41% of Australians under 25 don’t know how to pay their bills

Alison Banney 30 May 2017

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BPay Group today reveals five bill-paying personality types - which one are you?

Bills can be confusing, and learning how to best manage your bills is not something you’re taught at school.

New research released today commissioned by BPay is worrying; 41% of Australians aged between 18 and 25 say they have no effective system for paying their bills.

BPay’s research also shows that millennials as a wider group are struggling with everyday personal finance management.

The research uncovers the five major bill-paying personalities in Australia, the percentage of Australians in each group and the traits and habits of each. The five bill-payer personalities according to BPay's research are as follows:

Bill-paying personalityCharacteristics
Big picture organisers (28%)Experienced and capable with their finances- but not obsessive. They seek convenience alongside security.
Life jugglers (27%)Don't manage their finances proactively and many lack the confidence to do so. They are keen for simple processes with customer support and information.
Rigid record keepers (19%)Rigorous in managing their finances. Most have an effective system and keep a record of what they pay. They are less likely to report financial stress. They prioritise security and are less likely to want on-the-go functionality.
Mobile and evolving (19%)Often pay bills at the very last minute or after the due date, and see themselves as disorganised. This group report financial stress and many log in to their banking app at least once a day.
Novice and emerging (7%)This group are aged 25 and under, and many still live with their parents. They are much less engaged with financial matters and less likely to be fully responsible for household bills. The bills they do get are less likely to come as paper bills or attached in an email.

Source: BPay Group

Those in the Mobile and Evolving group are mostly millennials aged between 18 and 39, and often pay bills at the very last minute. Nine in ten (89%) Australians in this group say they are financially stressed, and 80% say they hate spending time managing their bills.

The Rigid Record Keepers are mainly empty nesters and those nearing retirement and, perhaps unsurprisingly, 36% of Australians in this group pay their bills at least one week in advance. In comparison to the millennials in the Mobile and Evolving group, only 18% of Rigid Record Keepers say they hate managing their bills.

Those in the Life Jugglers group are time-poor and require simple processes and support with managing their bills. Only 44% of those in this group keep a record of bills and payments they make, the lowest of all groups.

Each group identified security as the highest priority when it came to paying their bills. The exception was the millennial-heavy Mobile and Evolving group which named flexibility as their top concern.

"The findings emphasise the need for streamlined, secure, mobile ways of making bill payments," BPay group CEO Group John Banfield.

"Younger Australians in particular are clearly feeling like the options they currently use don’t fit in with their lifestyle. There are options out there that offer flexible, easy bill paying options that will help younger Australians keep better records of their payments, and reduce their stress levels surrounding personal finances. They need to get savvy to what their options are to turn this negative experience around, and stop it impacting their quality of life."

Regardless of your bill-paying personality, if you're having a bit of trouble managing your money, check out our budgeting for beginners guide for some tips.

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