Saving for the Jones's: Aussies showing off their savings success

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Saving is the new spending according to Jack Han, who investigates the latest trends on savings accounts.

December 1, 2009

Australians are more worried about their neighbours finding out their financial hardships, than actually going through the hardship itself, according to a new international survey. This finding has brought up the question of whether we are really saving money for ourselves, or people on the other side of the fence.

The Synovate global survey on money and finance discovered that 67 percent of Australians would prefer their neighbours to be ignorant of their financial troubles. It also found that Australian households will be saving to reduce their debts over the next 12 months.

Julie Beeck, managing director of Synovate explained that "...over the last 18 years the total amount of debt owned by Australian households rose almost six-fold.

“...With interest rates starting to rise again in Australia people will be looking to pay down debt to reduce their exposure as much as possible," she says.

While many Australians believe that paying down debt is a big concern, the small majority are still not prepared to give up their old lifestyles, with 42 percent agreeing that they will likely spend their disposable income at the same level as they did before the downturn.

With interest rates on the rise, frivolous spending will likely hurt many households over the long run. But the pressure to keep it up for the neighbours’ sake is clearly getting the better of most Australians.

We may think that the only things our neighbours and friends notice are the things wespend on however, that is not necessarily the case, because there are now ways for you to proudly show off your savings, in the same way as you would a new car or television.

Online savings accounts that also combine with social networking tools have made this possible. For example, the ANZ SmartyPig savings account allows your friends and associates to track your savings goals progress, and reward you for your efforts, letting you show off how much you are saving, not spending.

Another method is to display your savings goals around the house, such as with pictures of your next car in the driveway, or posters showing how close your household is to saving for the new entertainment system. This encourages responsibility in sticking to savings goals, and also helps bond your household on the way to meeting them.

So turn your spending shame into savings pride, and start comparing savings accounts for the best rates and features to help you show off your wealth. After all, the neighbours shouldn’t be jealous to see you splurge cash from your savings account. They should be jealous when you fill it up to the brim.

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