How much does the average Australian save

The average Australian saves up to $400 per month

Australia boasts one of the most successful mixed economies in the world.

The bulk of which is rooted in the service sector comprising education, tourism, health and welfare, professional and banking services, and mass media.

Besides popularity as one of the most attractive holiday and emigration destinations in the world, Australia also enjoys status as a major economic player as a member of the G20, WTO and APEC. It is currently one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a per-capita GDP surpassing those of both Germany and France, the most stable economies in the European Union.

ME Online Savings Account

Online Savings Account Offer

Ongoing 3.05% p.a. variable rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.

  • Bonus Rate: 1.75% p.a.
  • Monthly Account Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

    Compare your savings accounts options today in the table below

    Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
    $
    $
    months
    Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
    ME Online Savings Account
    Ongoing, variable 3.05% p.a. rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
    3.05% 1.30% 1.75% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
    Introductory rate of 3.20% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.05% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
    3.20% 2.05% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
    Ongoing, variable 2.75% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit $1,000+ each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
    2.75% 1.60% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Bankwest Hero Saver
    Ongoing, variable 2.65% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
    2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    AMP Saver Account
    Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.10% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
    2.55% 2.10% 0.45% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Australian Unity Easy Saver
    Introductory rate of 2.90% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
    2.90% 1.70% 1.20% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    ANZ Online Saver
    Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    2.85% 1.25% 1.60% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Westpac eSaver
    Introductory rate of 2.71% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    2.71% 1.25% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    HSBC Serious Saver
    Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
    2.25% 1.60% 0.65% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    St.George Maxi Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
    3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    BankSA Maxi Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    BankSA Incentive Saver Account
    Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit each month and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
    1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
    Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
    1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    ANZ Progress Saver
    Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
    1.91% 0.01% 1.90% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
    Westpac Reward Saver
    Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
    1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More

    Budgeting to save

    As a result, the average Australian enjoys a relatively high standard of living and can often afford to put away a portion of income as savings. In November 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics pegged average weekly earnings of an adult working full-time at around $1,500. Whether or not people earning this amount can save – and how much – depends on individual circumstances and budgets (family, expenditure, rent or mortgage, car payments, credit cards etc.).

    A 2016 Suncorp survey reveals that Australians are putting away on average around $400 a month, with the most diligent savers in the 25 - 34 age group. Typically people in the higher age bracket own homes, vehicles and have families to support, which translates into less money diverted to savings.

    Why do we save?

    How exactly do Australians plan on spending their savings? The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that overall credit card debt in 2016 is down in Australian households, along with mortgage rates and the number of households struggling with repayments. Some of the main reasons for saving include:

    • Schooling and university fees
    • Retirement
    • Unforeseen circumstances

    Introductory benefits

    Besides no monthly fees charged, most banks encourage customers to save with an attractive introductory interest rate, after which it reverts to the standard rate. This means that you earn interest at an accelerated rate on your savings for the first few months after opening the account. For example, the Westpac eSaver account offers an additional 1.36% p.a fixed on top of the standard rate for the first three months after the account is opened.

    The bigger your initial deposit and the less you interfere with it, the more you earn. Some banks also offer a boost for ensuring you maintain a positive balance at the end of the month (excluding interest).

    Paying off debt versus savings

    A credit card is a convenient way to pay for things when you don’t have cash on hand, but it can become a crutch and gateway to living beyond your means. Committing to saving is a positive step, but having to pay off a credit card at the same time means you’re off to a slow start. If you’re serious about saving, put the majority of your would-be savings towards clearing the debt and put a small amount aside as actual savings. This may require a few lifestyle changes, but this method ensures tangible progress as you reduce negative debt and slowly start building on your savings.

    Case study: Lola and Jason start saving

    Lola and Jason, both 28, just tied the knot and received $15,000 in cash and cheques from wedding guests. Both have full-time jobs in the mining sector and earn around $16,000 a month collectively. Jason inherited his grandmother’s townhouse just outside Sydney, so besides monthly shopping, entertainment and car instalments, they don’t have many major expenses.

    The young couple would like to start building on their wedding money over an eight-year period, eventually saving enough to either 1. purchase an additional property as a holiday rental, or 2. invest in a banana farm on the South African east coast.

    They decided to compare savings accounts, interest rates and how much they would earn on their savings with regular monthly deposits of $1,000 and a starting balance of $15,000.

    Bank 1Bank 2Bank 3Bank 4
    Base interest rate2%p.a.1.75%p.a.1.75%p.a.1.55%p.a.
    Interest earned$10,613$9,216$9,303$8,115
    Bonus rate3% p.a. on balances up to $100,000+0.5%p.a. If balance is $300/higher on first business day of the next month+1.36%p.a. introductory rate for the first three months+1.35%p.a. Introductory rate for the first three months
    Total at term$121,613$120,216$120,303$119,115

    Lola and Jason deposit $111,000 over an eight-year period on top of their initial investment. The total at term varies depending on the bank’s interest rates and bonus offers. All the accounts above offer the following benefits:

    • No monthly fees
    • Direct debit into savings account - minimum administration
    • Linked to everyday transaction accounts (sometimes at other institutions)
    • Bonus rates
    • Better rates as the savings amount increases
    • Online access and management

    Shirley Liu

    Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Related Posts

    Savings Account Offers

    Learn about our information service
    ME Online Savings Account

    Maximum Variable Rate

    3.05%

    Standard Variable Rate

    1.30
    ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser

    Maximum Variable Rate

    2.75%

    Standard Variable Rate

    1.60
    Bankwest Hero Saver

    Maximum Variable Rate

    2.65%

    Standard Variable Rate

    0.01
    RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account

    Maximum Variable Rate

    3.20%

    Standard Variable Rate

    2.05

    Ask a Question

    You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
    Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
    By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

    Ask a question
    feedback