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MyBudget Survey: 20 Years of Money
By MyBudget Editor

Did you know that almost half of Australians (49%) think about money more than they think about sex?

To coincide with MyBudget’s 20th anniversary milestone this year, we recently surveyed Australians about their current financial commitments and attitudes toward money in 2019 versus two decades ago. The results may not come as a surprise -- Australians today are under unprecedented levels of financial stress compared to twenty years ago.

Four out of every five Australians are stressed about money

Life nowadays isn’t just hectic, it’s more expensive too. Almost one in three people (33 percent) expressed worry that they’ll never pay off their mortgage, while 85 percent feel that living is more expensive now than it was 20 years ago.

As we juggle everyday commitments such as work and family life, things like home loan repayments, ongoing bills and daily living expenses weigh heavily on our minds and are identified as the greatest causes of stress. It’s no wonder that in 2019, more Australians have a credit card (53 percent) than a superannuation account (50 percent) or a mortgage (31 percent).

MyBudget Director and Founder, Tammy Barton, was not surprised by the findings. “I’m concerned but not shocked. When I started MyBudget 20 years ago, the average mortgage accounted for around 10 percent of household income – that’s now about 30 percent,” says Tammy.

“In the past two decades there have been huge spikes in services like utilities and insurances, alongside stagnating wages. Money pressures are clearly playing a big role in increasing life stress.”

Women hit harder by financial stress

The survey further revealed that women are more stressed than men about their financial commitments (22 percent versus 15 percent). Women were also more likely than men to agree with negative statements such as ‘I’ll never pay off my mortgage’ and ‘Managing money is more stressful now than it was 20 years ago’.

“This is further evidence that Australia cannot afford the financial burden of the gender pay gap, which has barely shifted in 20 years. We also can’t afford to keep letting women bear the ‘mental load’, including often taking full responsibility for household finances,” Tammy says. 

If you want to read more about the mental load of money on women, we touched on this subject on a recent blog here.

Technology easing the burden

While well over half (58 percent) of respondents say that managing money is more stressful now than it was 20 years ago, interestingly, the same number agree that technology has made it easier to manage their money.

Tammy recognises this from the changing needs of clients that come to MyBudget over the years. 

“When MyBudget began, we primarily supported people in serious financial hot water. We still do that, but today many of our clients just want the convenience of having someone trustworthy to manage and maximise their money,” Tammy says. 

“The financial services industry today needs to become more focused on personalised money management that is supported by user-friendly technology.”

If you want to read more about our survey results, you can download our 20 Years of Money Report here.

Do you need help with managing your finances? Our caring personal budgeting experts at MyBudget can show you how to budget and save as a family. Call us today at 1300 300 922 or enquire online for a free consultation.

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