News Releases

Health over wealth, love over money

Sydney, 12 Decembery 2011: Australians consider their health, family wellbeing and love to be the most important measures of their prosperity, over solely their financial status, according to the results of a national survey launched today. But whilst these family-oriented values play an important role in our overall wellbeing, only half of us consider ourselves to be prosperous, as the year draws to a close.

The rediATM Prosperity Survey was commissioned by Cuscal, the owner and operator of the rediATM network which serves 110 financial institutions, including credit unions, building societies and banks. Conducted by Galaxy Research, it measured the views of over 1,500 Australians to understand how they presently view their overall prosperity.

Key findings:

  • Australians have a well-rounded and non-materialistic view of personal prosperity that ranks health and relationships more highly than material or financial gain. Health (22%) and family wellbeing (20%) and love/partnership (16%) are the single most important measures of prosperity, over a desire for home ownership (11%). When asked to rank the top three factors that they use to measure their overall prosperity, half of Australians surveyed mention their health or their family’s wellbeing 52% and 49% respectively).
  • Regional Australians view love and partnership as more important than their metropolitan neighbours (43% to 38% respectively).
  • When asked to describe their present level of prosperity (including both financial and non-financial measurements), only 46% of respondents considered themselves to be quite, or very prosperous.  One in four respondents said they are struggling with simply not having enough money.
  • The outlook for 2012 is more balanced with over one third (35%) of Australians saying that they believe they will be more prosperous, half (52%) saying that they will remain at the same level and one in eight (13%) believing that they will be less prosperous.
  • Australians have an inherently sensible approach to their long term goals: most would forgo travel and home renovation (63% and 53% respectively) first; and prioritising their family health, children’s education and home ownership, if spending cuts were required to make ends meet.
  •  Home ownership remains a popular long term goal for nearly half (49%) of respondents, suggesting that the Australian dream of owning bricks and mortar is alive and well, although family happiness and health remains the nation’s number one prosperity goal (69%).
  •  A significant number (58%) of rediATM customers say that their financial institution is either aligned or very well aligned with their broad prosperity goals compared with 42% of non-rediATM customers.

“Many Australians are now reassessing how they view their broader personal wealth with traditional aspirations such as health, happiness and family wellbeing increasingly being prioritised as more important than material or financial gain,” said David Heine, General Manager of Cuscal.

Cath Armstrong, who runs the popular household saving Cheapskates website, agrees with this sentiment. Mrs. Armstrong commented that among her 135,000 members there has been a definite mood swing since the GFC and that this is picking up momentum.

“While people are increasingly looking for more value from financial institutions, utility companies and retailers, they are now realising that a strong and healthy family is just as if not more important than financial wealth,” said Mrs. Armstrong. “Making sure the family is ok is the number one goal right now and if household spending on non-essential items needs to be cut then so be it.’

“The change of aspiration revealed by the survey, combined with more sensible management of home finances, suggests that while 2011 has been a tough year, Australians are optimistic about the outlook for 2012,” said Mr. Kennedy. “This is particularly evident among rediATM customers who are happier with their financial institutions, who are often more community and service oriented.”

The rediATM Prosperity Survey was conducted by independent researcher Galaxy Research and asked 1,525 respondents across six states a number of questions in order to understand the current nationwide view of broad personal prosperity. This measured financial as well as non-financial criterion including health, family wellbeing, and love. partnership, job security, time out and relaxation.

For further information on the rediATM scheme, or to locate a rediATM via the online finder, see: www.rediATM.com.au.