Australian spending habits

What do you really spend your money on?

Check out our infographic below to see how Australians spend their money in 2012. You can also find out what you spend your money on, by using our TrackMySpend mobile app.

View the accessible text version of the infographic

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What do Australians really spend their money on? (accessible text version)

General living expenses

We estimate that in 2012 Australian Households will have spent a total of $642 billion on general living costs including:

  • $11.7 billion a year on meat versus $2.4 billion a year on seafood
  • $14.1 billion a year on alcohol versus $1.1 billion a year on tea and coffee
  • $78.4 billion a year on cars versus $2.2 billion a year on public transport
  • $8.0 billion a year on beauty versus $2.0 billion a year on brains
  • $19.0 billion a year on recreational versus $8.3 billion a year on medical
  • $9.5 billion a year on gadgets versus $5.1 billion a year on fashion
  • $10.5 billion a year on personal care versus $0.78 billion a year on pet pampering

The average household is estimated to spend $69,166 on general household living costs in 2012.

Weekly spending - state versus state:

  • NSW - $1,265 average weekly total
  • VIC - $1,225 average weekly total
  • QLD - $1,241 average weekly total
  • SA - $1,044 average weekly total
  • WA - $1,285 average weekly total
  • TAS - $1,064 average weekly total
  • NT - $1,500 average weekly total
  • ACT - $1,536 average weekly total

On average, Tasmanians spend more on transport than housing.

Australian averages (per week):

  • $223 - current housing costs
  • $193 - transport costs
  • $161 - recreation costs
  • $59 - household furnishing & equipment
  • $44 - clothing & footware

Weekly spending on perfume - state versus state:

  • NSW - $82c
  • VIC - 80c
  • QLD - 89c
  • SA - $1.09
  • WA - 52c
  • TAS - 20c
  • NT - $1.13
  • ACT - $1.02

Tasmanians spend drastically less per week on perfume. The natural scent of the wilderness versus the bottled stuff…

What States spend their money on each week:

  • ACT ($5.46) spend nearly double what the NT ($2.43) spend on chocolate
  • QLD ($9.15) spend most on dental (they must be getting their sugar straight from the cane!)
  • NSW ($2.70) - The NSW Blues need to eat more greens
  • SA ($6.50) - South Australians don't spend much on overseas holidays (does this mean they're the most patritic?)
  • TAS (79c) - Are Tasmanians better drivers because they spend less on crash repairs?
  • NSW ($1,36) - is mad for movies ($2.68) where Tassy has flicked the flicks

Average weekly Australian household costs

  • $20 - bakery products
  • $32 - meals in restarants
  • $7 - shoes
  • $13 - household appliances
  • $12 - mobile phone
  • $9 - child care
  • $14 - audio visual equipment
  • $9 - books & newspapers
  • $52 - holidays
  • $11 - animal expenses
  • $11 - personal care
  • $20 - health practitioners

Weekly spend by life stage

  Lone person aged under 35 Couple only
(reference person aged under 35)
Couple with kids
(eldest child under 5)
Couple with kids
(eldest child between 5-14)
Couple with kids
(eldest child between 14-24)
Housing $278 $360 $364 $325 $242
Fuel & power $20 $26 $28 $43 $48
Food & drink $104 $207 $224 $279 $314
Clothing & footware $23 $52 $54 $64 $82
Medical & health expenses $24 $58 $67 $77 $104
Alcohol $24 $41 $26 $31 $35
Transport $142 $224 $220 $254 $332
Recreation $106 $182 $132 $208 $253
TOTAL $869 $1,429 $1,484 $1,670 $1,900

In the 3 minutes it took you to explore this infographic, Australian households spend $3,500,000. Be the boss of your money. 
Grab the new TrackMySpend app.

Sources: www.ibisworld.com.au; Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey, 2009-10.

The items listed in the above table do not add up to the totals because some categories were not included.The categories not included were household furnishings and equipment, household services and operation, personal care, miscellaneous goods and services and tobacco products.


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Last updated: 07 Feb 2014

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