My ugliest trait is being competitive.
Okay, full disclosure: super competitive. It’s not my fault, really, I was just born with an innate need to win things. A game of Boggle or Monopoly can be disastrous for anyone sitting opposite me because if I don’t win, then I’m sorry but we must play again. Then again. Then again, preferably until you either fall asleep or need to pee or die.
This extreme competitive side means the most bizarre thoughts enter my mind on a hourly basis, like: “I wonder what the world record for hula hooping is? I can hula hoop. How much does a hula hoop cost?”
One of these thoughts crossed my mind on the tram ride to work this morning – “How much does the average person save every month?”
If I were to compare myself to other people my age, how would I fare? Am I a gold medal saver, or do I have some work to do compared to my peers?
Well, well, well. So glad I asked.
It turns out the team at Suncorp are competitive creatures too, because they researched this a couple of years ago and found that the average Aussie saves $427 a month – a figure that has steadily increased since the financial crisis of 2008.
It’s handy to note that the average monthly earnings for Australians in May 2017 was $4710.80 – so we’re coming in just a smidgen under that golden “save 10 per cent of everything you earn” rule nan and pop used to reiterate every Sunday lunch.
While that’s all well and good – there are differences between the generations.
Here’s the breakdown.
25-34 years old
Ah, my people.
It turns out we are the savviest savers of all, millennial friends. (Not because we’re special snowflakes – implying that would give Team Baby Boomers an aneurysm – but because most of us don’t have a bunch of ratbag kids and a mortgage slurping up our funds like a slushie. Sorry.)
If you sit in this age bracket and pop $533 away into your savings account every month you are bang-on average for your age.
Where we do fall down is our emergency savings. The 2015 Australian Financial Fitness Index shows that those aged between 25 and 34 only have access to an average of $2000 that can “easily be accessed to cover a financial shock without increasing debt”.
Listen: We have an app that keeps track of IOUs for you. (Post continues…)
35-50 years old
Those who loosely fit into the Generation X bracket are saving slightly less than their millennial counterparts – about $400 a month – but there is an upside: In case of an emergency the Australian men and women in this age bracket can comfortably access an average of $3500 that isn’t tied up in other assets.
So if an unexpected situation arises (say, knock on wood, you lose your job, your car breaks down, or you break your foot on little Tabitha’s goddamn Lego) you’re likely more equipped to deal with the fall-out than your younger friends.
51-65 years old
Because this group is more likely to pull back on their time commitment to work, the men and women in this bracket earn the least of the three groups: hovering around $300 a month.
Again, it’s not bad news, because those who have been working longer also have a greater safety net to catch them if an emergency arises; baby boomers have, on average, $5000 sitting pretty if they need it at short notice.
How do you fare compared to other people your age? Let us know in the comments below…