More households struggle to save according to ME Bank survey

The number of households able to put money away each month once bills are paid are dwindling according to ME Banks biannual Household Financial Comfort Report.

House holds battling to save money have shot up two percent to 51 per cent in the six months to December 2013 according to the ME Bank report.

Researchers found that single parents suffered the most anxiety about their savings while retirees and couples with children reported the highest level of comfort when it came to savings.

The study of 1,500 households found nearly half have less than $5,000 in savings for an emergency, while 11 per cent are spending more than they earn.

A further five per cent were forced to draw down the equity in their home to make ends meet month to month.

Job insecurity is also on the rise, rated one of the biggest concerns with nearly  one third of households not feeling safe in their employment. This was compared to June when only five per cent of respondents harboured the same worry.

If they were to hypothetically lose their job, apprehension about finding a new one within two months rose one per cent to 55 per cent.

Job insecurity rated as one of the biggest concerns with nearly one-third of households not feeling safe in their employment.

ME Bank chief executive Jamie McPhee said the rise in job insecurity is a result of increasing unemployment coinciding with a surge in casual and part-time roles.

"That's exacerbated by a relatively low level of household comfort with emergency cash buffers," he said. While 31,600 full-time jobs were lost last month, 9000 part-time jobs were added to the economy.

For households looking to meet their savings goals and make ends meet, finding new ways to tighten the belt without compromising on lifestyle have never been of higher importance. Household financial products like home loans and savings accounts are expected to come under scrutiny.

Consumers are encouraged to make the most of free financial comparison tools to get their finances operating at maximum efficiency.