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How does your household spend compare to the average Aussie?

How does your household spend compare to the average Aussie?

We’re spending the largest chunk of our weekly income on rent or repaying home loans, but still finding some money for ‘luxuries’ such as dining out and travel, according to a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

On average, Aussie households spend $1,594 each week on household expenses.

The largest weekly expense is on housing with owner occupiers spending $124.07 a week, compared to renters at $115.12.

General household costs eat up a sizeable chunk of our weekly income. On average we’re spending:

  • $34.57 on electricity
  • $34.25 on property maintenance
  • $23.39 on property rates & fees
  • $18.89 on insurance
  • $16.28 on water & sewerage

Running a car is also proving costly. Each week we’re spending, on average, $30.83 on car maintenance and $44.39 on fuel.

Despite price increases on the ‘basics’ including electricity and petrol, we’re still treating ourselves to overseas holidays ($50.24), trips around Australia ($42.67), eating out ($52.94) and takeaways ($40.76).

It appears there’s been a significant shift in spending on services as opposed to physical goods.

“Consumers have been able to purchase more discretionary goods and services because the affordability of a raft of items has improved. In fact, the affordability of food, clothing, cars and overseas travel are all at the best levels recorded,” says Craig James, chief economist as CommSec.

“In response, Aussies have sought to spend more of their budgets on their homes, as well as items like mobile phones, entertainment and travel.”

So, how does your household spending compare? Here are the top 10 items Australians are spending on.

Main items  $ per week
 New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers  $124.07
 Rents  $115.12
 Other financial services  $64.04
 Medical and hospital services  $59.49
 Restaurant meals  $52.94
 International holiday travel and accommodation   $50.24
 Automotive fuel  $44.39
 Motor vehicles  $44.38
 Domestic holiday travel and accommodation  $42.67
 Tobacco  $41.51

What’s the overall economic picture?

According to CommSec economists this is Australia’s longest ever period of economic expansion.

In their Australia: How well are we really doing report, CommSec observes that the unemployment rate is at a 41.5 year low with over 380,000 jobs created in the year to November 2017 – the biggest annual gain in over 12 years.

Wages grew by 2% in the year to September 2017, up from a record low of 1.9%. At the same time Aussie household spending has gone up 3.5% over the year.

James expects that household spending in 2018 will lift modestly as a result of the strength of the job market, slightly higher wages and slow growth of prices.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.