05 October 2012 6:31am
The average household that manages to save any of its income saves A$10,500 a year or $850 a month, research funded by ME Bank has found.
However, less than half of all households save any of their income each month, according to information compiled by DBM Consultants, along with Economics & Beyond and the Baker Group. ME Bank published the research this week.
Fifty-three per cent of households save nothing with some of this group frequently dis-saving to make ends meet. The research found that 43 per cent spend all of their income each month, while 10 per cent draw on savings or loans to pay regular bills.
The research – the second in a planned periodic measure of "household financial comfort" – provides an antidote to the thesis that households are saving more.
The national accounts, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, put the savings rate at around 10 per cent – a two-decade high.
Data on the behaviour of the minority of households with a home loan suggests that this segment is saving aggressively by making additional payments on their home loans.
The ME Bank report argued that the household sector "as a whole is coping reasonably well with debt servicing burdens [but] this masks a great deal of variation."
The research found a slight increase in the level of household financial comfort since late 2011, with increased government payments to families with children being the main driver.