Alarming statistics revealed that one in 10 Australians are spending more than they earn.
The Household Financial Comfort survey of 1500 households found a quarter of all homes have less than $1000 in savings and one in 10 are spending every cent of their income, then going into debt each month.
University student and casual waitress at Trail Street Cafe, Demi Lawler, knows all too well about stretching the budget each week.
“Pretty much all of my money is spent each week,” Miss Lawler said.
“I struggle to save on top of paying rent and bills; basically I live week-to-week, paycheck-to-paycheck.”
The report also found 10 per cent fewer Australians were saving compared to last year.
What may seem a shock, Wagga’s Business Chamber vice president Daniel Donebus said he is not surprised by these figures.
“It’s been a growing problem identified by the Reserve Bank and overtime Australians have become comfortable with debt and this attitude should be the other way around,” Mr Donebus said.
“Many people are purchasing items or holidays and simply going out and buying it through credit and worrying about the money later.
“As we’ve seen through the banking royal commission, there has been a push to get credit out the door and as a result, people are ending up with money that doesn’t belong to them.”
The proposed Life Ready program for NSW public schools, will educate senior high school students on the importance of budgeting and saving from an early age.
However, Mr Donebus said education alone is not enough to teach financial responsibility.
“Education is always going to be an important component, but expecting all people with different education levels and experiences to budget, will take time to resolve,” he said.
“I think it is prudent what the Reserve Bank is doing.
“They are putting pressure and forcing lenders to be responsible for issuing credit cards and not lending their money to specific markets,” he said.
While Mr Donebus said saving and budgeting is “challenging”, people should be managing their expenses and allow a “buffer in their income” and record their commitments.
“There is a need for people to consider income protection to assist them if they fall into any unexpected issues,” he said.
“This is a cause of concern; an economy wide issue and the consequences can be felt right around the country.
“As we move further through economic challenges that the entire economy is dealing with, if people have low savings or high debt, not only could this lead to short term struggles, this could lead to a decline in business traffic, effects on property prices which could result in people being foreclosed on and having to sell their property at short notice.”