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One in four Australians extremely concerned about their personal finances

MEDIA RELEASE: March 22 2021: Toluna’s ‘Understanding the 2021 Consumer’ Global Barometer Study is a regular index that taps into a community panel of 30+ million members providing accurate and timely information on the world’s current perceptions. The latest research surveyed 1,070 respondents in Australia between 25 February 25 and 3 March 2021. 

KEY FINDINGS 
After an unprecedented year of lockdowns, business closures and rising unemployment levels, Australians are feeling the pinch financially. 

  • 27% are extremely concerned about their personal finances, with 43% stating that they’re less well off as a direct result of the pandemic  
  • Women are more concerned than men, with 28% of women feeling extremely concerned about their finances compared with only 25% of men 
  • Similarly, 45% of women are less well off than since before the pandemic, compared with only 41% of men  

Despite this, however, 66% of those surveyed said they feel optimistic about the future.  

Job security
The pandemic has rendered job security a key concern for many Australians:

  • Only 30% of respondents stated that they feel secure in their employment 
    • This figure is lower for those aged between 18-24 (29%) and 55-64 years (27%)  
    • Those between 25-34 feel most secure in their employment (45%), followed by those 35-44 (39%) and 45-54 (30%) 
  • There is a discrepancy again between men and women when it comes to job security, with only 24% of women feeling secure in their employment, compared to 37% of men 

More money conscious 
The pandemic has resulted in Australians becoming more money conscious: 

  • 40% of Australians now planning to think more carefully about the way they spend 
  • 44% plan to save more money for a rainy day 
  • 39% want to be better at budgeting  
  • 27% want to pay off their debts 
  • 19% want to keep more money in easy access accounts  
  • And 18% plan to put more money into longer-term investments  

A shift in priorities
The pandemic has changed Australia’s priorities and this is affecting where we spend our money. Australians are planning to cut back on the following items, post pandemic, spending less money on: 

  • Work clothing (20%) 
  • Leisure clothing (19%) 
  • Entertainment and subscriptions (19%)  
  • Books & magazines (18%) 
  • Buying a car (18%)  

Conversely, Australians are planning to spend more on: 

  • Home improvement (20%) 
  • Household cleaning (18%) 
  • Personal care and hygiene (21%)  
  • Healthcare (20%) 
  • Going out to eat (28%) 

Toluna Analysis  
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us financially – both in terms of job security and our outlook for the future; particularly for women. Our findings demonstrate that the sudden and unexpected lockdowns have made us think twice about the way we spend; and while it’s concerning to see that one in four Australians are so worried about their personal finances, it’s great to see more cautious spending behaviour and an increased focus on paying off debts and saving money,” said Sej Patel, Country Director, Toluna, Australia & New Zealand. 

“With Australians spending more time at home, it makes sense that budgets are being put toward home improvements, cleaning and healthcare. It will be interesting to see how these sentiments change as vaccines are rolled out, putting travel and big ticket events back on the agenda.” 

Website: Toluna

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