Around a quarter of Kiwis don’t have any savings, and 35 per cent have less than NZ$1,000 of savings as a buffer, new research from ANZ shows.
Just over 20 per cent of Kiwis were sometimes, often, or always unable to pay bills or loans when they got a final reminder, the bank says in a press release.
“While most New Zealanders feel they are doing OK with money, we have a significant number without savings to fall back on,” Antonia Watson, ANZ’s Managing Director Retail and Business Banking, says.
“The ability to start saving, even a small amount, is one of the biggest factors in people feeling higher financial wellbeing,” Watson says.
The study showed two behaviours were key to financial wellbeing – active saving and not borrowing for everyday expenses.
“If you don’t have money that you can draw from in times of need, you may need to sell your assets – for example a car, or house.”
Hepple says if you have savings, this can also help in times of emergencies, such as if an overseas relative dies and you need to fly immediately for the funeral.
Turning saving money into a habit was good, he says.
“If you put aside regular savings when you’re younger, it’s far more likely that you’ll continue this habit later in life.”
Research showed 23 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed have no financial worries, 40 per cent are doing OK, 24 per cent are getting by, and 13 per cent are struggling.
“There’s also a big divide in financial wellbeing between home owners and renters. Renters are the most likely to rarely or never save, and those who own their homes are the most confident in all aspects of their finances,” Watson says.
Around 1500 Kiwis were surveyed as part of the bank’s Financial Wellbeing Survey.
Read the full report here.
First published 20 April 2018
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