May 21, 2015
New data has found the vast majority of Australians are “worried” about their financial situation.
According to Mortgage Choice's 2015 Money Survey, 53.6% of Australians indicated that they were either “very worried” or “concerned” about their finances – slightly up on this time last year.
Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough said while the vast majority of respondents are concerned by their financial situation, the survey shows most Australians are actually saving more money and paying off debt faster than ever before.
“When asked how much debt (excluding a mortgage) they had, 56.0% of Australians said they had less than $10,000 in debt, with 43.2% of those saying their debt was actually less than $5,000,” she said.
“Furthermore, one in every three Australians indicated that they had more than $20,000 in savings – up from the previous year. In 2014, less than 30% of respondents indicated that they had more than $20,000 in savings, with 49.9% stating that they had less than $10,000 stored away in their bank account.
“Finally, the majority of Australians said they like to keep a close eye on their day to day spending habits, with 60.8% admitting they check their bank accounts at least once a week – up from 55.9% in 2014.
“All of this data would suggest Australians are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to managing their finances and controlling their spending.”
Of course, while the survey results would suggest Australians continue to hone and improve their money management skills, Ms Darnbrough said the fact that so many Australians are worried about their financial situation cannot be underestimated.
“For those who do worry about their financial situation on a regular basis, there are a few easy tricks they can implement to better manage their finances, save more money and pay down their debts faster,” she said.
Mortgage Choice identifies the top three tips Australians can implement to better manage their finances:
- Consolidate: If you have quite a bit of credit card debt or a few personal loans with high interest rates, you might consider consolidating this debt into your home loan. Consolidating your existing debt into your home loan can help you to reduce the interest you pay on each of your debts – as the interest rate on a home loan is generally a lot lower than the interest charged on credit cards.
- Transfer balances: If you have a sound credit history but a few credit cards with high interest rates, you may be able to negotiate with your financial institution to have your credit card debt transferred onto another card with a lower interest rate. Sometimes you can even get a low introductory interest rate and use this period to make extra payments on your card.
- Use a high interest savings account: By investing your money into a high interest savings account you could be regularly earning interest on your savings. These accounts often cannot be accessed via ATM or EFTPOS, which should also help to reduce any impulse spending.
If you would like learn more about your home loan or financial advice options, call 13 77 62.