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Laughing all the way to the bank

RaboDirect's National Savings Debt Barometer finds regular savers are 3 times happier

While money itself may not be enough to buy happiness, regular saving habits can literally see people laugh all the way to the bank according to the 2013 RaboDirect National Saving and Debt Barometer (NSDB).

The research found that regular savers1 can bank on happiness and good health, uncovering a direct correlation between savings regularity, happiness and health. An estimated 62% of regular savers report that they are completely happy with their life, well above the national average of 48%. Meanwhile, only 19% of ‘unrestrained spenders’2 say they are completely happy.

And it’s not only mental wellbeing where regular savers lead the way, 56% of regular savers say they are in excellent health, more than double the amount of ‘unrestrained spenders’ who say this (26%).

Commenting on the findings, Greg McAweeney, Executive General Manager of RaboDirect, said: “We’ve always had our suspicions that regular savings habits could put a smile on the dial and now we have the proof. And it’s also interesting to note the link between savings and health. Just like you need regular exercise to keep fit and healthy, you can keep your finances in shape by taking steps like setting a savings goal, writing down a budget or moving your savings into a high interest savings account.

“It’s great to see that there are more Australians saving each month than in past years, however there is definitely room for improvement and our barometer research gives people good reason to kick start their savings habit. It’s not about how much money you have, it is what you do with it. So just by controlling the things you can control – such as your own personal saving habits –you could end up happier than ever before!

“For the 76% of Australians who haven’t yet established a regular savings plan and may need some extra help getting financially fit, consider seeking tips from a professional. A certified financial planner can act as your personal finance trainer. As our research findings show, a strong saving habit can see you healthy, wealthy and happy.”

Other key findings from the NSDB:

  • 62% of regular savers are completely happy with their lives, compared to only 19% of ‘unrestrained spenders’.
  • 56% of regular savers say they are in excellent health, versus only 26% of ‘unrestrained spenders’.
  • 41% of regular savers watch their calorie intake.
  • Unsurprisingly, regular savers are six times more likely to be comfortable with their finances than ‘unrestrained spenders’ (64% of regular savers vs. 7% of ‘unrestrained spenders’).
  • Nearly one quarter (24%) of Australians are regular savers – this is up from 18% in 2012.
  • 18% of people do not save anything in a typical month, with many (5%) also spending more than they earn.
  • 1 Defined as those who save a regular amount each month.
  • 2 Defined as those who do not save anything in a typical month and typically spend more than they earn.
  • 46% of Australians have a long term financial plan; among ‘unrestrained spenders’ this is only 16%.