Australians Impacted by High Living Costs and Cashless Habits

Jul 31, 2023 | News

By: Mark McCrindle

The rising cost of living is taking a toll on Australians. Recent research found that almost two in five Australians (37%) would find themselves without funds within a week if their income were to cease.

This statistic remains consistent with findings from two years ago when the nation grappled with the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns (36%). The ongoing permanence of many Australians facing a week or less if their income were to run out indicates that many Aussies continue to face financial fragility.

Younger Aussies Most at Risk

It is younger Australians who are most likely to experience financial hardship in the short timeframe with one in two Gen Z (46%) state they would run out of money within the week if their income stopped. Gen Y (42%) and Gen X (39%) aren’t far behind while Baby Boomers are least likely to run out of money within a week (21%).

A Nation with Little Cushion

For a quarter of Australians (26%), their savings accounts have less than $500 in it right now highlighting a lack of financial reserve to weather unexpected financial challenges. Amidst the high cost of living, it means that many Australians are volatile to financial disruptions with limited financial buffering.

Toward a Cashless Society

Reflective of changing consumer behaviours, Australians are less likely to carry cash than they did two years ago. Currently, more than two in five Australians (44%) do not have cash on hand. This stands in stark contrast to just two years ago where only one in three Australians (33%) had no cash on them.

It is younger Aussies leading the charge toward a cashless society with nearly two in three Gen Z (64%) indicating they don’t have cash on them compared to their older counterparts (cf. 52% Gen Y, 38% Gen X, 24% Baby Boomers). This trending preference for no cash highlights the increasing reliance on digital payment methods as we make way for the integration of technology into everyday life.

The pulse of Australia’s financial stability highlights the many financial challenges faced by many Australians amidst the escalated cost of living.

Wealth and Income Infographic

wealth and income graphic

Curious about how wealth and income are distributed across different generations in Australia? This infographic provides a detailed look at the annual income and household wealth of Builders, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z.

Download now