The groups’ June Savings Intentions and Behaviours Survey of 1,500 people revealed 57 per cent of participants do not consistently set a budget, while 40 per cent fail to stick to one.
In addition, half of Australian households reported failing to consistently pay off their credit card each month – an increase of four percentage points since the last survey in December 2014.
A further 20 per cent said they fail to consistently pay off their household bills on time.
“Real problems start to occur when you get stuck in a round-about of not paying your credit card or bills on time,” ME head of deposits and transactional banking, Nic Emery, said.
“We strongly advise anyone struggling with credit card debt to address the issue as soon as possible. Consolidating debts through a personal loan is the best way to do this.
“Once you’re in a position to start saving, consider making automated deposits into a high-interest savings account or term deposit to keep you on track.”
The survey revealed that two out of the four financial goals Australian households are pursuing over the next 12 months are related to paying off debt.
According to the figures, 29 per cent said they aim to pay off debts as quickly as possible, while 28 per cent said they hope to pay off a mortgage.
A further 27 per cent are saving for a holiday, car or other major expenses, while 23 per cent are building up ‘rainy day savings’.
The majority of participants claimed to feel unoptimistic about achieving their financial goals this year, according to the survey. Only six per cent expect to pay off their mortgage, while just 16 per cent of 30 to 39-year-olds expect to buy a home and 32 per cent expect to buy an investment property.