Financial stress rising in Australia

About one third of Australians are living pay cheque to pay cheque, according to the latest insight from BT Financial Group.

The 2016 BT Australian Financial Health Index shows 32% of Australians always or often find themselves relying on pay cheques to sustain them throughout the month. The number grew from 29% in the previous year.

The research also found 30% of Australians are concerned about the amount of debt they have to pay off each month, despite about 70% believing they have 'complete' or 'good' control over their finances.

Income levels have no significant bearing on attitudes toward debt with the research showing similar levels of concern across all income brackets, according to BTFG head of financial literacy and advocacy Bryan Ashenden.

"No one is immune, we all have worries about our money from time to time, but what can make a difference is to put steps in place, so that we worry less," Ashenden said.

In terms of demographics, millennials appear to be the most financial prepared as 49% state they always or often create plans to reach financial goals, while only 39% of Generation X respondents said the same. However, 18% of millennials admit to often or always spending beyond their means, compared to just 10% of Generation Xers.

Ashenden said encouraging open conversations about money with loved ones is the first step taking control of finances.

"From there we can start to build a picture of what our finances look like and put steps in place to better manage our money," Ashenden said.

Read more: AustraliaAustraliansBT Financial GroupBryan AshendenBT Australian Financial Health IndexGeneration Xers
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