How much money do Australians need to feel financially free?

NAB has researched the amount of money Australians need to ‘significantly improve their lives’, with on average, Australians believing they need $828,000 to turn their lives around. This is up over nine per cent from 2017, however, the figure changes depending on a lot of factors, including your job, level of education, gender, marital status, where you live, and age.

Residents in New South Wales believe they would need $1 million to improve their lives, while Tasmanians believe they would only need $337,000. Northern Territory and South Australian residents have doubled their financial desires, reporting they would need an average of $809,000, twice as much as the number given in 2017 ($404,000). Victoria was the only state where residents believed they needed less than the year before, saying they needed an average of $788,000, down 8.8 per cent from 2017.

These numbers came from a NAB special insight report led by group chief economist Alan Oster, completed by five NAB economists in the survey of 2,000 Australians. 

Oster also asked people how they would spend their extra money. Only one per cent said they would go on a shopping spree and four per cent would work less or retire early. One-third of those interviewed said they would put it towards family or pay off debt.

On average, Australian men put their ideal amount of money at $899,000, which is $140,000 more than the average Australian woman.

The disparity between genders was more pronounced among younger Australians with young men’s wishes raised by $220,000 over 2017, while women’s need went down by $57,000.

NAB says that women are increasing their need faster than men. On average women said they needed $92,000 more than the year before, whereas men only needed $45,000 more.

Labourers believe they need more than $1.3 million for financial transformation, double that of the past year, while professionals think they need just over $1 million. High school graduates thought they needed about $1 million compared with graduates or postgrads, who thought they needed $942,000.