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Rising Costs Challenge Australian Savings: New Survey Insights

Rising Costs Challenge Australian Savings: New Survey Insights

The ongoing cost of living crisis is increasingly squeezing the wallets of Australians, with a fresh survey from Compare the Market offering new insights into just how precarious personal finances are for many.

A recent survey of 1,005 Australians highlights that nearly a quarter of participants (24.68 percent) could only support themselves for a month or less on their savings if they encountered a job loss or an inability to work. This statistic drops to 12.04 percent for those stating they could last up to two months, while a more fortunate 16.52 percent affirmed they could sustain their lifestyle for a year or more on their savings.

Chris Ford, a spokesperson for Compare the Market, remarked on the situation, stating, "The results of this study underline the tough economic environment many individuals and families are grappling with daily, as they navigate multiple interest rate hikes and inflation surges."

One particularly striking comparison is that Australians had higher debt levels than their American and Canadian peers. This trend is most pronounced among recent homebuyers, especially those under 41 years of age. The average Australian monthly savings figure stands at AUD 964, despite these financial hurdles.

Ford emphasized the importance of strategic financial planning, noting, "Savings remain crucial. That's why making informed choices on essentials—like insurance, home loans, electricity, and fuel—can aid in building a robust savings buffer."

The survey also included responses from 1,003 individuals in the United States and 1,002 in Canada. Approximately 24.23 percent of U.S. respondents could live on their savings for one month or less, while Canada reported a similar figure at 24.25 percent. Notably, both countries fared marginally better than Australia in terms of savings longevity, with 15.85 percent of Americans and 12.97 percent of Canadians able to last 12 months or more on their savings.

Debt comparisons showed that Australians hold the highest amounts, encompassing student loans, home loans, personal loans, and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) debt. Australians owe, on average, AUD 145,140 (USD 93,935), compared to an average personal debt of USD 50,157 for Americans and CAD 50,967 (USD 37,032) for Canadians.

Additional findings reveal demographic nuances across countries. Americans and Canadians aged 26-41 are more prone to tapping into their savings monthly for expenses (37.62 percent and 33.35 percent, respectively). Conversely, the Australian Generation Z cohort, aged 18-25, reported being more frequent savers (27.61 percent using savings for expenses monthly).

Interestingly, Australian parents appeared most likely to dip into their children's savings to buffer personal financial shortfalls (15.48 percent), surpassing their Canadian (12.54 percent) and American (11.82 percent) counterparts.

Amid these revealing findings, the broader narrative underscores the necessity for prudent and informed financial management in navigating today's challenging economic landscape.

Published:Tuesday, 25th Jun 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

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