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Living costs hamper Aussies’ savings

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Most Aussies are trying to pool their pennies but are hamstrung by debt repayments, bills and everyday spending, a major survey has found.

More than one in 10 Aussies don’t have $2000 spare for an emergency, while one in five missed a bill or loan payment in the past three months, according to a major survey.

The NAB Australian Wellbeing Survey also found three in four Aussies are trying to save, but finding it hard due to debt repayments, bills and everyday spending.

One in three also reported “high” stress according to the survey of about 2000 Australian adults in late 2021.

More than 40 per cent reported a dip in their savings in the past three months, while a third of respondents leaned on bad credit loans, family or friends for financial help.

NAB personal banking group executive Rachel Slade said while Australians’ wellbeing had returned to pre-pandemic levels, missing a bill or loan payment was still causing many people stress.

“Australians want to save, but actually doing it is another thing because of household expenses and everyday activities,” she said.

The NAB Australian Wellbeing Index lifted 2.2 points to its highest level since the third quarter of 2019, as concern over Covid-19 fell to its lowest point since the pandemic began.

The survey found the biggest challenges to managing personal finances were dipping into savings, followed by impulse spending.

Nine out of 10 people in the 18-29 age group reported trying to penny pinch.

Meanwhile, NSW/ACT and Tasmania emerged as the most financially stressed states.

Ms Slade urged people to take stock of their income and expenses to help whip their finances into shape.

“Customers can do a budget and then work out how much they’d need in an emergency fund, so they’re not caught out with a surprise bill or an unexpected major purchase,” she said.

The survey was conducted between November 25 and December 13, just as the first cases of the Omicron strain began to emerge.


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