Aussie millennials battling in vain to meet their financial commitments

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A recent study has found that many millennial professionals working in Australia are failing to earn enough to maintain their monthly financial commitments. A survey, administered by YouGov Galaxy on behalf of Employment Hero, quizzed more than 1,000 part-time and full-time working Australians on their work, spanning wages, work-life balance and non-financial workplace benefits. More than half (52%) said they struggled to meet their ongoing financial commitments, including utility bills and credit card debts.

Consequently, over 2.5 million millennial professionals ‘Down Under’ have successfully applied for a payday loan, regardless of whether they have a bad credit history based on unpaid debts and defaults. These short-term lending arrangements appear to be increasingly popular among millennials that need an extra top-up to get them through until the end of the month. More than a third of millennials surveyed said they had taken out a payday loan, compared with only one-in-ten ‘Baby Boomers’.

The report’s findings are a major concern to Ben Thompson, founder and CEO of Employment Hero, who also revealed that Australia’s wage price index had fallen continually during the last ten years, “impacting directly on employees’ standards of living” as a result. The declining wage price index flies in the face of accelerations in the Australian economy, with 3.4% growth in the last year alone.

However, despite the financial constraints that many millennials face on a daily basis, a growing number of professionals are preferring to obtain non-financial benefits from their employers. It appears that millennial workers are striving for an optimal work-life balance. Although money is still a driving force behind the selection of new roles, many workers are seeking additional workplace benefits to help them save money on everything from groceries and fuel to healthcare and gym memberships – as exercise is proven to be good for your brain.

In fact, more than a million millennial professionals would consider leaving their current employer if they did not provide adequate workplace benefits. In addition, personal wellbeing initiatives like internal policies for employee wellness and workplace counselling sessions also appeal greatly to millennial employees who place huge value on their emotional and physical wellbeing.

This is underpinned by another survey of 1,000 Australian employees, commissioned by recruiters, Robert Half, which found that 84% would accept a reduced salary if it meant receiving more non-financial workplace benefits. Almost half (47%) of the respondents to Robert Half’s survey said that flexible working hours mattered more to them than achieving a wage their skillset and experience deserves. Andrew Morris, Director, Robert Half Australia, insists that Australia’s millennials “do not always seek out a higher salary”, preferring to “thrive in a flexible and transparent workplace with open lines of communication”.

Employment Hero’s latest survey was designed to coincide with its release of a new suite of employee-focused tools, designed to ease the stress and uncertainty of employees throughout Australia. Their new WorkLife software is designed to encourage workers to find innovative ways to save money each week and make their wages go further. Meanwhile, its InstaPay software is an innovative application that displays to staff how many hours of approved pay they have earnt at any month, with the option of taking out a maximum advance of $250 per week ahead of their nominated payday.