80% Of Working Australians Stress Over Money

New research from the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has revealed disturbingly high levels of financial stress in Australia.

Money stress Australia


The survey of more than 2,500 working-age Australians looked into “the regrets, dreams, and attitudes to matters of money and life” across a number of different age groups and demographics.

One of the key findings was that nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed believed they were “definitely” or “mostly” living the dream, while 80% said their financial situation caused them some level of stress.

One in four working-age Australians indicated they had “acute” stress levels over money.

Financial confidence – a generational divide

An interesting finding from the research was that your likelihood of struggling with financial/life planning is tied to which generation you are from.

According to the research:

  • More than half (53%) of Gen Y struggle with planning their life, finding it very/somewhat hard
  • Two in five members of Gen X (44%) felt the same way
  • Only a quarter (25%) of Baby Boomers encountered difficulty in planning their life

Generational divides were also evident among the four “Financial Action Personalities” identified by the FPA, which were:

  1. Daydreamer (32% of Australians) – Australians who fall into this category and “love to dream about their future but often struggle to act on their plans”. 47% of this personality type were Gen Y.
  2. Go-Getter (33% of Australians) – Australians who fall into this category are also dreamers, but are more inclined to act on their plans. Many of this type were Gen Y (48%), more likely to live in a capital city (68%), and more likely to have a degree (41%).
  3. Cruiser (19% of Australians) – This personality type was dominated by Baby Boomers (37%), and is more prone to living with the present in mind rather than dreaming about the future. They were more likely to be “relationally free” (24% being single) than any of the other three personality types.
  4. Builder (16% of Australians) – This personality type is almost the opposite of the Daydreamer, preferring to “act immediately, and rarely spend time dreaming about the future”. They were more likely to be from Gen X (38%), and to be in a family with kids (37%) than other personality types.

Owning a home now less of a priority

While home-ownership may have once been the top priority for Australians, the FPA’s research shows this has actually slipped to fourth place in terms of what constitutes “living the dream”.

The top two goals offered by Australians as evidence of ‘living the dream’ were “having the lifestyle of their choice” (57%), and “having financial freedom and independence” (54%), showing that overall security may be more important than home ownership.

FPA CEO Dante De Gori said “the research reveals a powerful data link between our nation’s happiness and financial planning”.

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