Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Aussies urge to splurge

Shoppers across Australia are jointly spending $47.5 billion on impulse purchases a year, according to new research.

A Finder survey of 1,071 respondents found the average Australian splurges $44 a week on impulse purchases – $915 million nationwide every 7 days. That’s the equivalent of $2,278 a year – $47.5 billion nationwide – spent on everything from chocolate at the checkout to beauty products promoted by an influencer on social media.

The data reveals that women find it harder to resist an impulse buy, splashing out $48 a week on average compared to $40 by men.

By age, young Australians are the biggest culprits, with gen Z spending $74 a week on impulse purchases, compared to just $9 by baby boomers. Gen X and Y spend $27 and $68 respectively.

Whether it’s fixed budgets or financial wisdom, just 1 in 3 baby boomers are making any impulse purchases at all compared to 4 in 5 gen Z.

“When times are tough, some people tend to ‘treat’ themselves more as a way to lift their spirits,” Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder.

“But this habit can become a headache, especially if they are living beyond their means.”

While impulse spending is often associated with smaller purchases like sweet snacks and drinks, it can also be seen in big-ticket items like a last-minute holiday or designer gear. Ms Pike says the uptake of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) could be linked to the trend.

“BNPL is offered by virtually every retailer now and makes out-of-reach purchases seem affordable,” Ms Pike says.

“Keeping on top of payments can become a struggle, especially if consumers are juggling several at once and it can become a house of cards.

“Our research shows that frequent BNPL users prioritise these payments over things like energy bills and even eating to keep this line of credit open,” Ms Pike says.

Finder data shows 2 in 5 (40%) Australians have used a BNPL service in the past 6 months.

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