How do lay consumers and households understand financial strategizing?
The paper focuses on the concept of ‘financial strategies’ and addresses two problems: first, how to define the concepts of financial strategy and strategizing, and second, how to operationalize them into indicators for empirical research. The introduction to this new concept is based on the conviction that strategizing (which is understood as a specific attitude to life held by people who do not live for the moment, think about their future even if it is rather uncertain, set long-term financial goals and act towards achieving them), is an intrinsic factor in the financial behavior of people. It is argued that it is not possible to define financial strategy or to operationalize it objectively and universally since people operate in very different circumstances; i.e. in different institutional environments or at different stages of life, etc. The solution must be found in the interactionist sociological perspective with the emphasis on the construction of the interpretation of a situation: how individuals themselves make sense of financial strategizing in their own environment, the options they perceive and the constraints they feel.