Australians struggling to pay bills and have an emergency fund, says NAB

aussies struggling to save

The cost-of-living continues to rise and a new NAB research says that many people find saving challenging due to debt repayments, bills and everyday spending. 

It found that one in three Aussies have high financial stress, as a result.

“Australians want to save but actually doing it is another thing because of household expenses and everyday activities,” said NAB group executive of personal banking, Rachel Slade.

NAB surveyed about 2,000 Aussies adults in late 2021 and its data shows that people living in NSW, ACT and Tasmania were the ones experiencing most financial stress. Many who are struggling with financial hardships asked for loans from friends and family to help them manage, while more than 40% of all adults reported a decline in their savings due to said hardships. 

Those who did manage to save had an average account balance of about $1,000 or more during the three month period the survey was conducted. According to popular finance guru, the Barefoot Investor, the ideal amount in an emergency fund should be about $2,000.

Tips on how to start saving for an emergency fund

Saving doesn’t have to feel like a chore, you can actually make it into a game. Having a savings challenge usually doesn’t require depositing large amounts of money into an account, which is a big plus. 

Something like the $5 Saving Challenge where you transfer $5 into your savings every time you see your everyday account balance end in a 5 can help your savings slowly grow.

Alternatively, you can take a good look at your finances to explore where you can save money–which could mean switching energy providers or your car insurance. Even if it’s just saving a couple dollars here and there, don't forget that every little bit helps in the long run. 

“Cancelling unused subscriptions can be done at the click of a button, while shopping around for better deals on key bills can save you hundreds of dollars a year,” said Slade.

If you’re one of the many Australians trying to figure out how to have better savings check out our tips and guides page to get you started. Also check out our savings account comparison table below to find which account is best for you.

Savings account comparisons on Mozo - last updated 23 April 2024

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    High Interest Savings Account

    5.75% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)

    4.40% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Reward yourself with a higher rate for your good savings habits with the Rabobank High Interest Savings Account . Receive the maximum rate when you grow your balance by at least $200 each month. No Account keeping fees. No minimum balance.

  • Savings Account

    5.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    4.75% p.a.(for $0 to $1,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus variable rate is available for the first four months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

  • Reward Saver Account

    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)

    0% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 5.25% for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months, reverting to 3.25%. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals.

    Introductory bonus rate for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals. Start your account online in under 10 minutes and earn interest on balances up to $1,000,000 (T&Cs apply). No monthly account fees, helping you save smarter and faster.

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    AMP Saver Account

    5.40% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    1.20% p.a.(for $0 to $5,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Enjoy a bonus rate when you deposit at least $1000 per month with the AMP Saver Account.

    No account fees. Unlimited transactions when linked to an AMP Bank transaction account. Easy online access to your money. Option to link your savings account to an everyday transaction account. 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

  • Savings+Bonus

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    2.00% p.a.(for $0 to $250,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Earn a generous interest rate on your at-call savings (T&Cs apply). Interest is calculated daily and paid to you monthly. A $5 monthly membership fee will not apply if your total account balances with First Option Bank exceed $1,000 or you have a credit card or loan with the bank.

  • High Interest Save Account

    5.10% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Deposit at least $200 to either Spend, Bills or Save account from an external source each month.

    No monthly fees on any of your save accounts. Split your money with up to 10 Save accounts. Set savings targets and track the progress of all your Save accounts. Deposits guaranteed up to $250K per customer.


^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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