Australian household spending statistics

ACT households are the nation's biggest spenders.

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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 2020?

According to ABS data, Australian households spent a total of $1.04 trillion on general living costs in 2020.

How much does the average household spend per week?

The average household spent $103,063 in 2020, equivalent to $1,982 per week. Rent and dwelling costs are the largest expense by far, costing the average household $434 per week. Food comes in second place ($214), followed by spending on recreation and culture ($191) and insurance and other financial services ($188).

How does household spending differ by state?

Households in the ACT spend the most across the country – an average of $2,325 per week on living costs. The Northern Territory trails not far behind, with an average weekly spend of $2,287. Tasmanian households spend the least on average at $1,656 per week.

How has household spending changed over time?

Household spending fell by $50 billion between 2019 and 2020 – the first time household spending has fallen year-on-year since 1960 when this data was first collected by the ABS.

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. Take a look at competitive home loans to see how yours stacks up. Through Finder, you can switch to rates as low as 1.69%. While staying loyal to your current provider might feel like the easy option, Finder found the average borrower could save up to $3,576 per year by switching to a lower rate.

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

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