One in three Australians report feeling uncertain about their financial future, according to new research from the Commonwealth Bank and the Melbourne Institute.
The research, CBA-MI Financial Wellbeing Scales, compares people’s own perceptions about financial outcomes to banking data, to show which self-reported or observed drivers, barriers and behaviours can be linked to positive financial wellbeing.
Around one in three Australians said that they were not on track to secure their financial future, with 31% having a low savings balance and 37% saying they couldn’t handle a major unexpected expense. Australians approaching retirement age also lacked financial confidence, with 33% saying they are not on track to secure their financial future and 32% saying they are not on track to provide for their future needs.
These feelings of financial uncertainty were found to be making an impact on Australian happiness levels, with one in four people saying they don’t enjoy life because of the way they are managing money. 23% of those surveyed said they are struggling with money management, while 29% said their lives are often or always controlled by their finances.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Two-thirds of respondents self-reported or were observed to have high financial wellbeing, with one-third having high financial wellbeing in both scales.
CBA executive general manager digital, Pete Steel, described financial wellbeing as a complex issue.
“We have an ambitious purpose to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities, but we know there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to financial wellbeing.”
Professor David Ribar, from Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research at the University of Melbourne, said that “by combining both self-reported financial wellbeing data and objectively observed measures, the Scales provide dimensions of understanding that represent a first in its field, internationally.”