Third of Aussies treading water with money

(Australian Associated Press)


More than a third of Australians are treading water financially, with many struggling and often running out of money for food or bills, new research shows.

The ANZ’s latest financial wellbeing snapshot, released on Thursday, reveals only about a quarter of all Australians have “no worries” when it comes to money.

The majority of the 3,578 people surveyed by the ANZ say they are “struggling”, just “getting by” or describe their finances as “bad”, with little confidence in the immediate future.

Of those, 13 per cent are “struggling” and often run out of money for food or bills.

While 23 per cent say they are “getting by”, the majority describe their finances as “bad” or are not confident about the next 12 months.

Restaurateur and artist Miranda Scherger considers herself one of the “lucky” ones.

When the 32-year-old started to feel the pinch a few years ago, she was able to move back in with her parents in regional Victoria.

“I was living in Melbourne for a few years and got myself into a lot of debt,” Ms Scherger told AAP.

“There was one point where I had no savings and it felt like I was going backwards.”

Ms Scherger now thinks she’s doing “okay” financially.

About 24 per cent of Australians have “no worries” when it comes to money, the majority of whom are aged at least 50, and have substantial savings and investments.

After paying off the bulk of her debt, Ms Scherger falls in with the 40 per cent of Australians who say they are “doing okay”.

According to the report, financial wellbeing for people such as Ms Scherger depends not just on socio-economic status and income, but on their state of mind.

That means how people feel about their money situation right now and going forward.

Despite having what she calls an “average” wage, Ms Scherger is now comfortable enough to start looking at buying a house in the country.

“I don’t have a huge amount of debt,” she said.

“I’m able to save a good amount of my wage. I have a financial plan and I’m good at sticking to it.”


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