The DG Institute study on Australians’ income and expenses

November 2020

About the study

DG Institute commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1004
Australians. It sought to understand Australians’ ability to meet expenses this year, whether they
were earning more or less at the time of survey (October) than earlier in the year, whether they now
had more or fewer, compared with earlier in the year, and whether their outlook for the future was
better or worse, than in early 2020.

Were Australians better or less able to meet their expenses this year, compared with a year ago?

Among the respondents with loan and credit card repayments – accounting for 74 per cent of the
respondent pool – 22 per cent said they were less able to meet their expenses and loan and credit
card repayments now than a year ago. This accounted for a higher proportion of WA residents (30
per cent), compared with 24 per cent of those in NSW and South Australia and 18 per cent of ACT
residents.

Fifty-four (54) per cent of respondents overall said their ability to meet their expenses and
repayments has remained the same. Interestingly, 23 per cent said they are better able to meet their
expenses and credit repayments than they were last October.

A higher proportion (32 per cent) of young Australians (under 30) were better able to meet their
expenses and credit repayments in October, compared with last October. In contrast, 17 per cent of
31-50-year-olds, 14 per cent of those aged 51-65 and 10 per cent of over-65s were better able to
meet expenses and repayments.

Among Debtors, Are you better or less able to meet your expenses and loan and credit card repayments now than a year ago?

Did Australians earn more or less in October, compared with earlier this year?

Fifty-five (55) per cent of Australians were earning less in October, compared with early 2020, while 45 per cent were earning more.

ARE YOU EARNING MORE OR LESS COMPARED WITH EARLY 2020?

What proportion of Australians were earning less in October?

A higher proportion (63 per cent) of over-50s were earning less in October compared with early 2020, compared with 49 per cent of 31-50-year-olds and 47 per cent of under-30s.

Across the States, more Victorians were earning less in October compared with earlier in the year, at
58 per cent. Queenslanders closely followed (56 per cent), then NSW residents (54 per cent), and 41
per cent of those in South Australia and the ACT.

Are you earning more or less compared with early 2020?

Forty-four (44) per cent of Australians said they had more expenses in October, compared with
earlier in the year.

A higher proportion (53 per cent) of WA residents have more expenses now, compared with 43 per
cent of Queenslanders, 37 per cent of Victorians and 29 per cent of ACT residents.

Younger Australians also have more expenses now than earlier in the year, with 55 per cent of under-30s citing this. This accounted for 35 per cent of over-50s.

Do you have more or fewer expenses compared with early 2020?

 

Do Australians have a positive outlook on the future?

Overall, 56 per cent of Australians said their outlook for the future is better than it was in early 2020,
but 44 per cent think it looks gloomy.

IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE BETTER THAN IN EARLY 2020, OR WORSE?

Is Your Outlook For The Future Better Than In Early 2020, Or Worse?

Across the States, 53 per cent of ACT residents said they have a better outlook for the future. This
compares with 46 per cent of Victorians and 37 per cent of South Australians who said the same.

 

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