Generation Y have come out on top when it comes to saving money, with better saving habits than generation X and baby boomers.
When it comes to saving a regular amount every month, Gen Y are the best at it, with 29 per cent saving regularly compared with 19 per cent of baby boomers, according to the RaboDirect annual Savings and Debt Barometer.
Among those who save nothing at all – or even spend more than they earn – 24 per cent were baby boomers, compared with 11 per cent of Gen Ys.
“People often give Gen Y a bad rap when it comes to finances but we’ve been running this survey since 2009 and Gen Y tend to be a lot more savvy than people give them credit for,” RaboDirect Australia executive general manager Greg McAweeney said.
“A deposit for a house is something they would be aspiring towards. It’s still the great Australian dream to have your own property.
“Boomers have a different attitude – they’re probably more focused on retirement strategies.”
Internet savvy Gen Y are generally better at researching savings strategies and looking for a better deal than the boomers, who are less likely to switch banks for higher interest rates but are the best at budgeting and would be putting money toward superannuation rather than savings, Mr McAweeney said.
But there’s a large gap between the superannuation many boomers have and the amount they need for retirement, he said.
“There’s quite a large proportion of boomers – 29 per cent – who have not yet retired and think they will retire with a mortgage, which is an awful lot, nearly a third, which is a bit scary,” Mr McAweeney said.
“Often they’ll say: `I’m going to use some of my superannuation to pay it off’, which is the worst thing you can do.”
Overall, Australians have become better at saving since the global financial crisis and have felt more optimistic about their finances this year than they did last year, Mr McAweeney said.
And those with healthy finances led healthier, happier lives.
“We do see a link between savings and happiness. Your financial health equates to your physical and mental wellbeing,” he said.