Image Pursuit Stalling Financial Goals

Posted on 16/04/2019  
Image Pursuit Stalling Financial Goals

New research has found that 35% of Australians feel pressured to keep up appearances and maintain a certain lifestyle – and it’s preventing some from achieving home ownership and other financial goals.

Mortgage Choice and CoreData’s Financial Fitness whitepaper explores Australians’ attitudes and behaviours towards their finances. Mortgage Choice Chief Executive Officer Susan Mitchell says: “We found that Australians are feeling pressured to keep up appearances in order to maintain their lifestyles, which can come at a cost to their financial goals and their health and wellbeing.”

“The research revealed that 38% of Australians are choosing to forgo buying their own home in order to keep up appearances,” she says.

A strategic financial plan, which includes a budget and savings regimen, may be the answer to combating the pressure and stress involved with keeping up appearances, was highlighted by Ms Mitchell.

"While 35% of respondents said they felt pressure to keep up appearances, this surged to almost 50% among respondents aged 30 years and younger. In contrast, the research found that only 20% of Australians aged between 51 and 60 felt pressured to keep up appearances.

“This is unsurprising in an age where image is everything, particularly for younger generations and avid users of social media who are bombarded constantly by the enviable lifestyles of Instagram and YouTube influencers.

“Although it’s very tempting to keep up with trends, it can be a dangerous strategy to live for today and not have a strategic plan for your longer-term financial security.

The research reveals a clear disparity between genders, with 37% of females saying they felt pressured to keep up appearances, versus 32% of males.

Mitchell says women in particular appear to have the financial odds stacked up against them in many ways. “With the added pressure to keep up appearances, it’s no wonder Australian women are feeling financially stressed," she says.

“Worryingly, the research revealed that some Australians are choosing to sacrifice their health and order to maintain their lifestyle, with almost 39% of respondents forgoing regular dental check-ups and over 31% forgoing private health insurance.

“Of particular concern was the difference between women and men who are choosing not to make their health a priority. Over 42% of females saying they forgo dental check-ups versus 35% of males and 32% of women are forgoing health insurance, versus 30% of men.”

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