Financial stress keeping Australians awake at night

Alison Banney 19 February 2018 NEWS

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59% of Australians say their financial situation causes loss of sleep.

UBank's third annual Know Your Numbers Index released today reveals a worrying snapshot of Australians' relationship with their money. With only one in five Australians saying they have full control over their finances, the results aren't too promising.

According to the research, 59% of Australians say their financial position stresses them out or keeps them up at night. Millennials are even worse, with 44% saying they don't just stress about their money and financial future at night time, but constantly.

The Know Your Numbers research looked into Australians' knowledge, or lack thereof, of their household and entertainment spending. It found we're not that great at looking over our transactions, with a staggering 86% of us not knowing how much we spend each month. And the reason? Apparently, it's too difficult to calculate our monthly expenses.

And it's no wonder we're thinking it's too hard to calculate our spending: only 28% of Australians actively use financial management and budgeting tools to help manage their money and stay in control of spending. One third of Australians admit to never using any of these budgeting tools but agree it would be a good idea.

And it's not just our day-to-day spending that we can't keep track of, but we aren't completely across our level of debt either. Only one in five cardholders know how much credit card debt they owe, and 82% of Australians with a mortgage admit to not knowing their exact home loan rate. Although this is a slight improvement from last year (down from 85%), it's still concerning that so many Australians are unaware of how much interest they're paying on their home loan. By simply comparing your options and switching to a more competitive loan, you could save thousands.

CEO of UBank Lee Hatton said it's never been more important to get on top of your spending. "With the latest data from the Bureau of Statistics uncovering that the cost of living in Australia rose 2% last year and is the strongest pace growth we’ve experienced in 3.5 years, it’s never been more important to know your numbers. Having your finances sorted is an important part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and unfortunately, too many Australians are experiencing the effects of not understanding their finances."

If this all sounds a bit too familiar to you, as a first step to getting on top of your finances, check what interest you're earning on your savings and consider switching to a high interest savings account or opening a term deposit. From here, use your mobile banking app to track your spending to see where your money is going and where you have the capacity to save even more.

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