That's according to a report - Brand New Australia - by research agencies The Lab and Nature which found that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Australians feel about their finances. 

The report, which surveyed more than 6,000 Australians, found that 48% of Australians said they expect the next few years to be difficult financially, while 54% are re-evaluating what they spend money on as a result of COVID-19.

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

Provider

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
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace
000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
*Rate varies on savings amount
  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
*Rate varies on savings amount

Save Account (>$100,000)

  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.

Savings Accelerator (Amounts < $50000)

  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
020000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

HomeME Savings Account ($0 - $100,000)

    02001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    Growth Saver ($1 - $25k)

      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)

        05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
        • Maximum Age - 24

        Goal Saver

        • Maximum Age - 24
        010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

        Boost Saver

          00.011$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

          Reward Saver Account($0-$100k)

            01000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

            Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $100k)

              0201$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

              Reward Saver Kick Start (Amounts ≤ $1m)

                00.010$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                Life (< 30 years) (Monthly deposit)

                  5000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                  NetBank Saver

                    000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                    ANZ Save

                      050$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                      Young Saver Account

                        0501$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                        Save up

                          02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                          Bonus Saver (<$1 Million)

                            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 $1,000 in the previous month
                            • No account fees
                            • Easy access to your money
                            000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                            Smart Saver Account (Under 25)

                              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 July 14, 2024. View disclaimer.

                              The research also found that:

                              • 65% of Australians believe the pandemic is the reset needed to reevaluate how we're living
                              • 58% want a simpler life when the pandemic is over
                              • 53% of Australians are really worried about the future
                              • 49% of Australians want things to go back to exactly how they were before COVID-19
                              • 44% of Australians will not be able to relax until there is a COVID-19 vaccine
                              • 36% of Australians are excited about the opportunities that will emerge post-pandemic

                              Nature Partner and Managing Director, Sydney, James Jayesuria, said it's clear that Australians feel like the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for change. 

                              “For many, the pandemic has led to their first taste of unemployment, a looming recession and a potential housing market crash," he said.

                              "For some, it has led to a rise in the sense of community and connection to local neighbourhoods. For others, it has led to a reinterpretation of what matters – where we spend our time and money, what we missed and what we didn’t miss."

                              The report revealed five segments of people: Safety Seekers (26% of Australians), Simplifiers (20%), Opportunists ( 20%), Strugglers (18%), and Returners (16%). 

                              Of those groups, the Strugglers and the Simplifiers were most concerned about their finances. 

                              "Strugglers are likely to be from lower-income households that have been hit financially by the crisis. They believe the next few years will be very difficult financially and saving money is a top priority for them," the report said. 

                              "The Simplifiers have also experienced a negative financial impact but they have a slightly more optimistic view of the world than the Strugglers.

                              "The Simplifiers are looking to lead less complicated lives and have changed their views about what they want out of life. They have re-evaluated their spending habits and are more focused on saving money."

                              It comes after a recent Consumer Policy Research Centre report estimates that 12 million Australians are concerned about their financial wellbeing as a result of COVID-19.

                              Lead researcher Dr Jeremiah Brown from the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW Sydney said before the pandemic, many Australians were not in a good position to withstand a large economic shock.

                              "That’s why so many households have been heavily affected by the pandemic in complex ways,” Dr Brown said.

                              "Prior to the pandemic, one-third of the Australian private rental market was in housing stress, Australia had the second highest household debt to income ratio in the world, approximately 30% of Australian households have less than one month of income worth of savings and one in eight Australians would not be able to raise $2,000 within one week in an emergency.

                              "For many households, a slight drop in income will hit hard as they don’t have savings to draw on when their income decreases.”

                              In June, the unemployment rate rose to 7.4% according to ABS statistics, again sparking calls for JobSeeker to be permanently increased. 

                              On Thursday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to outline new measures for the JobKeeper scheme