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Cost of living crisis: 1 in 3 Aussies unable to stay on top of finances

Woman working at laptop on personal finances to manage cost of living.
The research found younger Aussies were struggling to stick to a budget as the cost of living increased. (Source: Getty)

New ANZ research has found one in three Australians are struggling to stay on top of finances as a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

As most Australians continue to grapple with the rising cost of everyday items, the research indicated that many had already started taking action by cutting down on non-essentials, putting more towards savings or asking for a pay rise.

The findings paint a bleak picture for Australians and their money management, with only 26 per cent saying they feel in control of their finances and 32 per cent citing their inability to stick to their budget.

While one-third of Aussies were finding it hard to stay on top of their finances, a further 1.5 million people said they didn’t feel in control of their money at all – which was why seven in 10 people were curbing their spending.

The research was based on a survey of 1,064 Australians aged 18-60, and was conducted by YouGov on behalf of ANZ in July.

Gen Z and Gen Y investing in the future

Interestingly, younger generations, such as Gen Z and Millennials, were more likely than their older counterparts to be saving towards a house.

However, younger Australians were also more likely to say they found it hard to stick to a budget, and were not sure where to start in order to achieve their savings goals.

When it comes to where most Australians are overspending, eating out and takeaway food takes the crown (53 per cent), followed by online shopping (35 per cent), streaming services (19 per cent) and socialising (19 per cent).

Key findings from ANZ research

  • 85 per cent of Australians have savings goals for the next 12 months

  • Two-thirds (65 per cent) believe something is holding them back from achieving these goals

  • 2.4 million (19 per cent) Aussies say they struggle to keep track of their spending

  • 1.8 million (14 per cent) say they are not sure where to start in order to achieve their savings goals

  • The most common saving goal for Aussies is holidays (43 per cent) followed by a house (40 per cent), a rainy-day fund (38 per cent) and a car (27 per cent).

  • Men are more likely than women to be saving towards a car (32 per cent compared to 22 per cent) and retirement (23 per cent compared to 12 per cent)

  • On average, Australian workers aged 18-60 put a quarter of their monthly income towards savings

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