AUSTRALIA BECOMING A NATION OF SAVERS
Australian consumers are looking to take greater control of their financial future. With the web and social media acting as the ‘go-to’ channels for great information, all of a sudden saving is becoming fashionable.
A wide variety of business commentators and retail store owners have been telling us just how tough the Australian retail market has become. The most interesting comment came from Harvey Norman's recent press release (Feb 29, 2012), in which the company stated that ‘deteriorating economic confidence and a prudent customer’ had contributed to a decline in profits.
People just seem to be far more cautious and prudent with their money these days, and with the current economic environment, who can blame them.
What are consumers up to?
Humble Savers – www.humblesavers.com is a website launched in September 2011 by Colin Williams, a veteran of the Australian financial planning industry. It is fast attracting a loyal following of these new prudent consumers. “We’re seeing some great feedback to a range of simple money saving articles” says Colin Williams and “It’s not just the ‘older generations’ that are visiting the website”.
“Our most popular article has been – ‘Five Ways to Save Money – In Your First Job’ with young people visiting and getting some quick tips to start saving money from the beginning of their careers. ‘Quick Money Saving Tips – Being Very Frugal’ has also been particularly popular, as well as our articles on credit card use" says Williams.
Prudent consumers also want more tools. “We’ve had a great response to our ‘Financial Planner Checklist – 8 Questions You Must Ask’” says Williams. The hundreds of downloads of a free checklist to help find the right financial planner, certainly suggest that consumers are taking greater control over their financial future and not just daily savings.
Will economic confidence return? “While Australia has fared well compared to the rest of the world, consumer confidence may not come back until we see solid growth in wages, property prices and some positive returns in Superannuation accounts” Williams says.
“However, the prudent consumer is here to stay. Consumers have become savvier with their money. The internet and social media provide consumers with a forum to get the best deals and find the best opportunities to save money". Humble savers provide consumers with this opportunity.