Aussies failing to save
DESTITUTE Australians are leaving themselves vulnerable by having no savings at all and many admit they are in monetary stress, alarming new figures reveal.
One in seven Australians – or the equivalent to 2.6 million people – are in severe or high financial stress and have no cash stashed for a rainy day.
Instead they are living week to week and would not be able to cope if they are struck by an emergency that requires instant funds. And one in three people admit they are two pay packets away from suffering serious financial stress if they lost their job.
The figures emerged in the annual Financial Resilience in Australia report released yesterday by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with National Australia Bank.
The data compiled by Roy Morgan polled more than 2000 Australians on their financial resilience in 2016 and the rising cost of living.
NAB chief executive officer Andrew Thorburn said it was vital financially-strapped Aussies didn’t leave themselves with no cash reserves in case of an emergency.
“The cost of living is a real concern for many Australians households so when they are hit with an unexpected bill it can be difficult to bounce back,’’ he said.
The report revealed that one in five people could not or did not know if they could raise $2000 in a week – an increase from one in eight in 2014. And just one in three Australians say they feel financially secure (31 per cent) – a five per cent decline on the previous year.
The findings come after the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week revealed the average amount of household debt has doubled in 12 years – from $94,100 in 2002-04 to $168,600 in 2015-16.
Good Shepherd Microfinance chief executive officer Adam Mooney said the report highlighted that “financial stress is rising in Australia.”
“Over the last five to 10 years there’s no doubt that income inequality is rising and secondly household is debt is up,’’ he said. “The cost of living is increasing significantly above the CPI ... we see on a daily basis many of our clients are coming in and saying they need a no-interest loan to buy an energy-efficient fridge.” We need to wake up to scale of our debt problem – Paul Murray, P64