Australians are growing more worried about their livelihoods on the back of rising costs and ongoing political dramas, and most of us don’t think we’re much better off than our parents were, according to a new report.
NAB’s consumer anxiety index rose again this quarter, hitting its highest level since 2016, with cost of living the biggest driver of stress for consumers.
We’re more worried about our job security than we’ve been in two years and fears around political uncertainty also jumped.
Interestingly, despite better living standards, most of us think we’re only doing slightly better than our parents’ generation and just moderately better than our grandparents were.
That might be because most Australians don’t think we’re earning enough to live comfortably.
When it comes to enjoying a ‘reasonable’ standard of living, most think we need to pull in $102,000 on average per household, which is $14,000 higher than the average income of $86,000 per year.
But how much we think we need varies depending on where we live. People in NSW or ACT believe we need the most at $110,000, while Tasmanians feel comfortable on around $76,000 per household.
Stress levels also depend on a number of lifestyle factors, with lower income earners among the most anxious, along with renters, parents and women between the ages of 30 and 49.
Live in Tasmania? You’re not only happier earning a lot less, you’re also probably less stressed than most, along with widows and men over the age of 50.
When it comes to our biggest financial fears, we’re most worried about whether we have enough for retirement, followed by our ability to provide for the family.
Bills have the biggest impact on our financial position, followed by lack of savings, too little government support and grocery bills.
Younger people were most affected by lack of employment and rent, while 30-49 year olds said children’s expenses, mortgage repayments and personal household debt were the most impactful of their financial well-being.
People are less concerned about paying off credit card debts and having enough money to pay for food and basic necessities.