Aussies love a good drink. It’s not uncommon to drink to a few beverages on weekends, or the odd stubby or a glass of wine during a weeknight. While most of us drink moderately, ABS data shows we spent over $14 billion per year on alcohol in 2014 – more than six times the amount spent on public transport.
In 2015, only 1 in 5 Australian adults did not consume alcohol, according to an ABS health survey. And while alcohol consumption statistics showed a decline in this figure for the first time in 2016, IBISWorld’s per capita consumption forecast for 2017 stood in excess of nine litres.
While statistics show we tend to drink less as we get older, we can still save ourselves a lot of money in the present (and help safeguard our health) if we cut down on alcohol. This infographic from 2015 breaks down the billions of dollars collectively spent on alcoholic drinks, and how this compares to the cost of alcohol-free activities.
So what does this $14 billion in spending mean for the average Australian? Well, on average a lone person under 35 years of age spends around $24 per week on alcohol. That’s about equivalent to a cinema ticket with popcorn each week. A couple under 25 spends just under double this on average, or $164 per month, that’s a really swanky date night, or perhaps even a night away.
When families start to grow and kids come along the alcohol spending lessens considerably, around $104 per week for a family with children less than 5 years old. Even so, this is equivalent to around 335 nappies – which are always needed with little ones.
On average the spending on alcohol increases again once the kids get older, to around $35 per week. That could equate to a weekly bowling session for the whole family, or the cost of keeping everyone connected with mobiles and the home internet package.
Australia certainly has a lot of alcohol to go around. In 2013-2014 there were an estimated 183.7 million litres of pure alcohol available for consumption. That’s 9.7 litres per person, or 17 pints. Remember this is pure alcohol, not your regular 4% vol beer.
With Dry July upon us, perhaps this is the right time to take a look at spending on alcohol, and what it could be doing to your body. Significant savings can be made, both for your wallet and your health, so why not see if you can make savings this July, or any other time of year.