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Debt, bills and everyday expenses are roadblocks for Aussies looking to save

  • March 04 2022
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Debt, bills and everyday expenses are roadblocks for Aussies looking to save

By Jon Bragg
March 04 2022

One in four adults are not able to set aside money to save.

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Debt, bills and everyday expenses are roadblocks for Aussies looking to save

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  • March 04 2022
  • Share

One in four adults are not able to set aside money to save.

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Australians have identified the cost of debt repayments, bills and everyday expenses as their greatest challenges to saving money.

25 per cent of the adults surveyed by NAB late last year said that these costs meant they were not left with enough money to save, rising to 29 per cent for women and 35 per cent for individuals on a low income.

Managing expenses to avoid dipping into savings was also identified as a significant obstacle for 20 per cent of all respondents.

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Not having enough money to save after spending on leisure purchases presented a challenge to 20 per cent of those aged 18-29 and 11 per cent of the population overall.

Other potential issues for Aussies include knowing how much to save to avoid having to withdraw again later on (7 per cent) and losing motivation (6 per cent).

Despite these potential roadblocks, 76 per cent of all Aussies said they were trying to save during the fourth quarter, including around nine in ten people aged 18-29.

“Australians want to save but actually doing it is another thing because of household expenses and everyday activities,” said NAB group executive personal banking Rachel Slade.

“We encourage customers to look at their income and expenses. Customers can do a budget and then work out how much they’d need in an emergency fund, so they’re not caught out with a surprise bill or an unexpected major purchase.”

43 per cent of Aussies reported that their savings had fallen during the past three months.

The net number of women who suffered a decrease in savings reached -25 per cent compared to -9 per cent for men. Additionally, the net number of low income earners with less savings (-41 per cent) was significantly higher than for high income earners (-1 per cent).

On the outlook for next year, the net number of Aussies expecting an increase in their savings reached 7 per cent, including 3 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men and a wide gap between high income (22 per cent) and low income (-12 per cent) earners.

NAB also reported a “significant gulf” between the net number of men who said they were better off financially than a year earlier (2 per cent) versus the net number of women who said they were worse off (-9 per cent).

“High income earners (18 per cent) on balance also believe they are better off, while a much higher number in the low income groups said they were worse off (-35 per cent),” NAB said.

A roughly equal proportion of men and women (13 per cent) believe they will be better off in a year’s time. More Aussies in the high income bracket expected to be better off (31 per cent), however more low income earners expected to worse off (-10 per cent).

Dipping into savings was identified as the biggest challenge to managing personal finances according to 20 per cent of respondents, ahead of spending impulsively (13 per cent), developing and sticking to a budget (11 per cent) and running out of money before payday (10 per cent).

Debt, bills and everyday expenses are roadblocks for Aussies looking to save
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