58.9% rely on their savings to handle emergencies but this is raising red flags

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on June 2nd, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Emergency expenses can pop up when you least expect it. Footing the bill can be equally expensive. As many as 58.9% of Australians plan on using their savings to take care of emergency expenses, but this could put many people at risk of falling into a debt spiral.

Aussies relying on savings to handle emergencies

Not many Aussies are financially prepared to face emergency expenses

Saving is one of the primary ways in which Aussies plan on taking care of their emergency expenses. A survey by Noble Oak revealed that 58.9% Aussies would fall back on their savings should they contract a major illness or suffered an injury. 41.7% revealed that they would turn to their life insurance which comes with policies such as Income protection, TPD, and Trauma insurance.

Having a rainy day fund is not enough

Putting money aside for those unexpected expenses can come in handy when faced with minor expenses for your car or house. However, relying on your savings for major expenses such as taking care of critical illnesses or sustaining an injury that leaves you temporary or permanently disabled can drain your finances significantly.

The survey revealed that there is still a significant number of Aussies that are placing themselves at the risk of becoming financially exposed. 29.1% of Aussies stated that they would turn to family or friends to assist them during their time of need, 22.1% will sell their investment property and 15.2% of respondents were willing to go as far as selling their family home should they fall critically ill or sustain an injury that prevented them from working.

Having a safety net that will cover you for at least 3 months can be beneficial to cover expenses such as rent, utilities, food, and transport. However, for those large expenses, you could find yourself taking out loans in a hurry without carefully considering your options. This can easily cause you to fall into a debt spiral as you play catch up to pay off loans and expenses.

Having life insurance can reduce your risk of being financially exposed

There is a wide range of life insurance policies that can help you take care of you and your loved ones by ensuring that you are financially protected. Policies such as income protection, trauma insurance, and TPD are just some of the policies that you can use to take care of your everyday living expenses and medical expenses should you find yourself in a position where you are unable to work. Other things you can do to build a safety fund are:

  • Opening a saving account that has a high-interest rate to gain more on your investment. Automating your savings can also help you stick to your savings goal.
  • Setting a realistic goal can help you budget according to what you can afford which in turn will ensure that you stick to your goal.
  • Take out a life insurance policy if you do not have one make sure to compare your options to see if you are getting the best deal for your circumstances.