Women more concerned about economic challenges – report

Shift in spending patterns evident among Australians

Women more concerned about economic challenges – report

Women are more concerned about economic challenges, with almost 80% of women worried about the cost of living compared to 68% of men – a concern that extends to housing affordability and interest rates, a recent study has found.

Great Southern Bank’s No Place Like Home report has shown that as a response to financial pressures, 90% of women have altered their spending habits over the past year, compared to 83% of men.

The report indicates that the most significant cutbacks for both men (53%) and women (64%) have been in entertainment, takeaway, home delivery, and dining out. For women, groceries and fresh food rank as the second most common area for spending reductions (50%), followed by beauty treatments (48%).

“We know Australians are feeling cost-of-living pressures, regardless of gender,” said Megan Keleher, chief customer officer at Great Southern Bank. “However, the research shows that women are taking a more proactive approach to reducing spending and being savvy around their money management.”

“Even though it might feel like costs are only headed in one direction, it’s great to see people still finding ways to save – and if you talk to your bank, there are always options to get yourself back on track financially if that’s what you need.”

The report also revealed that younger generations, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are less likely to consult financial professionals, with less than one in four having a financial plan made by a qualified expert.

Instead, these age groups predominantly turn to family and friends for financial guidance. Over the past year, only a small fraction consulted professionals like accountants or financial advisers.

Turning to family and friends may be a great place to start in increasing your financial knowledge and it doesn’t need to end there,” Keleher said. “Jumping on a bank’s website and using a budget planning calculator or a savings tool could be an easy next step to becoming more financially savvy, before potentially talking to your bank, a mortgage broker or another qualified expert.

“The more advice you seek out, the more equipped you’ll feel to make the big financial decisions in life – whether it is starting your savings journey, taking out a car loan or buying a home.”

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