Young Aussie sidestepping necessary everyday expenses

  • By Zilla Efrat

Nearly nine in 10 young Australian Millennials (aged 25-35) are scrimping on their everyday lifestyle costs as they try to save for expensive, one-off items of up to $1,000, new research reveals

The CBA study explores millennial purchasing decisions and habits to understand what purchases they prioritise, delay or put off.

It shows that while many Millennials have good savings habits, there is an emerging behaviour of “sidestepping” – the act of putting off the payment of a necessary everyday item or expense.

“Juggling money can be one of the more challenging skills we all manage on a day-to-day basis,” says CBA’s general manager Caleb Reeves.

“While Millennials work hard to find the balance and are sensible with money overall, we can see they still need to navigate competing choices and priorities.”

The research, conducted online by YouGov Galaxy during September 2021, found that 65 per cent of young Aussies have delayed paying for every day or essential items at one point or another.

Common reasons for delaying paying for everyday items include an unexpected expense that came up (59 per cent), never having enough money left over to cover all the little expenses (28 per cent) and not feeling that everyday items are as urgent (28 per cent).

Other reasons can be that everyday items are mundane and they don’t get any enjoyment from them (25 per cent), they spent their money on a large purchase that they got a great deal on (21 per cent) and going out with friends took financial priority (17 per cent).

For four in 10 (39 per cent) young Australians aged 25-35 say these sacrifices occur monthly or more often, with almost one in five (18 per cent) doing this every week.

Men (42 per cent) are more likely than women (35 per cent) to make sacrifices to their lifestyle so that they can afford a large purchase of up to $1,000 monthly or more often.

The top everyday items or essential expenses that millennials are “sidestepping” are new shoes when needed (59 per cent), household items (43 per cent), fixing their cracked phone screens (41 per cent) and getting their car serviced (27 per cent).

And while 65 per cent of young Aussies admitted to putting their essential expenses on pause, 44 per cent said they put these expenses on hold to make a more “exciting purchase”.

These exciting purchases included new technology (52 per cent), experiences such as concerts and festivals (44 per cent), new or repairs to existing household items or furniture (40 per cent), clothing, shoes and accessories (39 per cent) and socialising or dining out (35 per cent).