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Survey reveals two-thirds of mums and dads admit to financial worries and inability to save

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The latest consumer survey commissioned by comparethemarket.com.au reveals just how anxious Australian parents are about their household finances – with two-thirds able to save less than $300 per month and worrying regularly about their ability to support their families.

The survey of an independent panel of 705 Australians* with dependent children compared sentiments around supporting their families alongside the realities of their incomes, expenses and savings.

The survey showed how far Aussies go to support their kids, with 43% indicating they made lots of financial sacrifices for their kids, and a further 38% saying they would stop at nothing for their kids’ financial needs.

With household expenses reflected in their ability to save, 42% of respondents admitted they could save less than $100 per month after expenses, and a further 24% said they could save between $100 and $300 per month.

Under these circumstances, two-thirds (62%) of parents worry often or all the time about their ability to financially support their family, with 9 in 10 parents (93%) worrying at least occasionally.

Despite this level of anxiety, not one of the parents surveyed had income protection insurance, and 41% had little or no knowledge about income cover. Surprising, given that one in two parents (46%) knew someone directly who was out of work for at least two months, due to an illness or injury.

Grant Waldeck, spokesperson at comparethemarket.com.au, is calling for parents to think more about income protection insurance. “You never think other parents worry as much as you do, but these findings suggest that financial worries among parents are universal. What we found most surprising was the lack of correlation between this kind of parental worry and the lack of protection around the object of their anxiety: their incomes.

“Many people pay comprehensive car insurance, with their cars worth a lot less than their annual incomes – and yet for some income protection insurance isn’t even a consideration, despite the premiums being on par with the cost of car insurance. Besides giving you peace of mind, income protection insurance – if taken up before June 30 – may be a tax deductible expense for this financial year.”

After considering their incomes and expenses, more than half of parents surveyed (51%) agree that there is value in income protection insurance. “This suggests further education is needed among parents around this type of personal insurance.”

*Respondents were Australian residents – 56% dads and 44% mums. 78% of respondents were the household breadwinner and 22% earned the same as their partner. More than half (57%) earn more than $70,000 a year, while 9 in 10 (89%) had household expenses of up to $5000 per month. Survey conducted by Pure Profile. Questions answered online by across all Australian states.

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