ONE in three Australians admit they regularly run their bank account dry and cannot meet their bill payments, new findings show.
And the ease of online banking has led to a majority of consumers checking their finances online every day, research by financial comparison site Canstar has found.
Canstar spokeswoman Belinda Williamson said it was a concern that so many people were cutting it that fine with their finances each week.
“It’s worrying that close to one in every three admit to having run their account dry at some point,’’ she said.
“Checking online to manage your money is a great financial habit, but checking in to see how close to broke you are is cause for concern.
“New tap and go technology has made the exchange of money out of sight and out of mind for many people, making it more important to know your budget and balance.”
Banking customers are urged to check their accounts regularly to check for any irregularities which may occur, either by unexpected debits or transactions that do not look familiar.
AMP financial planner Dianne Charman suggests Australians should always leave themselves a financial buffer of at least three months’ worth of pay to ensure they don’t cut it too fine financially.
“Even a couple of thousand dollars squirrelled away for an inevitable emergency that’s going to crop its head up is a good start,’’ she said.
“Running their accounts dry may mean they are not earning enough so it’s important people educate themselves and try and get a better paying position.”
The Canstar research also revealed that when it comes to using online banking, many users don’t bother to change their passwords — 39 per cent admitted they had never done this.
And about one in 10 people don’t know their password or have shared it with another person.
Ms Williamson urged consumers to regularly change their passwords, keep a different password for banking than the passcode used to lock their phone and avoid using their online banking in an unsecured public wi-fi hotspot.
Originally published as Aussies run their bank accounts dry