Finance News

The top 10 lifestyle cost draining Aussies of cash

As a nation, Australians aged 18 and over spent approximately $145 billion on lifestyle costs last year, with the average spend per person around $7,800, according to research by comparison site Mozo1. While clothing and footwear took out the number one spot on the top-ten list for lifestyle expenditure, six out of ten categories related to just two things—eating and drinking out. Below we list the lifestyle costs that made up the top-10 list and some potential ways you could reduce these areas without cutting back on life.

Lifestyle expenses costing Aussies the most

Below is what Aussies spent collectively on various lifestyle categories during 2017:
  1. Clothing and shoes - $21.5 billion
  2. Restaurant dinners - $11.7 billion
  3. Cigarettes - $10.7 billion
  4. Takeaway dinners - $10.6 billion
  5. Weekend brunch outings - $7.4 billion
  6. Gambling and lotteries - $6.7 billion
  7. Buying lunch at work - $6.4 billion
  8. Buying coffee out - $5.9 billion
  9. Drinks at the bar - $5.8 billion
  10. Sportswear / sports equipment - $5.5 billion.
Ways to cut back on spending

If the categories in the top-10 do sound familiar, and you are seeking ways to make your money go further, the good news is you don’t have to cut these things out completely to cut your spending. Below are some suggestions.

Clothing and shoes

Consider writing down what you’re after before you go shopping to avoid buying things you don’t need, or rent closes temporarily.  Even buying one less item a month (at $100) could save you $1,200 a year.

Restaurant dinners

Depending on how many courses you’re having and what selections you’re making from the drinks menu, opting to eat at home occasionally won’t ruin your social life. Taking turns to host dinner parties with friends could reduce everyone’s costs.


Whether you’re a heavy smoker or count yourself more of a social one, dropping your intake by even a pack a week (assuming a pack is around $35) could put over $1,800 a year back in your pocket, as well as the potential health benefits.

Takeaway dinners

Suppose you buy takeout three or four times a week and spend roughly $30 each time. If you swapped just two of those takeaway meals with a home cooked meal for $10 a meal – that could be a saving of $40 a week, which is just over $2,000 annually.

Weekend brunch outings

Whether you’re ordering smashed avo or something else, add a coffee, and you’re possibly paying around $20 per brunch. Alternatively, opting for a picnic basket filled with $5 worth of items you have at home and visiting the park twice a month could save you $360 a year.

Gambling and lotteries

Whether you buy the odd lottery ticket or have the occasional turn on the pokies, making this a less frequent event or setting yourself a limit could put money back in your pocket. However if it’s going from a recreational to regular activity and you need help, call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.

Buying lunch at work

The convenience of it may be a great thing, but if you’re paying $10 Monday through Friday, be wary that bringing something from home (for about $4 a portion) could save you nearly $1,500 a year. Even if you make lunch one week and buy it the next, you could be putting away $750 a year.

Buying coffee out

The barista might make an amazing latte, but giving up five takeaway coffees a week could save you around $1,000 a year. And, if the instant coffee you make is really that bad, even cutting back on one or two takeaways a week could save you more than $400 over 12 months.

Drinks at the bar

If your favourite drink costs around $7 – cutting out just three drinks a week could save you over $1,000 a year. Another idea is to check out what deals are on as you might be able to get a drink thrown in for free when purchasing your dinner.

Sportswear / sports equipment

If you’re spending a lot here, you could consider a different type of fitness regime where you swap a new set of dumbbells or boxing gloves for a scenic walk or swim at the beach. Ditching an unused gym membership (which might be $40 a fortnight) could also save you $1,000 a year.

1 Mozo - Australians eating away savings, spending a whopping $4 billion on food and drink per month

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