Aussies expected to boost savings accounts

Aussies are more likely to put money into savings accounts than treat themselves to luxury purchases over the next year, new research has indicated.

According to a study of 1,400 people conducted by investment and brokerage firm CLSA, concerns about debt, employment and retirement will prompt a safety-first approach, the Australian reports.

Over half (55 per cent) of Aussies have been more strict with their spending in the past year – up slightly from the 50 per cent recorded in 2011 – and many are spurning the shopping centres and turning to the web to pick up a bargain.

"Online shopping continues to broaden, with the largest growth being seen in apparel and cosmetics," the report stated. Domestic retailers are also bearing the brunt of Aussies' caution over money, as the research also revealed 80 per cent of people who purchase goods online do so through international websites.

As well as bringing down spending by shopping over the web, Aussies are also swelling their savings accounts by cutting back on luxuries and treats. Over a third (35 per cent) are buying cheaper items, with 26 per cent now shopping at discount outlets, up from 22 per cent last year. Furthermore, dining in seems to be the new eating out, as 41 per cent have cut back on restaurant meals and drinking, up from 34 per cent.

Those who took part in the research cited rising utility bills as a concern and this supports the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey from Melbourne University, which revealed many have noticed this aspect of their spending has become more of an issue in recent years. The government's new carbon tax is likely to put households under more pressure by causing energy prices to rise across the country, analysts believe.

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