One in 3 feel finances ‘out of control’

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Australians are more upbeat about the state of the economy but less optimistic about their personal finances in 2014.


Two out of three Australians believe the economy is in a strong position this year, according to the annual Westpac Australia Day Index released on Monday.

The survey of 1,035 Australians showed national economic positivity was up four points from 2013, led mainly by the belief that Australia is making sound economic decisions.

Tourism and resources were listed as the economy’s greatest strengths followed by Asian growth and agriculture.

But Australians are feeling less confident about their personal finances this year, with positivity dropping 11 points, the report said.

That was mainly driven by a sense that there are fewer opportunities available with regards to financial independence and the ability to create wealth and pursue a career of choice.

Almost one third of Australians said they felt their finances were out of control, citing bills as their top concern.

But 53 per cent of those people said they planned on creating a budget to get back on track.

Westpac retail banking general manager Gai McGrath said those wanting to take control of their finances should start by seeking advice.

“Many Australians don’t realise the level of financial expertise that is available to them at their local bank branch,” she said.

“Walk in, talk to a banker and seek their professional advice.

“There’s also a huge range of digital tools that are simple and effective, such as an online budget planner, which can help people take back control.”

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