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Media Release

Australians place greater importance on saving money

Wednesday,  8 October 2014

Aussies aim for a savings safety-net of $10,000 to be financially secure

New research released by St.George Bank today has revealed the majority of Australians are more conscious savers than they were five years ago, increasing their focus on building financial security and planning for the future.   

The survey of 1,000 Australians showed two-thirds (66%) aim to have more than $10,000 easily accessible in their bank account to feel financially secure. One in five (20%) aim to have more than $3,000 in savings.

The findings follow recent data from the St.George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report, revealing Australians have been saving money at record levels while the number of people adding to their debt is at an all-time low.

Andy Fell, General Manager Retail Banking at St.George said Australia is a nation of savers who have built-up diligent savings practices in recent years.  

“The GFC was a catalyst for many Australians to change their savings habits. Since this time, we’ve seen an increased focus on people paying down their debts and adding to their savings pool. At St.George more than half of our customers are ahead on their mortgage repayments while also maintaining good savings, which is a really positive position to be in.  

“Having a savings safety-net is common practice, however the amount to feel financially secure is increasing significantly with two-thirds of Australians aiming to have a minimum of $10,000 in cash easily accessible,” he said.     

The main reason cited for adding to savings is to increase financial security (57%), followed by one in two (52%) Australians who say they have become more financially responsible with age. Close to one-third (29%) are more conscious now as they plan to save for retirement and one in four (25%) are saving for a house purchase.

“To help Australians reach their savings safety-net goal, we’ve compiled our list of top tips to set you on your way,” Andy said.

St.George’s top tips to get yourself into a better financial position

  • Set a budget – this is the most important step for anyone wanting to save money and improve their financial position. Ensure your budget includes all types of income and expenses so nothing crops up unexpectedly.
  • Set achievable goals – savings goals need to be realistic. A general rule of thumb is to save three months’ worth of pay but for some this may be too much or too little so evaluate against your personal circumstances.  
  • Open a savings account – make sure you have a dedicated account for savings rather than trying to save money in your everyday account where there is a higher temptation to spend.
  • Reduce your debt – When possible, try to make extra repayments on your loans.  

Key findings from the survey

  • 70 per cent of Australians say they are more conscious savers now compared to five years ago.
  • 66 per cent say they aim to have a minimum of $10,000 in their bank account to feel financially secure.
  • One in five (20%) aim to have more than $3,000 in savings to feel financially secure.
  • 57 per cent of Australians say they want to increase their personal savings for financial security. 51 per cent also say improved savings habits have arrived with age.
  • Close to one-third (29%) are also focused on boosting their savings for retirement.   

For further information, please contact:
Penny Mahon – 07 3235 6734 or 0434 185 590

St.George Banking Group is a Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141