The MasterCard Money Management Index has interviewed 1,200 Australians about the level of their savings. The results, not to put too fine a point on it, are horrifying.

One third of respondents believed they would be able to survive for a month or less on their existing savings. And yet a full 80 per cent of them recognised they needed at least three to six months’ worth of savings to adequately cover themselves. Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon (from [email protected]) said, “You should leave yourselves an emergency fund of preferably six months’ saary.

“If something goes wrong in your life from a busted fridge to losing your job then you’ll have no alternative byt to reach for the credit card.

“It stops a short term personal trauma becoming a long-term financial disaster.”

Australians are very poor savers. Many have little to no savings even in their thirties and forties. Most savings are for big purchases like holidays and cars. Almost none of it for rainy-days.

Those with six months or more worth of savings sitting in a bank account are very, very rare.

Financial experts recommend earners put aside 10 per cent of their wages each time they are paid.

The study also found that 20 per cent of people admit already struggling with debt and household cash flow from one week to the next.

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