The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being extremely concerned, and is based on job security, health, the ability to fund retirement, cost of living, and government policy. 

Overall, Australians believed their living costs had fallen over the past three months, particularly in lockdown-affected sectors like entertainment, travel, eating out, and transport. 

Groceries topped the list of living costs, followed by utilities, medical expenses, telecommunications, and rent. 

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest non-introductory interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money

    Saver Account (<$250k)

    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money
    4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking

    Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Maximum Age - 24

    Goal Saver

    • Maximum Age - 24
    02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    No monthly fees
    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    No monthly fees

    Save Account

    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings

    Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    For customers aged 14-35 years
    For customers aged 14-35 years

    Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

      Boost Saver

        Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

        All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of March 4, 2024. View disclaimer.

        Although the cost of living was the biggest driver of overall anxiety, it was only marginally ahead of government policy, where anxiety has risen as JobKeeper and JobSeeker begin to wind back. 

        Anxiety around job security also lifted to be well above the survey average. 

        By state, anxiety was highest in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), followed by Queensland and Western Australia.

        Victoria had the highest anxiety around job security and government policy, while New South Wales and the ACT had the highest anxiety around health, retirement funding, and cost of living. 

        Anxiety fell in all other states and was lowest in Tasmania. 

        nabanxiety01

        Source: NAB

        Men continued to have lower anxiety than women, with women substantially more anxious about the cost of living and retirement funding. 

        Fewer consumers cut back on spending compared to the previous quarter, but spending still continued to be driven by the essentials. 

        The biggest improvements in non-essential spending were on eating out, entertainment, and travel and holidays. 

        Saving still trumps spending 

        Despite renewed optimism about spending in the next 12 months, more people intend to spend less than those who intend to spend more. 

        Areas where people to expect to spend more are home renovations, private health insurance, and residential property. 

        Consumers intend to spend less on cars, investment properties, school fees, and holidays. 

        nabanxiety03

        Source: NAB

        The biggest behavioural change in consumers was being mindful of where they spent their money (+39%), highlighting the importance of value pricing. 

        NAB reported value perception had become increasingly important post-COVID as consumer perceived value was grounded in the belief that a product or service meets their needs or expectations. 

        Supporting local business (+35%) was the next most common behavioural change, underlining the opportunity for small business post-COVID. 

        NAB research showed trust levels towards small businesses were extremely high. 

        Other key areas where consumer behaviours are changing most included: 

        • More buying online to avoid going into a store (+23%),
        • Switching to less expensive products to save money (+20%),
        • Doing more research before buying (+18%), and 
        • Purchasing products based on availability (+17%). 

        Amid continued lockdown restrictions, a much larger number of consumers in Victoria did more buying online, purchased more products based on availability, shopped on a new website, bought a product due to convenience, and tried a new brand or product.