Bulging balances: Australians’ cash reserve hits $40,000 record high
Australians are stashing away their hard-earned cash to cushion the blow of rising costs, according to new research by Finder.
The average Australian had $40,617 in savings in October, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.
That's up from $29,856 in March this year and a record high since Finder began tracking in 2019.
Finder's research shows men have significantly larger cash reserves than women. The average woman had $24,826 saved in October compared to $56,271 for men.
Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said lots of people were tightening their belts.
"Some Aussies are boosting their cash reserves to give themselves a buffer against the surging cost of living.
"Many are worried about inflation and rising interest rates and are doing what they can to insulate themselves from financial hardship.
"Whilst the average is at an all-time high, there are still a huge percentage of Aussies doing it tough."
Despite higher average savings rates, Finder's data shows a worrying 46% of Australians could only survive off their savings for 1 month or less.
Just 1 in 4 (24%) say they could last 6 months or more off their savings.
Pike said the figures point to a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.
"Some are able to put away a record amount of extra savings, while others are living pay to pay.
"If you are in a position where you're able to save, make sure it's in a high interest savings account. Otherwise you're potentially missing out on hundreds of dollars in interest.
"Many savings accounts are now offering over 5.00% p.a. – some as high as 5.65% p.a.
"If you're struggling to build up your savings, try to slash unnecessary expenses and do an emergency audit of all your utilities. You could be saving on things like energy bills and insurance," Pike said.
Savings account rates have gone up significantly this year. Here are the highest savings account rates in November 2023.