Czechs are attempting to save on energy by using less heating and lighting at the beginning of the heating season, according to the latest poll.
An Edenred survey revealed the economic crisis and sharply rising energy prices are forcing two-thirds of Czechs to make a conscious effort to consume less gas and electricity, while a further consequence to spiraling inflation has been a significant reduction in restaurant visits.
Respondents are also actively combating less income by seeking out part-time jobs, and some people are even looking for side jobs.
Food and energy are the two areas where Czechs are saving the most. More than half of Czechs have reduced their visits to restaurants in connection with the economic crisis, and almost the same number of them admitted they are saving on shopping and buy cheaper food.
“This trend can be quite dangerous in the longer term,” said Aneta Martišková, director of corporate relations at Edenred. “According to independent studies, poor-quality nutrition worsens people’s health and quality of life, and affects well-being at work and work performance,” she added.
According to the survey, only 16 percent of people have limited their own car usage.
“Although the current difficult economic situation already affects most people, many still do not want to limit themselves,” explained Milan Beutl, director of carsharing company Anytime’s Czech office.
“In the last quarter, not even 10 percent saved significantly on expenses for the operation of their car. However, people use public transport a lot, and they own and share bicycles, scooters, or shared cars.”
Alcohol consumption remains at high levels
Czechs are also looking for savings elsewhere. Four out of 10 people go to fewer cultural and social events, while the same number are limiting their clothing purchases. A third of people are postponing the purchase of durable goods, i.e., consumer electronics, and up to 28 percent of people are saving on leisure activities. Interestingly, far fewer people are choosing to limit their alcohol consumption, which has long been at a very high level in the country when compared internationally.
A significant number of people have also been actively trying to improve their economic situation. Almost 13 percent of people have found a part-time job, and one in 10 have secured a second job. More than 5 percent of people said they have successfully asked for a raise, and almost as many increased their working hours with their current employer.
A total of 43 percent of Czechs said in the survey that their standard of living has worsened over the past year. Some 7 percent of respondents reported their situation had worsened by more than 25 percent, while another 20 percent felt worse off by more than a tenth. The largest group of people, almost 36 percent, assessed their standard of living as stable, while more than a fifth, on the contrary, reported an increase.