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Australian household spending statistics

The typical household spends $2507 each week, while NT households are the nation's biggest spenders.

Bills, groceries, rent and more bills – sometimes household spending can make it difficult to save. That's why switching to a high-interest savings account should be front of mind, particularly over the next few years as interest rates begin to rise.

Finder crunched the numbers on Australia's household spending statistics to find out what Aussies are really spending their money on.

How much did Australian households spend in 2022?

According to ABS data, Australian households spent a total of $1.2 trillion on general living costs in 2022. That is close to $100 billion more than 2021.

How much does the average household spend per week?

The average household spent $130,353 in 2022, equivalent to $2507 per week. This is an increase of 20.4% in nominal terms and 12.75% in real terms compared to 2022.

Rent and dwelling costs are the largest expense by far, costing the average household $508 per week. Recreation and culture comes in second place ($277), followed by spending on food ($253) and insurance and other financial services ($204).

How does household spending differ by state?

Households in the Northern Territory spend the most across the country – an average of $3,274 per week on living costs. The ACT trails not far behind, with an average weekly spend of $2,615. Tasmanian households spend the least on average at $2,115 per week.

Northern Territorians spend the most on rent and dwelling services ($852), and hotels, cafes and restaurants ($432), while those from WA spend the most on food ($271).

Tasmanians spend the most on cigarettes and tobacco ($70), but New South Wales residents are the largest spenders when it comes to alcohol ($66). Queenslanders and Victorians, on the other hand, are forking out the most on their health ($185).

What are Australians' most stressful bills?

Housing costs are traditionally the largest burden for households. Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows 41% of Australians rank rent or mortgage in their top 3 most stressful bills over the past 6 months. Groceries (40%) and energy bills (25%) trail in second and third place, followed by petrol (25%). Just 11% of Australians don't feel bill stress at all.

In the context of long term trends, groceries are now side by side with rent/mortgage as the most stressful bill. Previously as many households found grocery bills stressful as energy bills. Petrol has also jumped up from the pre-pandemic trend where now, as many households find the weekly servo bill stressful as their energy bills.

How has inflation changed over time?

In the 12 months to June 2023, household inflation grew by more than 6% in each quarter. This marks the most inflationary period in over 20 years. This increase has largely been behind the increase in bill stress.

How to reduce your household expenses

Get savvy at the supermarket. There are so many ways to lower the cost of your weekly shop. Try looking online before you head to the supermarket to find out what produce is in season and what products are on special, then plan your meals accordingly. Signing up to a supermarket rewards program is also a great way to accumulate points that you can use to get cashback off groceries or convert to frequent flyer points.

Take a closer look at your utility bills. Nearly half of Australians (44%) are paying the lazy tax on their electricity bills, meaning they don't think they are getting good value for money but haven't switched providers within the past 6 months. To make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck, compare energy providers. When you're ready to make the switch, contact your new provider – they will usually take care of the switch for you.

Refinance your home loan. If you don't think you're getting a competitive rate on your mortgage, it could be time to refinance. Compare home loans online to see how yours stacks up.


  1. ABS, Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JulesNovember 23, 2023

    Can you please clarify further your methodology for determining weekly household spend from household total expenditure. In principle, I expect you divide the total by the number of households. The key is how you determine the number of households, so please clarify your source I am looking to estimate the weekly cost per person. Do you just count heads or do you take an equivalised approach (per the ABS) to reflect the ‘economies of scale’ inherent in living in family groups (implying total number of households is a weighted sum over types of household)? Thanks.

      AvatarFinder
      SarahNovember 24, 2023Finder

      Hi Jules,

      The stats on this page are averages of household spending. The number households is determined by the ABS Census data on occupied private dwellings. (https://www.abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/AUS).

      We don’t then do any equivalised approach as we are not looking at income (income is the only metric where the ABS uses the equivalised approach as far as I’m aware). This is largely because the National accounts don’t provide a breakdown of spending in the household sector by household size.

      I hope this helps!

    Default Gravatar
    PJMay 6, 2022

    Can this data be broken down any further. i.e. single person in a house? rather than the averages…

      AvatarFinder
      AlisonMay 13, 2022Finder

      Hi PJ,

      We don’t have the customised data you are looking for. Though, please note that the data in our article was taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. You can visit their page on Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product for more details about this topic. There are files you can download that will support the numbers shown on the graph.

      If you need more detailed statistics, you can request customised data that meet your requirements. Simply click the “Request a quote” link found at the bottom of the page and fill out the online form.

      I hope this helps!

      Regards,
      Alison

    Default Gravatar
    PeterOctober 7, 2021

    Where can I find the amount spent on betting and gambling? Is it available on a State by State basis, please?

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