The rising cost of living continues to top Australians' worry list, according to Mortgage Choice's eighth annual national consumer sentiment survey.
More than 25 per cent of Australains said their biggest concern for next year was other costs of living, while 16 per cent said it was economic management at a Federal Government level.
"Clearly, utility bills and other living costs are biting into Australians' budgets, with more than half – 55 per cent - of the respondents admitting to dipping into their savings to help make ends meet, and 7 per cent saving more to combat the price hikes. Those remaining were unaware of rising costs, have not experienced any or are comfortable with the increases," Mortgage Choice spokesperson Belinda Williamson said.
"Almost half of those surveyed were unsatisfied with their level of personal savings. However, it is pleasing to see 56 per cent of respondents plan to make major changes to their financial situation in the coming year, such as revisiting budgets, reducing spending and reviewing mortgages."
In other good news, 63 per cent of Australians said property was safer than shares – up from 59 per cent in 2010.
This figure has risen for three consecutive years in the Mortgage Choice Consumer Sentiment Survey series. Gen Xers were most likely to believe in property investment over shares.
"With ongoing financial volatility here and overseas, Australians are increasingly viewing property as a safer haven than shares. It is good to see a greater number of respondents are motivated by the long term benefits of entering the property market earlier in life," Ms Williamson said.