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Aussies are struggling to save money, and gen Z blame themselves


Young Australians cite overspending as the main reason for not reaching their financial goals.

A new survey of more than 50,000 people across Australia has found stark differences in attitudes towards money.

The survey, run by digital bank Up, found the rising cost of living as the biggest blocker to reaching financial goals for millennials (39%), gen X (41%) and baby boomers (44%).

This is in contrast to the nation's youngest adult generation gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, who cited overspending on going out and shopping as what's preventing them from reaching their financial goals.

Different priorities

Looking at the numbers, Up's chief product officer Anson Parker says with home ownership feeling out of reach for many young Aussies, there may have been a shift in focus.

"Young people might be putting their savings towards making memories and experiences in order to enrich their life. Upsiders are setting up saving goals for everything from travel, to eating out or putting their money towards a big life experience."

The survey findings are in line with the latest CommBank iQ Cost of Living Insights Report released in November 2023.

The CommBank report found 25-29-year-olds have been the only age group to decrease both their discretionary and essential spending, with a decline of 5.1% in total spending. However, this age group was still able to increase their spending on entertainment by 13% this quarter.

Saving for the future

The Up survey found over half (51%) of all Aussies have made a start on their savings and feel "okay" to provide for themselves in the future. However, 4 in 10 respondents say their future savings do not look good.

However, there are generational differences here, too.

Baby boomers feel the most prepared to provide for their future needs, with 61% reporting feeling okay about their future. Gen X were the least prepared with only 48%.

Gen X (42%) also had the highest percentage of respondents say their future savings were not looking good, followed by gen Z and millennials.

Up Hi-Fi launches

Off the back of their findings, Up has launched a new feature to help Australians better manage their finances.

Parker said the new money management system will allow users to set themselves up for financial success ahead of the new year.

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Image: Supplied

"At its core, Hi–Fi by Up has been designed to make money easy. It's an Australian banking first – and it will allow Aussies to cruise between pay days, take care of their bills and hit their budgeting goals with ease," Parker said.

"Equally as important, it will allow them to comfortably know how much they're due to have left over at the end of each payday so they can spend (responsibly) on the good life."

Up users can access Hi-Fi through their Up banking app. Find out more about Up in our review.

Looking to bump up your budget in 2024? Check out our complete guide to budgeting.

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