low savings. It is due to women's preference to spend more on consumption
related to welfare improvement (e.g., food and other household needs), so they are less likely
to have any remaining savings at the end of the month (Rink & Barros, 2021). Especially if the
woman lives with a low socioeconomic profile in the household, has low education, and has a
low income, the probability of not having savings is higher (Lyons et al., 2018).
Furthermore, if we look at it from a gender perspective where everyone is unmarried, the saving
behavior between women and men will also be different. It is closely related to the will of men
to marry women. Men will increase their savings rate to increase their relative position in the
marriage market (Du & Wei, 2013). Therefore, this also explains the phenomenon that single
men's savings are higher than other married men. The decision to postpone marriage also
increases men's savings rates (Nie, 2020).
- Number of children's ownership
Children require various financing, daily education, and health costs, so they rely on their
parents entirely. Therefore, the number of children owned has a multiplier effect on the
expenses. As a result, the correlation between the number of children and household savings is
negative (Lugauer et al., 2019; Mitchell & Mukherjee, 2017).
- Health level and life expectancy
Health condition correlates with the risk of death and life expectancy. Individuals who expect
to live longer and have a source of income for life tend to save more. It is based on expectations
and beliefs to enjoy the results of savings in the future. In addition, the decision to hold in the
form of bonds and deposits is also possible because it is still possible to enjoy it in the future
(Cocco & Gomes, 2012; Sattinger, 2013). Therefore, improving the health condition and life
expectancy tends to increase the savings (Sattinger, 2013).
The saving motive for consumption and covering the necessity when retired is a common reason
for everyone. It is easy to explain because future consumption has certainty regarding sources
of financing (Białowolski, 2019). Therefore, one of the financial decisions that will be taken is
to sacrifice current welfare for future results. This action is in the form of setting aside a certain
amount of money for future needs (Brounen et al., 2016).
- Age of first owning the asset
Besides the age variable in general, there is a different explanation for the first age at having
assets. Owning assets can create an identity bond between the person and their goals.
Individuals who own assets early, whether based on personal gain or gifts from others, will
learn naturally to deal with financial difficulties, although in more straightforward stages. As a
result, these individuals are more aware of the importance of preparing savings to achieve future
goals (Elliott & Sherraden, 2013).
Access to financial services has an important role in encouraging people to save. Gaps in access to
financial services can be measured by the presence and distance to the nearest financial institutions, ATMs,
and banks. The closer infrastructure and financial services (ATMs and banks) will increase the total
accumulated savings. On the other hand, the farther the distance from financial services will make it
difficult for the person to gain access to finance. As a result, it will encourage the individual to change
savings into informal assets such as animals, grain supplies, or jewelry, even though these informal savings
have a lower rate of return than savings. formal (Horioka & Terada-Hagiwara, 2012; Steinert et al., 2018;
Moreover, convenience and speed are essential in attracting and motivating customers to save in
the current digital era. It can be understood from the aspect of time efficiency, where these customers will
save travel costs. Mobile banking services also offer transaction services around the time and eliminate
visiting the banks physically. In fact, through the mobile banking service, bank account transactions can
be tracked easily via mobile phones, making it easier for the person to adjust the balance of expenses and
income. Even empirical studies also show that individuals who use mobile financial services are more
likely to save than those who do not. Therefore, the use of mobile financial services should be encouraged
to increase (Loaba, 2021; Lyons et al., 2018; Ouma et al., 2017; Steinert et al., 2018).
Savings Product Marketing
Not each person is familiar with savings products comprehensively. In rural, savings products often
appear in a simple form without any definite profit-sharing provision. The same pattern occurs for
individuals living in urban. Not everyone follows the latest update in various savings services. Therefore,
the existence of marketing agents is essential to educate people regarding financial products that are
relevant to them (Mitchell & Mukherjee, 2017).
In many cases, savings products do not have to be in the form of money savings. Some other
products that have developed recently include gold savings, bonds, and stocks. The most important is the
provision of savings products by adjusting to the current market demand (Aggarwal et al., 2018; Walker,
2020). Apart from that, the complexity of registering as a customer becomes the other dimension
considered by prospective customers. One of the reasons for the unwillingness for saving in the bank is
caused by complicated requirements and procedures. Therefore, the financial services industry needs to
simplify the bureaucracy (Goldin et al., 2020).
Individuals and households who work and live in urban areas tend to have higher savings than
those in rural areas (Lugauer et al., 2019). It is due to the difference in job availability in those two regions.
Generally, jobs in urban areas tend to be more formal and give more benefits. In addition, economic spin
in urban occurs faster than in rural areas, so the potential income that can be achieved is more promising.
Apart from regional differences, the duration of stay may influence the savings rate. This
relationship is visible as an inverted U-shape. When the stay has reached 7-13 years, the ability to save will
increase compared to individuals who have only lived around 0-6 years (Akay et al., 2021). It can be
understood when viewed from the aspect of the individual's adaptability to the new living environment.
After individuals migrate to new areas and plan to settle down in the initial period, many adjustments
happen, including increased consumption expenditures. Following the adaptation, the level of spending on
various things (such as household equipment and necessities for the beginning of living) can be reduced.
Assuming that other consumption levels are tetrasporous, it is inevitable that the reduction in consumption
will be substituted into savings funds.
Based on the results and discussion, there is two points conclusions. First, there were 124 articles
selected from a systematic literature review. The articles were by 289 authors and published in 42 journals
from 2012-2021. The research locus covers 185 countries and ten regions, with the number of analytical
methods used reaching 18 types. For the aspect quality, 74 articles were indexed by Scopus Q1, and 50
another were indexed by Scopus Q2, Q3, and NA.
Second, there are 5 clusters related to the research domain, viz: cluster 1 (investment and financial
literacy), cluster 2 (pension), cluster 3 (external factors that can influence saving decisions), cluster 4
(individual savings), and cluster 5 (household savings). Then from the results of the meta-synthesis, it
obtained 15 factors that can influence saving decisions, namely: anticipatory, demographic, geographical,
individual needs and dependency, personal wealth, profit to be obtained, personal obligations, financial
service, financial literacy, macroeconomic, savings product marketing, self-preference, job profile,
psychological and social factors, and financial goals. The fifteen factors are classified into two groups:
internal factors (consisting of 10 factors) and external factors (consisting of 5 factors).
As for the obstacles in this study, the results only show the total number of factors influencing a
person's or household's decision to save. Meanwhile, the magnitude of each factor has not been explained.
Determining the magnitude of the influence is very important, primarily if the findings are used as a basis
for policy interventions. By obtaining the share of each factor, the effectiveness of the outcome can be
achieved only by intervening with a few dominant factors.
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