February 27, 2018
More than half of Australians are failing to monitor their finances on a weekly basis, new data shows.
According to Mortgage Choice’s Australian Financial Savviness Whitepaper, 54.9% of Australians said they did not monitor their finances at least once a week.
“The finding that more than one in two Australians are not checking their bank accounts on a weekly basis at minimum is quite alarming and it suggests that many people are keeping themselves in the dark when it comes to their finances,” Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said.
“However, ignorance is definitely not bliss and sticking your head in the sand can cost you dearly in the long run.
“Keeping a close eye on your finances is essential in helping you better manage and understand where your money is going, where you can cut back on spending, and improve your savings.
“When you know how much money you have available in your account, you will avoid overspending or withdrawing beyond your balance and being hit with an overdraft fee.
“Moreover, when you’re actively tracking your finances, you will benefit from having greater control and confidence to make decisions, whether they be small discretional expenses or a significant purchase such as a car or property.
“Lastly, being aware of your spending patterns helps you catch any unusual expenses, fees, or declined transactions you may not have otherwise not been aware of.”
Mr Flavell said monitoring finances required discipline, but there were many tools to assist consumers.
“These days, many lenders offer mobile banking apps and mobile websites which allows you to check your account activity on the go,” he said.
“There are also a range of tools in the market that can help you track your spending and some even sync with your bank account.
“That said, the focus should not just be on your bank balance. You should take a proactive approach by drawing up a budget for your pay cycle and ensure it includes all your incomings and outgoings.
“In addition, you should also create financial goals as these will provide you with direction in how you use your money. Whether it is to save for a home deposit or to pay for an overseas trip, goals will motivate you and encourage you to monitor your finances regularly so that you can see how you’re tracking.”