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Aussies not willing to give up alcohol, takeaway and hair appointments amid cost-of-living crisis

Reviewed by expert, Natasha Innes
5 min read
12 Apr 2023
woman ordering food delivery

While the nation continues to battle the cost-of-living crisis, new research from Compare the Market reveals the things Aussies aren’t prepared to give up to tackle higher prices.

A new study from the comparison website found that alcohol, takeaway meals, coffee and health and beauty appointments are among the top things Australians aren’t prepared to go without as cost-of-living pressures continue to put a strain on households across the nation.

However, more than a quarter of Australians said they weren’t willing to cut their social outings to ease costs – a figure that isn’t surprising to Compare the Market’s Natasha Innes.

“Households across Australia experienced some of the strictest COVID-19 lockdowns around the world and many people don’t want to forgo spending time out and about with their family and friends as a way to ease financial pressures,” Ms Innes said. “Thankfully, there are many ways to be social without breaking the bank, giving people the best of both worlds.”

The research shows that Baby Boomers value social outings more than any other generation at 33.2% (above the average of 26.6%). Conversely, Gen Z was least likely to say they’d give up socialising, at just 22.2%.

Meanwhile, takeaway meals and coffees remain a high priority for Aussies, with 17.3% unwilling to give up fast food or ordering in their favourite caffeinated beverage. One in five Gen Zers wouldn’t give up their fast food, compared to just 11% of Boomers.

What Aussies aren’t prepared to give up to ease financial pressure

Item/activityPercentage of Aussies not willing to give it up if they were under cost-of-living pressure
Social outings26.6%
Takeaway food and drink17.3%
Health and beauty appointments17.2%
Gym memberships10%

“Meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Menulog are great for those nights where you don’t have time to cook or want to treat yourself, but it can come at a cost,” Ms Innes said. “There are usually delivery fees involved and it’s pretty easy for costs to add up – especially if you use these apps regularly.

“Similarly, purchasing a coffee on the way to work every day may only seem like $5 or $6, but that’s around $25 a week, $108 a month or $1,300 a year. It really adds up.”

The data also reveals that health and beauty treatments aren’t something that Aussies are willing to compromise, with 17.2% admitting it would be the last thing they’d give up if they were under financial pressure. Baby Boomers were again the generation most likely to prioritise their health and beauty at 20.2%, followed closely by Gen Z (18.8%) and Millennials (18.2%). Just 11.7% of Gen Xers wouldn’t give up these treatments.

Meanwhile, streaming services, gym memberships, alcohol and gambling were also listed as things Aussies wouldn’t be willing to give up.

“Our data shows that Gen Xers are least likely to give up streaming services like Netflix and Stan, but are also the generation that’s most hesitant to give up booze,” Ms Innes said. “Worryingly, this generation is also the least likely to give up gambling.

“Meanwhile, it would seem that Gen Z is the generation that takes the most pride in their health and fitness, with Zoomers least likely to give up their gym memberships.”

However, Ms Innes said Aussies could make small changes so they didn’t have to give up the things they love.

“Money is tight for many of us right now, but it doesn’t mean Aussies have to miss out,” Ms Innes. “Spending a bit more time researching or hunting down the best deals and bargains is one of the best ways to make that dollar stretch. It could save you significantly in the long run.”

  1. Claw back cash in other ways
    Rather than giving up things completely, see if there are ways you can claw back cash in other ways. For example, if it’s been more than a few months since you’ve switched energy retailers, see if there’s a better deal available so you’re not paying more than you need to for gas and electricity. Similarly, when your insurance renewals come through, put them under the microscope and see if you can sniff out a better deal with another provider.
  2. Utilise reward programs
    Many insurance providers, energy retailers, takeaway outlets, telcos and supermarkets offer reward programs, where you can earn points to exchange for cheaper goods or access discounts. You may be able to slash the price of movie tickets, entertainment, dining experiences and more by making the most of these programs.
  3. Opt for pick-up rather than delivery
    If you plan on ordering takeaway food, consider picking up your order rather than having it delivered. Some apps charge a fee for delivery or require you to spend a certain amount for the fee to be waived. Similarly, check the apps before making an order, as specials or discounts may be available.
  4. Stream where the quality content is
    There are many streaming services available, but how much value are you really getting out of having them all? Rather than paying monthly fees for each service, only pay for what you’re going to consume. If you simply can’t go without, consider annual subscriptions, which can work out cheaper than monthly plans. Also consider downloading the apps available from TV networks that allow you to stream for free.

*Survey of 1,010 Australians, conducted in February 2023.

For more information, please contact:  

Phillip Portman | 0437 384 471 | [email protected]

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy and travel products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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Written by Phillip Portman

When he’s not busy writing, Phillip can usually be found at the movies, playing with his Italian Greyhound Wilma, hanging out with his cockatiel Tiki, or talking about everything pop culture. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism and has previously written about health, entertainment, and lifestyle for various publications. Phillip loves to help others and hopes that people learn something new from his articles.

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