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Aussies feel more cash-strapped

By Victoria Young
2 minute read

After steadily decreasing for years, financial insecurity has suddenly increased by 7 per cent according to research.

Feelings of financial security have plummeted among Australians - especially women - despite the nation's healthy economic outlook.

The ipac financial security index, which surveyed 921 people in May, found a growing number feel cash-strapped. Respondents were middle Australians with a higher income and education level.

The survey, which was conducted by independent researcher brandmanagement, revealed the feeling of financial security had fallen to 51.6 per cent, down from 58.6 per cent in November 2006. In March 2006, 62.1 per cent felt financially stable.

"The price of petrol is up, regular expenses like utilities have increased, credit card debt is high, mortgage repayments are more than a year ago and other costs of living have risen," ipac director and head of financial planning Sally Manion said.

Respondents who use financial advisers are more secure than those who do not. However, less than half of respondents had a financial plan, but only 44 per cent had written it down.

A sense of financial instability is more acute in women as they have a better understanding of the household budget, Manion said.

More women feel financially insecure (43 per cent) than there those feeling secure (40.9 per cent), the research by brandmanagement found.

Two in three couples squabble about their finances. Over-spending and one spouse spending more than the other were the main reasons.

A quarter of fights were left to fester, rather than resolved.

Half of respondents said they argued once a month about money and one in 10 said they had weekly fights about cash.

Having a financial plan and savings of more than $10,000, helps boost feeling of financial security, Manion concluded.