The wealthiest segment and best educated, with the highest resilience and most frequent use of financial tools, Communal Elites manage their income and expenses more effectively than most. They tend to be goal-based savers but borrower relatively less frequently. They trust people and, despite being the most frequent users of formal channels, are more likely to borrow or save with family. Most are conscientious and effective financial planners.
spouse or other people
Who are they?
SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)
Communal Elites are mostly middle to high-income, married men living in rural areas, who are more educated and slightly older than Pakistanis on average. About over half identify as head of household and sole financial decision maker.
Over half of communal elites have relied on social sources of financial support in emergencies over the past two years and are confident in their ability to raise emergency funds in the future. They are the most confident segment in that regard amongst Pakistanis, reflecting their belief in the equality of their community and their relatively high SES. Given their wealth, Communal Elites may be more capable of repaying or reciprocating such support, improving their chances of securing it when needed. Moreover, they have faced fewer types of financial emergencies in the past two years than any segment. As the wealthiest segment, they may tend, in general, to be in insulated from shocks.
RESILIENCE: SOURCES OF MONEY IN AN EMERGENCY
What do they want?
Communal Elites aspire to save with banks towards long term goals and make investments to grow their income, while continuing to use and invest in their social financial networks.
How do they manage their finances?
Financial Behavior Overview
Modest Upholders’ overall financial behavior is close to average for Pakistan. This may not be surprising given they make up 40% of the overall population. Still, in light of their low SES, high income volatility, and reported lack of control over their finances, this suggests they are making the best of challenging circumstances.
Communal Elites demonstrate the strongest financial behavior of any segment, and are particularly effective at shaping their income and expenses. While their ability to cultivate receivables lags slightly behind their other measures, they nevertheless tie Modest Upholders for the strongest scores. They are strong planners, but lag slightly when it comes to the deliberateness of their savings.
Given a windfall, Communal Elites prioritize saving in banks, investing, reserving cash at home, and sharing with their friends and family. Relative to other Pakistanis, they prioritize saving in a bank and sharing a windfall with friends and family, while deprioritizing investing and keeping cash in the home. Given their comfortable financial position and low to moderate sense of control, it follows that they would put more of a windfall into bank savings, rather than income generating investments, which carry risk. Moreover, given their high trust in their social financial network and majority position as head of household, it is not surprising that they would share with their network.
HOW WINDFALL IS PRIORITIZED
HAS A PLAN TO MANAGE EXPENSES
Most Communal Elites are conscientious and identify as effective planners. Overall they experience low income volatility, have a plan to manage their expenses, and have struggled with the fewest types of bills in the past six months amongst segments. While they are conscientious and confident in the future, just over a third are deliberate, strong goal-based savers, while a similar number are not (see attitudes toward savings). Their lower than expected savings deliberateness may be driven in part by their strong feeling that they do not earn enough to save and people in their lives will likely make claims against savings they make. Yet, they would save the largest proportion of a windfall in a bank, suggesting they may aspire to plan their savings more deliberately.
Shaping Income and Expenses
Most Communal Elites experience low weekly income volatility, the lowest amongst segments. Over half report confidence in their ability to pay household bills on time, the highest rate amongst segments. Still, they report having struggled with four types of expenses over the past six months, and having struggled with slightly less than one type of emergency over the past two years, the lowest rates among segments.
QUARTERLY INCOME VOLATILITY
Communal Elites are Pakistan's most frequent savers across all measured channels, suggesting many may employ a diverse savings strategy. Most save and a third do so frequently. Though relative to other segments many save frequently save with formal accounts, like all other segments, they save most frequently with family and in the home, with nearly half using this channel.
Nearly half of Communal Elites never borrow, and they are Pakistan’s second least frequent borrowers, maintaining the second lowest number of active debt channels of any segment. Only 21% borrow frequently, quarterly or more. Family is, by far, their preferred borrowing channel, with nearly half having having borrowed from family in the past. Though they have the highest formal account borrowing rates, they are also the most likely segment to own an account and never use it to borrow, suggesting that relative to account owners in other segments, they see less value in the formal loans to which they have access. Communal Elites experience fewer emergencies than average and are significantly more confident in their ability to raise large sums in such circumstances, which they have primarily done in the past through their social network.
SOURCES OF BORROWING
ACCESS TO SMARTPHONES
Communal Elites are the most frequent technology users in Pakistan, with most owning or having access to a phone. Over three quarters use phones daily, and about half text weekly. They are the most likely segment to own a smartphone, with over a quarter owning one. About a fifth use the internet and social media on a weekly basis, by far the highest frequent usage rates among segments.
How do they think?
Communal Elites report a relatively weak sense of agency, despite their relative financial well-being. Nonetheless, they exhibit satisfaction with their lives, are optimistic about the future, and have high self-esteem.
CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE
Conscientiousness and Openness
Communal Elites are open minded and conscientious. While they are impulsive spenders, they save deliberately and frequently despite feeling they don’t earn enough to save, and plan their expenses. This suggests they are purposeful in their financial management, and spend impulsively when they feel they can afford it. Their openness and impulsivity may indicate a willingness to experiment with new product and services.
Attitude Towards Savings
Communal Elites are on average deliberate savers, although about equal numbers measure low and high in terms of savings deliberateness. Nearly three quarters feel they don’t earn enough to save, which may make it more difficult for them to save deliberately. Though they experience the lowest income volatility amongst segments, over a quarter experience high income volatility, perhaps driving these challenges. Most also feel that their savings are not safe from the claims of the friends, family and network, which may further suppress their savings, though drive their use of more private formal accounts for long-term savings. As wealthy heads of of household, many in the segment may support numerous nuclear dependents, as well as members of their extended family, eroding their ability to save.
COMFORT WITH DEBT
Attitude Towards Debt
Nearly three quarters of Communal Elites consider themselves dependable, second only to Modest Upholders. Yet, over half are uncomfortable holding debt despite their sense of dependability, relatively high SES and low income income volatility. Their anxiety around holding debt and their relatively lower need for credit may help explain why Communal Elites borrow relatively infrequently.
Trust in People
Communal Elites are the second most trusting segment after Modest Upholders, with about half having high to the highest levels of trust in people and their social financial networks. They also tend to view their communities as equal. This robust trust helps explain their deep, but nuanced, financial integration with their networks. They may find social and financial value in saving and borrowing with those around them, particularly in terms of resilience, but such involvement may expose their finances and hinder their ability to build savings due to people frequently asking them for support.
TRUST IN PEOPLE
TRUST IN BANKS
Trust in Institutions
Most Communal Elites also have high trust in banks, media, and government, but at slightly lower levels than in people. Their trust helps explain their relatively high rates of formal account ownership.
Communal Elites feel that men are better financial managers than women, but that wives and husbands should know each other’s finances.
They also believe that girls and boys should be educated about money in the same way, suggesting they may believe girls and boys should be brought closer to parity in their financial skills.