A Bankwest analysis of savings goals over a six-month period has revealed the spending intentions of West Australians for the year ahead, with a surge in war chests for discretionary spending, and a focus on Homes, and Travel.
Data from 50,000 WA entries in the Savings Goal feature of the Bankwest Mobile App from August 2020 to January 2021 inclusive, showed the goal category of Big Purchase leading the growth charts across almost all generations.
The category accounted for significant discretionary purchases such as jewellery, boats, weddings, pools/spas, and furniture.
The near cross-generation consensus on targeting savings for discretionary spend has resulted in a 52 per cent surge in Big Purchase goals, followed by saving for a Home (49% growth), and Just Saving (47% growth).
The growth in saving for a Home was also consistent across generations, being the second-highest uptake for Millennials (53% growth) and Baby Boomers (76%), and close to 50 per cent growth for Gen Z and Gen X.
The property market’s current homebuying Millennials perhaps unsurprisingly made up the majority of those saving for a Home, with 20 per cent of the generation putting their money towards the goal of owning their own home.
Travel also remained on the cards for all goal-setters, making the Top 3 of each generation and the No.1 priority for Gen X (26% of goals set by the cohort) and Baby Boomers (31%), but it was less important for younger Australians.
However, while it was clear West Australians continued to save for a holiday, fewer were doing so, with Travel the only category to have declined in the proportion of goals set by each generation compared to six months ago.
Australia’s current and next generation of house hunters – Millennials and Gen Z, respectively – also emerged as the leaders in financial goalsetting, with the two brackets combining to account for 80 per cent of goals set.
Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “Bankwest’s priority continues to be on supporting customers and the community as the economy recovers from the ravages of 2020.
“However, Bankwest savings data and broad economic commentary both point to the swelling of household cash reserves across 2020, and the drawdown of that stockpile is critical to Western Australia’s continued recovery.
“While Just Saving remains the most common goal, the surge over the past six months in areas such as Big Purchase suggests West Aussies are increasingly feeling confident about spending on big discretionary items.
“Those spending goals suggest fewer people are saving for holidays, but Travel is still a Top 3 priority, which bodes well for the economy, given domestic travel is likely to continue to improve before international borders ease.
“We also saw a surge in the number of goals set by customers, which grew by more than 40 per cent, with most dedicated to spending, given the strong growth in categories such as Big Purchase, Home, and Something Else.
“The past 12 months presented significant challenges to West Australians, and many people and businesses continue to face hardship, but data such as this continues to make us cautiously optimistic for the year ahead.”