What Are Australians Really Spending Their Money On?
When it comes to keeping on top of your finances, it can be a great learning experience to know how people all over the country are using their own money, regardless of your financial status. After all, everyone needs to spend money in order to have a roof over their head, food to eat, and clothes on their back. If you’re wondering about your own spending habits, if they’re normal, or how they compare to others’ spending habits, look no further! Below, we’ve crunched the numbers and pulled all the stats you’ll need to be more informed about your spending habits.
According to moneysmart.gov.au, Australian households spent a grand total of $666 billion in 2016 on general living costs. But what did they spend it on, you might ask?
All over Australia, $80.3 billion was spent on recreation activities, $38.5 billion on medical expenses, $65.8 billion on vehicles, $14.9 billion on alcoholic beverages, and $13.4 billion on personal care, to name a few. That’s a lot of money, for sure!
If you’re wanting the stats for the average household? In 2016, the average household is estimated to have spent about $74,301 for their general living costs. Does that sound close to your own general living costs?
Australia-Wide Weekly Household Costs
If you’re curious as to how Australians all over the country spend their money on a weekly basis, you’ll find that holidays and meals in restaurants make up a big part of weekly spending! On average, Australians spend on weekly household costs such as:
- Holidays: $77
- Meals in Restaurants: $44
- Personal Care: $29
- Health: $24
- Bakery Products: $20
- Childcare: $18
- Mobile Phones: $17
- Household Appliances: $15
- Animal/Pet Expenses: $13
- Shoes: $8
- Audio Visual Equipment: $8
- Books and Newspapers: $6
State Versus State Spending
Alright, so it’s interesting to learn more about the general average spending that households do, but what about if you’re curious to learn more about your home state’s spending?
When it comes to weekly spending, residents in the Northern Territory are leading the states with their $1,700 average weekly spend! ACT follows close behind with a $1,670 average weekly total, while NSW spends about $1,525 on average per week. VIC residents spend $1,430 on average, just above WA’s $1,429 weekly spend! QLD residents spend $1,359 on average per week, SA boasts a $1,192 weekly total, but TAS residents are perhaps the most money-savvy of the bunch, with an average weekly spend of $1,141 in total.
Life Stage Weekly Spend Habits
Curious about how your peers are spending their money? Or perhaps you’re wanting to know whether having a partner, or kids, really does affect the amount of money that you spend over time. We’ve actually found that for people living alone under 35, their average weekly spend is $849. For a couple, with at least one person aged under 35, the average weekly spend rises to $1,572. For a couple with young kid(s), it goes up to $1,833. For couples with kids between 5-14 years of age, you’ll see that their average weekly spend goes up to 2,085! And for couples with kids above 15 years of age, it actually goes down to a weekly spend of $1,990.
It’s easy to see that certain age groups, and family types, can tend to spend more. From the stats, you can see that millenials spend more on the average weekly spend, while families with older children tend to become a bit more money-savvy. Statistics show that 60% of millennials would spend more than $4 on coffee, and can spend up to $3,000 on eating out alone. 48% of millennials would spend more than they can afford to hang out with friends, too, while only 30% of millennials have an emergency fund.
Don’t fret! If you’re a millennial, and you’re concerned about your spending habits, here’s some advice for your spending habits this new financial year.
Tips For Better Spending Habits
1. Use a Mobile Budget Tracker
Often, it can be easy to just swipe your card without further thought about your savings. This new financial year, get yourself started on thinking more about your purchases by using a mobile budget tracker. Expense tracking apps help keep you on top of your finances by making sure that you’re putting down your expenses and holding yourself accountable for every purchase, big or small.
2. Use Cash
With the advent of smartphones and Paypass, more and more people are choosing to go cashless for convenience. But this can have a negative effect: not having actual cash leave your hands with every transaction makes it harder to stick to a budget. Instead, withdraw cash from an ATM, and stick to only using cash for your weekly budget. You’ll be surprised at how many impulse purchases you’ll refrain from once you have an actual, physical limitation that makes you think twice before buying. If you’re really wanting to purchase something, make use of an online loan to help keep you on top of your finances.
3. Stick to a Budget
We know, we know, it’s a no-brainer. But often, people set budgets for themselves and slowly forget to keep themselves on track! Whether it’s because there’s a new product that they’ve been anticipating to buy for a while now, or a vacation they just have to go on, sticking to a budget can be difficult. Instead, lay out what you’ll need for every week, and stick to only spending that amount. And if an unforeseen expense comes, or you’re just wanting a little bit of extra cash to buy that new appliance, or pay for an unexpected bill, you can also make use of a personal loan! Personal loans are a great way to get that extra cash for an extra boost to your budget. And with quick loans, you won’t have to wait around to find if you’ll be able to afford what you want, when you want it, too!