Keeping up appearances may cost Australians their financial goals

Over a third of Australians feel pressured to keep up appearances to maintain a certain lifestyle, with 50% of them aged 30 years and younger and only 20% between 51 to 60 years old, according to the upcoming Financial Fitness whitepaper of Mortgage Choice and CoreData.

“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,” Mortgage Choice chief executive officer Susan Mitchell said in a statement.

She considers the findings unsurprising, particularly for the younger generation and avid social media users who are constantly bombarded by enviable lifestyles.

A dangerous strategy
According to Mitchell, although keeping up with trends is very tempting, “it can be a dangerous strategy to live for today,” particularly among women who feel the added pressure to preserve appearances.    

The research, which delves into the attitude and behaviour of Australians towards their finances, revealed that over 37% of females said they felt pressured to keep up appearances versus only over 32% of males.

A particular cause of worry is the number of Australians choosing to give up health for their lifestyle; nearly 39% of the respondents choose to forgo dental check-ups and over 31% forgoing private health insurance.

Lifestyle over homes
The research also revealed that 38% of Australians would rather forgo buying a home than give up appearance, according to Mitchell.

She highlighted that a strategic financial plan, which includes a budgeting and savings system, may be the answer to combat the pressure and stress involved with maintaining appearances. Based on the research, over 18% of Australians save nothing each pay cycle and over 8% spend more than they earn.

“We all have different needs and priorities. Creating a strategic financial plan with the help of a qualified financial adviser can help people achieve their goals, without giving up everything that is important to them,” Mitchell said.

She added that having a financial plan doesn’t necessitate sacrificing a preferred lifestyle. One might be surprised to learn that making a few adjustments could significantly impact his or her overall financial fitness and could help make his or her long-term financial goals a reality.  

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