How we measure financial stress just changed for the better

  • How we measure financial stress just changed for the better image

UnitingCare Australia and the Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods have released a new report showing the true financial pressure in households around the country.

The new report gives a more comprehensive way of measuring financial wellbeing or stress in Australian households.

The Household Financial Stress and Financial Wellbeing in Australia report uses a range of factors, including family composition, home ownership status, age, where people live and whether they are living with disability to measure financial stress or financial wellbeing.

Typically any analysis of household financial wellbeing uses just income and income poverty. Those measures are important, but can be limiting.

The financial wellbeing index is a more comprehensive measure of a household’s true financial position than that of income alone.The measure includes data on a household’s income, wealth, age, housing costs, family type, disability status, gender, education level and region. These factors are combined into one index based on how they impact household financial stress.

Financial stress measures how hard it is for people to meet their expenses and have some money left over so that when an unexpected bill arrives they have the means to pay for it from their weekly income or savings.

Key household types that live with higher rates of financial stress include single parents, younger households, those households with a person with a disability or long term health condition, renter households and households headed by an unemployed person.

Read the report here: Financial Stress and Wellbeing Index Report

Visit the app here: Financial Wellbeing Calculator (