Understanding patterns of financial wellbeing is a key to protecting Australians against financial distress in times of crisis.

Ensuring Australians are able to build financial resilience can help to protect all of us against economic shocks. These include not just extraordinary events such as the bushfires of summer and the global COVID-19 pandemic but also personal shocks such as job loss, illness, car repairs and unexpected bills.

Using ANZ’s Financial Wellbeing Indicator, this project explored patterns of financial wellbeing across vulnerable groups. This enables us to understand how financial wellbeing interacts with the long-term structural drivers of inequality and insecurity. This is important as individual exposure to risk has increased as work has become less secure and the social safety net has been weakened.

In the shadow of a crisis like COVID-19, discovering the barriers to increased financial resilience is vital. Taking steps to overcome them will ensure we really are all in this together.


Emily Porter, Dina Bowman and Matthew Curry 2020, All in it together? Financial wellbeing before COVID-19

Emily Porter and Dina Bowman 2020,  Shocks and safety nets: financial wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis

Emily Porter and Dina Bowman 2021  A brief reprieve? Financial wellbeing after the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns

Emily Porter and Dina Bowman 2021  Losing traction: lessons in financial wellbeing from the COVID crisis

The research was made possible by the generous support of ANZ through the ANZ Tony Nicholson Fellowship and the provision under licence of Roy Morgan Single Source Survey data.

Contact Emily Porter or Dina Bowman



Related publications

By Jeremiah Thomas Brown & Dina Bowman 2020

Our new framework explores what is needed for all Australians to enjoy financial wellbeing.

Read paper
By Jeremiah Thomas Brown 2020

The concept of economic dignity extends how we understand financial capability. It is not just about people having knowledge and skills, but also about how social and economic structures and systems shape their choices.

Read paper
By Dina Bowman, Marcus Banks, Geraldine Fela, Roslyn Russell and Ashton de Silva 2017

Financial wellbeing as a concept has become popular in the fields of social policy, service delivery and personal financial products. This working paper traces the development of the concept.

Read paper
By Marcus Banks and Dina Bowman 2017

To understand why people on low incomes do or do not take out insurance we need to understand their overall financial circumstances and the multiple risks they face.

Read report

Related projects

Blue pastel ceramic dish with spiral 2023 11 27 05 32 14 utc small

How are low and moderate income Australian households coping with financial uncertainty?

Learn more