Families in Australia Survey: life during COVID-19 - report no.6

Financial wellbeing and COVID-19
COVID-19 Financial stress Economic insecurity Families Household finance Australia

Many Australian families have had their finances impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first wave of the Families in Australia Survey, conducted in May and June 2020, we asked respondents how their income (and if applicable their partner's income) had changed.

In this report, we explore the actions that people have taken in response to the financial impact of COVID-19 and their levels of concern about their current and future financial situations. We also look at the differences in these actions and concerns depending on how the respondents' financial situations had changed.

Key findings:

  • In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, Australians are mostly reducing their spending rather than increasing debt. There appears to be a high level of caution with spending, even among those whose income has not changed.
  • The most common financial action taken was to cut down on non-essential expenses. This was followed by reducing spending on essential items such as groceries, and using money saved for other purposes to pay for everyday expenses.
  • Three out of five respondents said they were at least 'a little concerned' about their current financial situation. Even more people were concerned about their future financial situation, with over 70% at least a little concerned.
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