Aussies have turned to their friends and family for money to afford even the most basic of expenses, according to new research.
A survey of 1,085 revealed one in three Australians – equivalent to 6 million people – have leaned on family and friends for financial support in the past 12 months.
Shockingly, the top three expenses Aussies sought financial help for were groceries (16 per cent), rent (9 per cent) and petrol (7 per cent). Medical costs (5 per cent) and school fees (5 per cent) were next on the list.
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Of those who asked for financial help, 44 per cent called on their parents, while just over 37 per cent leaned on friends.
It wasn’t just older Australians giving to the young – almost one in 10 got financial support from their kids.
Finder money expert Sarah Megginson said asking friends and family for financial support can be difficult but necessary to get through difficult financial times.
“Help starts with being honest with yourself about the truth of your financial situation. The first step is to get your head out of the sand and understand all the expenses going out versus the income you earn,” Megginson said.
“Showing your friends or family that you have done the sums to manage your expenses after their help, will make it easier for them to feel like they aren’t wasting their money.”
The highest amount of money requested was for mortgage payments, with those needing help seeking an average of $3,089.
This was followed closely by those seeking money to cover school fees who asked for an average of $2,897.
Megginson said to get out of financial hardship, you need to clearly understand where your money is going, so that borrowing from friends and family happens in context of the bigger picture – rather than a quick fix.
“Make a budget that lists all of your income and expenses, including bills, groceries, and discretionary spending,” she said.
Gen Z was in need of the most help from friends and family (59 per cent), compared to gen X (19 per cent) and baby boomers (5 per cent).
Megginson said shopping around and paying less for things like car insurance and your phone plan, is another way you can get back on the financial front foot.
“Getting out of financial hardship and changing your spending and saving habits takes time, so be patient and stay committed to your plan,” Megginson said.
“If you're really struggling, contact the national debt helpline on 1800 007 007.”