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What do Dutch people do with their vacation pay?

14 July 2023

In May of last year, the familiar event took place once more - employees received their vacation pay. In the Dutch workforce, anyone employed by an employer is entitled to 8% vacation pay, even if they receive welfare benefits. Dutch individuals eagerly await their vacation pay, and it seldom catches them off guard. As a matter of fact, 85% of them are aware of receiving it, and three-quarters even look forward to it. The majority of Dutch citizens (74%) prefer to receive their vacation pay in a lump sum. Nevertheless, how they choose to utilize the money shows considerable variation, prompting us to conduct further investigation.


Earlier this year, Motivaction launched the latest Fintality whitepaper. Fintality distinguishes five segments based on people's attitudes and behaviors regarding finances. We explored what these five segments think about vacation pay and how they use it.

We observe differences in attitudes towards vacation pay and how the segments spend their vacation money. For instance, the Ambitious Activists and Light-hearted Impulsives segments often do not receive vacation pay because they are self-employed. This group does not receive vacation pay. Financial Intelligents do receive vacation pay more often, as this segment is more frequently employed by the government.

Furthermore, the non-materialistic Voluntary Moderates handle money consciously and risk-averse. They don't necessarily look forward to vacation pay. 30% of them said they didn't get excited about vacation pay. Money is a necessary evil for these Voluntary Moderates. In contrast, Controlled Enjoyers were very excited about vacation pay, even more so than the Dutch average, with 83%. This group enjoys treating themselves from time to time.

Among the impulsive and materialistic Ambitious Activists, 38% said that vacation pay is necessary to make ends meet and cope with current inflation (50%). However, 25% of them mentioned that the deposited vacation pay was a surprise. This confirms the ambivalent attitude of Ambitious Activists and how they often don't have their administration in order.

The majority of Dutch people actually use their vacation pay for the vacation itself (42%), especially Ambitious Activists. They are willing to spend money on quality of life. This group also uses vacation pay to pay off debts (14%). Light-hearted Impulsives spend their vacation money more on going out (7%) and luxury items (9%). They live in the present and are carefree about money. A quarter of Light-hearted Impulsives and Ambitious Activists said they had already spent their vacation money before receiving it.

Financial Intelligents are business-minded, independent, and deliberate about their finances. They do not need vacation pay to make ends meet (94%). They mainly use vacation pay for saving (55%) or investing (6%).

Current research shows that everyone thinks differently about money and spends it differently. This also means that as an organization, you need to approach each consumer differently to strike the right chord. Curious about what Fintality means for your organization and how to address your target audience properly? Contact our Fintality experts, Paloma Bunck or Rob Doornbos.


About the research

For the online survey, the Motivaction StemPunt panel was used. 868 Dutch people who receive vacation pay completed the questionnaire in full. The fieldwork period ran from June 12th to June 16th, 2023. The survey is representative for the characteristics of gender, age, education, region, and value orientation according to the Mentality model. Motivaction is a member of the MOA and is part of the Research Keurmerkgroep.

Paloma Bunck

Email Functie Research Manager Telefoon +31 20 589 82 18

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