Australian financial wellness platform WeMoney conducted a survey with 1,348 people to uncover their thoughts about their finances and their outlook for the future. 

According to the figures, 85% of the respondents acknowledged they’ve been impacted by inflation and rising interest rates.

More than half said their regular weekly expenses have increased by $100 or more. 

WeMoney founder and CEO Dan Jovevski said a concerning sign from the survey was the degree in which people worry about having debt products.

“Almost a third of the respondents worry about debt on a daily basis,” Mr Jovevski told Savings.com.au.

“There is a real confluence of events here as we have rising inflation which is eroding people’s purchasing power and then we also have increasing rates - a double whammy effect.

“The lower income bracket are more likely to worry about debt a lot more which has caused a lot of household turmoil and stress as people need to worry about making ends meet.”

One of the major findings from the survey was that there were two camps of people - those who are prepared for any changes, and those who are unprepared i.e. going with the flow.

“The people that were more prepared were worried about the situation at hand, but were also taking active steps to deal with any changes that may arise,” Mr Jovevski said.

“Whereas the people who are unprepared are more likely to feel the stress a little more and thus make adjustments in a much harder way.

“The tip for people that are underprepared is that it’s not too late. You can still make necessary changes now before you start feeling the weight of even more rising costs.”

Aussies look for ways to save 

The figures also show two out of three (66.5%) people believe they can get a better deal in the market on their existing financial products. 

While 48% of those with an active debt product are looking to refinance their loan to a better rate within the next 12 months.

“This is the time for people to start paying attention to every single expense they have,” Mr Joveski said. 

“Given that the largest expense most people have is their mortgage, a lot of people expressed their intent to either consolidate debt, or refinance their mortgage in order to save on their biggest asset.”

ABS data shows there was a rush to refinance as interest rate rises took effect.

Steps homeowners can take to prepare for the future

One in two survey respondents are feeling worried about the economy with 60% predicting the economy will get worse within the next 12 months. 

In contrast, only 16% are feeling positive about the current economy. 

If you’re part of the former group, Mr Joveski recommends the following tips to stay on top of your finances in this uncertain period. 

“The easiest thing everybody can do is cancel unused subscriptions,” he said. 

“After talking to some of our members for case studies, we found that people can typically save $150 every single month by canceling subscriptions such as Netflix, newspapers, and even old gym memberships. 

“The best thing you can do is go and have a look at your bank account and just see if there’s anything you’re spending money on that you no longer need. You could save yourself money almost immediately. 

“People should also be looking to put more savings into their emergency fund so they can buffer the impacts of cost of living.” 


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