Financial Wellbeing in Australia – is there a problem?

A CoreData Survey revealed some shocking statistics about Australian financial lives:

  • 1 in 3 Australians are suffering from financial stress.
  • 66% of those with financial stress said their money worries led to feelings of fear, depression and anxiety – 3 times higher than people unaffected by money problems.
  • 23% are just getting by, 13% are struggling (Source: ASIC).
  • Research on financial wellbeing in the Australian workplace found that, on average, financially stressed Australian employees lose 6.9 hours of productive work a week and are absent 4 days a year due to stress-related illness (Source: AMP Study).
  • It is estimated that over the next 3 years, interest-only loans worth a combined total of approximately $360 billion will roll over to interest plus principal —meaning borrowers will face higher repayments.

One of the most surprising findings of the survey was that financial stress is not only experienced in low-income households. Respondents on salaries of up to $150,000 a year with investments of up to $750,000 were only marginally less financially-stressed than those who earned up to $90,000 with investments up to $350,000. It was also found that women are much more likely to be financially stressed than men.

In short – there is a BIG problem!

So what can employers do to support employees?

A number of initiatives by Australian employers have already been introduced including flexible work schedules (which can reduce travel costs), car pooling, subsidised catering, relaxed dress codes and other ways that can help employees manage their daily costs. However, employers can also help with education.

At FTA, we have developed short practical sessions which are designed to provide that education. We do not give financial advice – we are not financial planners and are totally independent – but assist with helping employees to set financial goals for their personal lives, assess their current financial situation and develop a plan for working towards those financial goals.

In designing the workshops, we have also been mindful of the sensitivity of this issue for many and therefore ensure that individuals’ privacy is respected.
Our interactive session includes a guide to developing a home budget, questionnaires regarding family finances and practical tips around increasing incomes and managing household costs – including energy, insurance and mortgage interest as well as information on apps and various websites offering advice on a range of topics.

There is a wealth of information available online, so why are so few Australians accessing it? One reason could be that they do not know where to start. Our hands-on, practical approach can help your staff take the first steps to getting their finances under control and on track to reach their own personal financial goals.

Sample Agenda

Finance Quiz
Your Financial Goals
Understanding Your Current Financial Situation
Planning
Tips and Tricks
Increasing Your Income
Cutting Your Costs
Mortgages and Credit Cards
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Financial Fitness Test

So how do you rate your financial smarts? Let's put them to the test with this 3 minute quiz!