Japan Data

Salarymen’s Spending Money Failing to Rise


The average amount of spending money among male company workers in Japan was ¥39,836 per month in 2018.

A survey conducted by Shinsei Bank revealed that male company employees in 2018 had on average ¥39,836 in personal spending money per month, an increase of ¥2,408 over the previous year. The monthly average for three consecutive years since 2015 was around ¥37,000, but now the amount is roughly on par with the monthly average for 2014. Spending money for Japanese salarymen remains largely unchanged since 2011 despite the robust recovery of the Nikkei stock average due to monetary easing.

Average spending money among male company workers varies according to their situation. Unmarried men have around ¥50,000 per month, whereas for married men it ranges from just under ¥30,000 to around ¥35,000. So there is a more than ¥10,000 gap between the two. Money is particularly tight for men with children up to 18 years old, probably because of their need to cover educational expenses.

The Shinsei Bank survey also gauged the perceived burden of the consumption tax. Currently, 73.1% of the men surveyed said that the 8% tax was either a major or a minor burden, but that percentage rose to 83.9%, when the same respondents were asked about the burden if the consumption tax is increased as planned to 10% next October. Among women, the perceived burden of a 10% consumption tax was even greater, with 93.6% describing it as either a major or a minor burden, while 80.4% said the same about the current 8% tax.

For around the past 40 years the Salaried Worker Pocket Money Survey has been conducted annually, just prior to the summer bonus season. It was launched in 1979 by the consumer-finance firm Lake KK. The conducting of the survey was taken over by the Shinsei Bank Group in 2008 after it acquired Lake KK.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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