According to Mortgage Choice’s Evolving Great Australian Dream white paper, 24.2 per cent of Australians worry about money on a daily basis, while a similar amount (24.4 per cent) worry about their finances on a weekly basis.
Just 13.9 per cent of respondents to the white paper said that they worry about their expenditure on a monthly basis.
The chief executive officer of Mortgage Choice said that the fact that nearly of quarter of people worry about their finances daily “is a startling statistic”.
Noting that the cost of living was increasing and wage growth had been stagnating, Mr Flavell said he wasn’t surprised to hear that Australians were worrying about their money.
He commented: “The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Wage Price Index found wages grew just 1.9 per cent between the December 2015 quarter and the December 2016 quarter, which is incredibly low by long-term standards.
“And while wage growth is stagnating, property prices continue to rise, with data from CoreLogic showing property values across the combined capital cities have risen 11.7 per cent over the 12 months to March 2017.”
Mr Flavell conceded that he would “expect to see an even greater proportion of Australians stating that they worry about their money on a frequent basis” as property prices continue to rise, along with the cost of food, gas and electricity, childcare fees and transportation.
“If people want to stop worrying about their finances and take charge of their financial situation, the best thing they can do is act strategically,” he said.
The CEO suggested that consumers could draw up a budget that includes all of their incomings and outgoings each pay cycle.
“The more detailed the budget is, the better off they will be. By having a detailed budget, people will be able to easily identify where they may be able to cut back,” he said.
“While budgeting isn’t always an easy or pleasant task, it is certainly a lot better than worrying about your finances on a regular basis.
“If, after creating a budget, people still find they worry about their finances frequently, the best thing they can do is ask for professional assistance,” Mr Flavell suggested.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.