The Choosi Dollar Report 2019
Australia is often perceived as a relaxed, laid-back nation with a ‘no worries’ attitude that can often work to our advantage, but how does this translate when it comes to our hip pocket? Are we as stress-free when it comes to our finances?
We recently completed a deep-dive into the state of Australia’s finances, surveying 5,000 Australians to determine how they feel about their money matters in today’s fast-paced modern society. Here, we unpack The Choosi Dollar Report 2019 and explore the financial stress and savviness levels through both a national and state lens.
So, who are the savviest of them all?
Overall, we’re doing pretty well as a nation with just under 70% of us rating our financial knowledge as either ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ and a similar amount (72.5%) saying we see ourselves as ‘money-smart’.
It’s also on trend to be seen as financially savvy (68.6%) with many of us agreeing that this subject matter is no longer taboo and proven by the fact we’re monitoring our finances more than ever before with over half of us checking-in on them weekly.
When we look at the savvy standouts, Sydney’s Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury top the ‘money-smart’ (83%) and financial knowledge (83%) categories whilst those from Inner Perth are seen as the most confident in the nation when it comes to making financial decisions (42%).
The sunshine state, known for its beautiful weather and glorious coastline, boasts a great deal of financial knowledge with 82% of those from Brisbane – West considering themselves as the most competent in this area. Our ‘money-smart’ Queenslanders also tend to hail from this region with a similar amount (81%) seeing themselves in this way.
Brisbane tops it again, with those from the Inner City are the most confident in the state when it comes to their financial decision-making ability.
Sydney’s Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury rate themselves as the savviest in New South Wales with 83% rating their financial knowledge as ‘strong’ and the same amount seeing themselves as ‘money-smart’.
Confidence around making financial decisions is highest in the Mid-North Coast.
Melbourne, often thought of as Australia’s coffee capital and a place that some may argue, is our most cosmopolitan city, is the home to Victorians that consider themselves to top the ‘money-smart’ category, with Outer East Melbourne sitting at 82%. The same region is also home to those that believe themselves to be the most confident in their financial decision-making ability (39%).
Inner East Melbourne gives the Outer East a run for their money in the financial knowledge category, with the area rating themselves as the strongest in the state (81%) for this attribute.
Our friends in Adelaide, South Australia, appear to be the savviest in the state with Adelaide North seeing themselves as ‘money-smart’ (79%) and having strong financial knowledge (76%) whilst those from Adelaide West see themselves as the most confident when it comes to making financial decisions (36%).
Perth dominates when it comes to financial acumen in Western Australia. The North West region have 78% of their population who state their financial knowledge as ‘strong’. Those from the South East see themselves as ‘money-smart’ (82%) and those from Inner Perth are the most confident in their financial decision-making ability (42%).
Financial stress levels across the nation
Now that we’ve looked at the savvy stats, it’s time to explore the financial stress levels of those amongst us.
Although a high proportion of us have savings goals (73.1%), these may be unattainable as 62% are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and over half (57.4%) are finding it hard to regularly save. This adds stress to our lives with many of us trying to save for that rainy day, as well as ensure peace of mind for those unexpected emergencies that can sometimes present themselves.
The research tells us that there are a number of barriers in our way when it comes to our ability to save. We’re struggling with the cost of living and also feel as though we don’t have enough money to be in a position where we can even attempt to start saving.
Looking at the state of the nation, we can see Adelaide suburbs worry the most about money (West at 57% at least daily or weekly) and have the highest stress levels regarding their debt burden (Central and Hills at 61%), whilst those from Sydney’s Blacktown are the most likely to say they struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Although the research tells us those from Inner City Brisbane are the most confident in the state when it comes to making financial decisions (39%), it seems they’re also the most likely to worry about money on a daily or weekly basis (56%) and are the most anxious/stressed about their debt burden (50%). Ipswich residents report that they’re the most likely to struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Financial fears in New South Wales are most prevalent in the Inner South West with 54% worrying about money daily or weekly.
Those from Blacktown are the most likely to struggle with the rising cost of living (77%) and the Illawarra region holds the most anxiety and stress regarding their debt burden (57%).
Adelaide’s Central and Hills district are feeling the financial pinch of today’s modern society with 76% struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and 61% stressed about their debt burden. Adelaide West are the most likely to worry about money on a daily or weekly basis (57%) while those from the North are the least likely (37%).
The height of financial grief reaches its peak for those living in Melbourne. Those from the South East are the most likely to be anxious or stressed over their debt burden (51%), the North East struggle most with the rising cost of living (70%), and the West frequently worry about money (52%).
The North East of Perth are worrying about their finances on a daily or weekly basis (56%) and are equally anxious about their debt burden (54%), while those from the South West of the city state they’re struggling to keep up with today’s rising cost of living (69%).
Whether we’re financially stressed, savvy, or a combination of the two depending on what day it is, it’s clear that we’re becoming more open to having conversations about money (58.3%) and furthering our financial knowledge.
To find out more about the self-reported financial health of Australians, take a look at The Choosi Dollar Report 2019 Whitepaper.
7 Nov 2019