One in three Australians couldn't last a month on savings alone
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One in three Australians couldn't last a month on savings alone

One in three working Australians would not be able to last a full month on just their savings, a new consumer survey found.

A survey of more than 2000 Australians by comparison website finder.com.au found 33 per cent would run out of money if they became injured or unable to work for a month.

More than 60 per cent of those surveyed said they couldn't last six months on savings alone if they suddenly could no longer work.

More than 60 per cent of those surveyed said they couldn't last six months on savings alone if they suddenly could no longer work.Credit:Nic Walker

While 64 per cent of those surveyed in the consumer poll responded they wouldn't be able to support themselves for six months without income, just more than one in five respondents said they wouldn't be able to last at all.

Finder's income protection spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said although the survey didn't break down results for each Australian jurisdiction, many ACT residents would be in financial difficulty if they were suddenly unable to work.

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"Many ACT workers would be in real strife if there was a bump in the road," she said.

"All workers need a backup plan in case their income stream dries up."

About 20 per cent of those surveyed said they would be able to survive on their savings as well as their sick leave for more than three years.

The survey also found more women believed they wouldn't be able to make their savings last over six months, 71 per cent, compared to men, 59 per cent.

Women were also more than 1.5 times more likely to find themselves in financial strife than men, according to the results.

Baby Boomers would also be more prepared with savings in the event of an emergency, with 40 per cent saying they would have enough money to fall back on, compared to 25 per cent of Generation X and Generation Y respondents.

Ms Hassan said between three and six months of savings should be stored away in the event of an emergency.

"If you are unable to work, the last thing you want to happen is to fall into serious debt or worry about losing the roof over your head," she said.

"A safety net such as income protection can assist ACT workers in the event of prolonged periods of unemployment due to serious illness or injury."

When respondents were asked how they would support themselves for three months, 28 per cent said savings, while 19 per cent said they had enough paid leave for them to last the period.

Just 13 per cent of those surveyed had income protection to fall back on, with 7 per cent relying on family and friends.

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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