Savings account statistics 2021
The average Australian has $29,091 in savings.
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Cars, homes, holidays and weddings – these are just some of the things Australians strive to save for, and having a savings account is the first step towards building your financial goals.
By taking advantage of the compound effect of interest, putting your money in a high interest savings account can help you to grow your wealth while you have money set aside for a big purchase or a rainy day.
According to Finder's database, the average savings interest rate is currently just 0.1% – substantially lower than last year's average rate of 1.15%.
But comparing and switching savings accounts is still just as important as ever, as the difference between banks and accounts can vary widely.
How much do Australians earn?
According to the ABS, the average full-time worker earns $89,003 per year or $7,417 per month.
Men in full-time work ($93,818) earn higher salaries than women on average ($81,224). The ACT tops the list as Australia's highest-paying state, with the average worker making $98,290 per year. Meanwhile, Tasmanians earn the least, an average of $77,381 per year.
How much do Australians need to earn to feel rich?
Despite this, a Finder survey found that the average Aussie would need to earn a whopping $340,662 per year – or about four standard salaries – before considering themselves rich.
Gen X workers wouldn't consider themselves rich until they earned $408,447 per year, while gen Z set a benchmark of reaching a salary of $276,042 per year. Meanwhile, men ($368,144) reported that they need slightly more money than women ($316,456) to feel wealthy.
Baby boomers: $290,900
Gen X: $408,447
Gen Y: $354,787
Gen Z: $276,042
The average Australian has $29,091 in savings
The total value of all savings accounts in Australia is an estimated $565 billion, with the average person having $29,091 stashed away.
Understandably, households earning more than $100,000 per year have around three times as much money saved as households earning less than $50,000. And as the generation that's worked the longest, baby boomers have the most in savings ($41,988), while gen Z have the least ($10,990).
Men have considerably more money saved up than women. While the average man has $37,380 stockpiled, the average woman has just $21,061 in savings.
Interestingly, the discrepancy between male and female savings is greatest among gen Z Aussies, with men having 117% more in savings than women. This is followed by baby boomers, where the difference is 59%.
Baby boomers: $41,988
Gen X: $34,124
Gen Y: $23,371
Gen Z: $10,990
The average Australian saves $759 per month
The average Aussie puts away $759 per month in savings, with men ($913) saving around 50% more per month than women ($608).
Those living in the ACT are making the greatest monthly contributions to their savings accounts ($1,028), nearly double that of Tasmanians ($538).
The 50/30/20 rule is a great way to determine how much of your income you should be saving. The general recommendation is to dedicate 50% of your earnings towards essential expenses like rent and groceries, 30% towards discretionary spending on things like holidays, eating out and other splurges, and the remaining 20% should go into your savings.
Baby boomers: $486
Gen X: $774
Gen Y: $987
Gen Z: $754
2 in 5 adults have a month's worth of savings or less
A worrying two in five Australians (42%) could only survive off their savings for one month or less, with just 24% saying they could last six months or more.
Women (46%) are more likely than men (41%) to have only one month's worth of savings at most.
More than half of gen Z (53%) could live off their savings for a month or less, followed by 45% of millennials. Meanwhile, 40% of baby boomers would be able to get by for at least a year.
Internet banking is Australians' favourite budget management tool
Around half of Australians (46%) use Internet banking to track their spending, followed by 34% who use banking apps. As dated as it might be, 28% of Aussies continue to use spreadsheets to manage their money, and just 9% use budgeting apps. Meanwhile a concerning 17% don't track their spending at all.
Men (19%) are more likely than women (16%) to say they don't keep track of their spending, but when it comes to accounting software, men (14%) are more likely to use this than women (3%).
Millennials are the most proactive group when it comes to managing their finances, with just 12% saying they don't monitor their expenses, compared with more than a quarter of baby boomers (26%).
As the tech-savvy generation, gen Z are the most likely to manage their money through banking apps (49%) or budgeting apps (13%), compared to baby boomers (13% and 3% respectively).
2 in 5 adults have an account with more than one bank
The majority (59%) of Aussies have a savings or transaction account with just one bank, while close to a third (30%) use two banks and 10% use three or more banks. Millennials (48%) are the most likely to have an account with more than one bank, compared to the more loyal baby boomers (31%).
The top reason Aussies choose to have an account with multiple banks is for convenience (43%). 39% say they prefer to have one account for transactions and one for accruing interest.
Men (26%) are more likely than women (16%) to want to have a separate account from their partner.
Between the generations, baby boomers (58%) are the most likely to be driven by convenience, while gen Z are most interested in having separate accounts for savings and transactions (53%).
1 in 5 people are opting for a neobank
Close to one in five people (18%) are banking with a neobank, and a further 26% say they would consider a neobank if they were offered a higher savings rate.
A neobank is different from a traditional bank because it has no physical branches. In theory, this makes them more cost-efficient and allows them to offer more competitive rates.
They also boast a greater emphasis on technology, relying predominantly on mobile apps that provide detailed insights into your spending and saving patterns.
Baby boomers: 8%
Gen X: 16%
Gen Y: 28%
Gen Z: 21%
Neobanks are chosen for being more convenient than traditional banks
More than two-thirds (69%) of neobank customers agree that one of the reasons for choosing a digital bank is because of the convenience of online banking. This is followed by the desire to transfer money more easily (39%) and the prospect of free overseas transactions (35%).
Gen Z are the most likely to choose a neobank in order to make money transfers easier (48%) and because they like the look of a new card (25%), compared to baby boomers (22% and 4% respectively).
Millennials (45%) are the most interested in receiving free overseas transactions, compared to 15% of baby boomers.
Neobanks are not on the radar for more than half of Aussies
One in three Australians (31%) say they wouldn't consider a neobank and a further 25% haven't heard of neobanks.
The main reasons that people steer clear of digital banks are that they are happy with their current bank (49%) and they prefer to have physical branches (44%). One in three Aussies (34%) believe that neobanks are too risky, while a further 29% say they don't trust neobanks.
But despite the concerns, neobanks are no less legitimate than traditional banks. All banks, regardless of how they operate, are required to have the same banking licenses and approvals, and under the financial claims scheme, your funds of up to $250,000 are secured by Australian law, regardless of what happens to the bank.
How to get on top of your savings
Take advantage of interest. The easiest way to build up your savings is to put your money into a high-interest savings account. This will maximise the returns you make from simply leaving your money in the bank. And if you don't think you're getting a good deal, it might be time to switch.
Set yourself a savings goal. Are you hoping to buy a new car this year or get your foot into the property market? Or maybe you've got a wedding or a big holiday coming up? Let your life goals motivate you to put aside a certain amount of money each month into a dedicated fund.
Budget regularly. There are a number of budgeting tools such as the Finder app, which break down your spending into categories and show you where you could be saving money or getting a better deal on a product. Monitor your spending regularly to keep yourself accountable and on track towards your goal.
Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
- Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
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