Bank flags budget planning pitfalls

Credit cards

An Australian bank has revealed the top new year financial goals of Australians along with the obstacle preventing them from achieving them.

In 2017 three-quarters of Australian households will be saving for a holiday or car paying off a mortgage or building up ‘rainy day’ savings, according to Australian bank ME’s research.

However failure to keep regular budgets will prevent or limit Australian’s ability to achieve these goals.

“The key to getting ahead is tracking the real costs of your household expenses, setting a realistic budget and committing to every single detail, consistently,” Me head of deposits and transactional banking Nic Emery said.

“For some ‘live-for-today, plan-for-tomorrow’ types regular savings habits may not come naturally − if you’re one of these people, consider introducing processes such as automatic transfers that helps you set, forget and save,” he added.

Of 1,500 Australian households surveyed, more than half admitted to failing to set a weekly or monthly budget while 59 per cent do not keep a record of monthly expenses.

Meanwhile 42 per cent failed to pay off their credit card each month, incurring significant interest on their repayments.

When it came to budgeting, Mr Emery said it was vital Australians set up some sort of budgeting system they could maintain.

ME’s research found most Australians (52 per cent) only transferred money to a savings account when spare funds are present, while 15 per cent just accumulate money in an everyday account.

“For some ‘live-for-today, plan-for-tomorrow’ types regular savings habits may not come naturally − if you’re one of these people, consider introducing processes such as automatic transfers that helps you set, forget and save,” he said.

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