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Wednesday, 15 April 2009 10:10

No surprise, but cash is king in tough times for Aussies: Survey

Many Australians have apparently reacted to the current financial crisis by abandoning or limiting their use of credit and debit cards and are now using cash as a way to control their spending, according to a study by ATM manufacturer, NCR.

NCR claims that not only are we Aussies using cash instead of running up our credit, 36 percent of consumers surveyed said they were using ATMs more frequently and taking out smaller amounts of cash as a way of managing day-to-day cash flow.

Managing director Asia Pacific for NCR, Ross Checkley, suggests that this change of habit also reveals a change of attitude and he reckons the days of “borrow now, pay later” are fast coming to an end as we Aussies look to get a firm grip on our finances.

“The study shows that Aussies are becoming ever more mindful of their cash and that financial prudence and sensible spending are navigating them through the current economic climate.”

According to Checkley, the change of attitude is apparent in the study which found that nearly half of those surveyed - 49 per cent - are now leaving their bill payments until the last minute, maximising the time money is in their account.

Checkley also says that it’s not just the little measures that are helping Australians deal with the tough economic climate, with the study revealing that nearly a third - 28 per cent – of respondents said they had taken out separate savings accounts to try to set aside money for special items of expenditure, and over half (56 per cent) were switching between retailers to get better value when they shop.

And, the NCR study found that, when it comes to shopping, four out of 10 Australians are using the internet more frequently to research products and prices, as well as buying fresh food in smaller quantities, and more often so it doesn’t go bad.

This, according to Checkley, hails the age of the micro-shoppers. However, he says, that on the flipside an equal number (40 per cent) of Australians are making a name for themselves by stockpiling non-perishable items that are available at knock-down prices to derive even more value from their shopping.

The NCR research was conducted between December last year and January this year with 8,447 consumers surveyed in 16 countries, of which 505 were Australian.


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