Mortgage Choice and research house Core Data have surveyed Australian attitudes and behaviours in relation to their finances.
Among some of the findings, the research found “enviable” lifestyles are contributing to the financial decisions Australians are making.
"While 35 per cent of respondents said they felt pressure to keep up appearances, this surged to almost 50 per cent among respondents aged 30 years and younger. In contrast, the research found that only 20 per cent of Australians aged between 51 and 60 felt pressured to keep up appearances,” said Mortgage Choice chief executive, Susan Mitchell.
“This is unsurprising in an age where image is everything, particularly for younger generations and avid users of social media who are bombarded constantly by the enviable lifestyles of Instagram and YouTube influencers,” she said.
“Although it’s very tempting to keep up with trends, it can be a dangerous strategy to live for today and not have a strategic plan for your longer term financial security,” she said.
In particular, the survey found women face a variety of stressors with their finances, motivated in part by the gender pay gap, which hovers at around 15 per cent in Australia.
“Worryingly, the research revealed that some Australians are choosing to sacrifice their health and order to maintain their lifestyle, with almost 39 per cent of respondents forgoing regular dental check-ups and over 31 per cent forgoing private health insurance,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Of particular concern was the difference between women and men who are choosing not to make their health a priority. Over 42 per cent of females saying they forgo dental check-ups versus 35 per cent of males and 32 per cent of women are forgoing health insurance, versus 30 per cent of men,” she said.
“The research also revealed that 38 per cent of Australians are choosing to forgo buying their own home in order to keep up appearances,” she said.