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Photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris

Australians are surviving the cost of living crisis by adopting savvy new shopping habits - while still managing to save.

ING’s Sense of Us report 2023, released today, reveals three key behaviours Aussies have adopted to meet their financial goals.

1. Cheap frills: Aussies know cost-cutting doesn’t mean ditching personal style. In fact, two thirds (62%) are rejecting faddy fashion trends in favour of off-season items (24%) and one-in-five (18%) are even cutting their own hair.

2. Micro-splurging: Whilst 88% of us are cutting back at the supermarket, 83% of Aussies admit to splurging on at least one everyday grocery product, whether it’s meat and fish (30%), tea and coffee (29%) or bread (19%).

3. Work perks: Aussies are leveraging their networks and careers to learn, live, connect, and even eat, more without spending more; 41% want to learn at work, 33% are keen to socialise at work events, and 20% attend for the free food and drink.

The report has found fashion and beauty to be one of the biggest areas Aussies are looking to cut back (70%), with a quarter (24%) purchasing off-season items and one in five (18%) cutting their own hair.

What’s more, a fifth (22%) of millennials say they are ditching fast fashion to save money.

The research also reveals a new trend, supermarket ‘micro-splurging’. While the majority of Aussies (88%) are cutting back on supermarket spending – micro-splurging, i.e. splurging on premium everyday grocery products, is one way they are affording a little luxury in their lives.

The top micro-splurging items include: meat and fish (30%), tea and coffee (29%) and pet food (16%).

Head of Brand at ING Australia Carly Yanco said: “We do this report each year to delve into how Aussies are thinking and feeling about the current state of affairs – as the name suggests, it’s a sense check of Australians.

"This year it seems faddy trends are out and finding creative ways to experience a little luxury is in!

“While for a third year in a row, ‘saving money’ has topped the goals list for many Australians, what’s different about 2023 is that Australians are, understandably, more conscious about economic conditions.

"This is what’s driving them to be more creative about how they go about spending and saving to ensure they’re still living fulfilling lives.”

Other key points include:

▪ Technology continues to influence our relationships, as two in five (41%) of Aussies made friends on social media in the past 2 years. When it comes to dating, IRL (in real life) meet-ups are the way most Australians have met their most recent or current partners (64%).

▪ After saving money (45%), travel (31%), came second in the list of Aussies’ top goals for 2023

.▪ More than three quarters (77%) are planning holidays this year, up from 61% in 2022.

▪ Trips to see relatives tops the nations’ holiday wish list (30%).

▪ Almost three in four (73%) Aussies who plan to travel are willing to cut back on everyday luxuries in order to afford their trips, most commonly giving up meals and drinks out (41%), new clothes (38%) and takeaway coffee (31%).

▪ Amongst this all, Aussies are finding new appreciation for the simple things, most commonly investing in their happiness through regular exercise (50%), healthy eating (45%) and connecting with friends and family (39%).



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