Alarming statistics released on household financial stress

Alarming statistics released on household financial stress

Financial stress is increasing in New South Wales and the number of households who are spending more than they earn has escalated during the past five years, according to a new Wesley Mission report launched on 28 April.

The Wesley Report Facing financial stress reveals that an alarming 44 per cent of NSW households are suffering financial stress – up from 37 per cent in 2010. The survey also found that 38 per cent of NSW households are spending more than they earn – a seven per cent increase from 2010.

Wesley Mission commissioned Urbis to survey 500 NSW households in late 2014 and to compare the results with those found in 2010.

“It is a telling reality that translated state-wide almost four in ten or 1,022,010 households are now technically insolvent,” said the CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner.

Between 2010 and 2015 disposable income has decreased and an increasing number of households are spending more than they earn.

“When there are no savings to fall back on when an illness or misadventure hits, hardship usually follows,” Dr Garner said.

The ability to manage spending has also declined over time with fewer households able to keep a budget, growing from five to 19 per cent since 2010.

“We hear politicians of all persuasions drawing the analogy between government spending and household spending – the need to balance the household budget,” Dr Garner said. “It is clear from these figures that households are not balancing their budgets and that the burden of debt is increasingly shifting from the public to the private sphere.

“Households are simply not living within their means and are unable to save money.”

While Australia has benefited from a strong economy since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), it seems the afterglow of the resources boom has worn off.

Consumer confidence is at its lowest ebb in 10 years, and Australians remain concerned about job prospects, their own day-to-day personal finances, and our national economic outlook.

This Wesley Report sheds new light on the impact financial stress is having on individuals and families in New South Wales.

We have also compared these findings with the 2010 research we completed in The Wesley Report, Making ends meet: Financial stress is not just about money.

Read and download The Wesley Report

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