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How much does the average Australian have in savings?

Peter Terlato avatar
Peter Terlato
- 3 min read
How much does the average Australian have in savings?

Savings can provide a safety net for individuals and households during periods of financial difficulty or stress. But how much does the average Australian actually have stashed away in their savings account?

Australians have average cash savings of $34,507, according to the latest data from NAB’s Australian Wellbeing Survey. However, these figures were published at the beginning of 2023 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) latest National Accounts figures show the household saving ratio decreased significantly over 2022/23 from 12.6% to just 4.3%.

The household saving to income ratio is calculated by dividing household savings by household disposable income. A lower household saving ratio indicates that, generally, households are spending more and saving less.

During the pandemic, the saving ratio soared due to an influx of stimulus money and limited avenues for spending it. Since 2022, the saving ratio has been on a downward trajectory on the back of a slew of rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Australia’s central bank has increased the cash rate on 13 occasions since May last year, taking it to 4.35%.

While it’s safe to assume that the average Aussie’s current savings may be lower than the figure reported earlier this year, savings aspirations among Australians remain high, according to NAB’s Australian Wellbeing Survey Q3 2023.

The overall number of people trying to save rose to 77% in Q3 2023 - up from 75% in Q2 and slightly above the survey average of 76%. Despite their optimistic outlook, household savings remained strained over the quarter with 29% of respondents noting a decline in their savings.

Concerns about savings eased slightly, dropping in Q3 (60.5 points) from its peak in Q2 (60.9 points). For reference, 0 points suggests no worries, while 100 points cites extreme concern. Still, the results remain much higher compared to the same period last year (54.9 points). Additionally, stress associated with savings remained higher than stress related to income (58.4 points).

Average savings by demographic

Older Australian men, aged 50-64, have the greatest amount of savings. Conversely, young women, aged 18-29, have the least.

Geographically, there’s a bit of a savings spread. City slickers, especially in the big capitals, are sitting on the highest average savings at about $38,000. The story is a bit different in regional and rural areas, with averages of around $28,500 and $27,000, respectively.

No surprises here - savings accounts get fatter when paychecks are higher. Those earning $100,000 or more per year are holding the most in savings, while those on lower incomes have less cash stashed.

Screenshot 2023-11-15 at 3.44.27 pm

Source: NAB Australian Wellbeing Survey. 

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.