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Ignorance is not bliss: poor financial awareness costing sleep

head in the sand

Australians are sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to expenditure, and it’s costing them their sleep, new research reveals.

Further, only 22 per cent of credit card holders accurately know their credit card debt. That’s according to UBank’s Know Your Numbers Index.

The index revealed that while 76 per cent of Australians remember their parent’s phone number, 86 per cent don’t know how much they spend in a month. This can contribute to financial problems over time, UBank CEO Lee Hatton said.

“While there’ll always be some costs we can’t plan for, it’s important budgets are created and stuck to, to minimise potential stress in the future,” he said.

Poor financial awareness can trickle into poor physical health as sleep and stress levels take a hit. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents conceded that their financial situation has caused them to lose sleep, or contributed to stress.

“With so many numbers to monitor and keep track of, it’s no surprise people are feeling overwhelmed, even when it comes to simple financial tasks like budgeting” Mr Hatton said.

“Financial management tools and budgeting apps are a great way for people to get on top of their money and feel in control of their finances.”

Continuing, he said that as the cost of living grew 2 per cent last year, and is currently at its strongest pace of growth in 3.5 years, it’s now more important than ever that Australians are in touch with their finances.

“Having your finances sorted is an important part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and unfortunately too many Australians are experiencing the effects of not understanding their finances. Worryingly, only one in five Australians (20 per cent) say they have full control of their finances.”

The index uncovered that 82 per cent don’t know their exact home loan rate, however Mr Hatton said greater awareness is a step towards making better financial decisions.

He said the better acquainted Australians are with their finances, the less stress and more money they will have.

“It’s important Australians borrow less and live more,” Hatton said.

“UBank encourages Australians to eliminate financial stress by reviewing their finances and finding the best deals on offer. A little bit of homework can go a long way to reduce the strain and help Australians live a bigger, happier life.”

Speaking to Nest Egg sister site Wellness Daily, financial wellness advocate Clayton Daniel said financial stress isn’t the exclusive domain of those with low incomes.

Arguing that its money management, rather than income level that makes the difference, he said, “Money stress is not always about not having enough. A lot of the time, money stress is just thinking about it too much.

“For example, someone could be on $150,000 a year but if they have a lot of fixed costs they are not tracking then the majority of their money after tax takes a scenic journey through their bank account but really belongs to everyone else. People on decent salaries have financial stress.”

He said one of the best ways to beat financial stress is to think about money less and use technology, like apps, to take care of and monitor financial situations.

Ignorance is not bliss: poor financial awareness costing sleep
head in the sand
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