Written byShaun McGowan
Money.com.au commissioned an independent survey of 1006 Australians to gauge whether they were saving regularly last year and if they will continue to proactively save this year. The survey also sought to uncover how much Aussies believed they could save each month, and whether interest rates had an impact on their saving habits.
The results reveal that, even before the economic downturn and mass job losses, two-thirds (61 per cent) of Aussies were not proactively saving or putting funds into an offset account if they have a home loan. ACT residents were the least likely to save, with 76 per cent admitting they weren’t proactively saving, compared with 50 per cent of Tasmanians and 58 per cent of South Australian residents. Aussies who were proactively saving last year accounts for just 34 per cent of all respondents. A higher proportion of younger Aussies have been saving than older age groups: 42 per cent of under-30s, compared with 27 per cent of over-50s.
Twenty-eight (28 per cent) of respondents overall said they would be regularly saving this year. Again, more younger Aussies planned to do so: 33 per cent of under-30s, compared with 27 per cent of 40-59-year-olds, and 25 per cent of over-60s.
Across the States, a higher proportion of ACT residents (35 per cent) said they would be proactively saving this year. This compared with just 24 per cent of WA residents and 26 per cent of NSW residents. Twenty (20) per cent of respondents also said they are not saving, but focusing on paying down debt, such as a credit card balance.
The survey also sought to understand whether interest rates have an impact on Aussies’ saving habits. Nearly a third (28 per cent) of respondents said they would save more if savings account interest rates were higher (including term deposit rates).
Younger age groups feel less incentivised to save in a climate of low rates, accounting for 37 per cent of under-30s, compared with 28 per cent of over-30s and 24 per cent of over-50s. Half (53 per cent) of ACT residents were more inclined to save if interest rates were higher, compared with an equal 31 per cent of Victorians and NSW residents, 28 per cent of South Australians, and just 22 per cent of Queenslanders.
Half (49 per cent) of respondents stated they would need to have more than $10,000 in savings for interest rates to matter to them. This accounted for 66 per cent of ACT residents, compared with 37 per cent of Tasmanians and 47 per cent of SA residents. In contrast, a quarter (24 per cent) of Aussies overall said they would need to have more than $50,000 in savings. Interestingly, 21 per cent of total respondents said that interest rates would matter to them even if they had less than $1000 in savings.