It seems that the over-50s, and that includes me, are not overly keen on change, even if it would mean saving money. That’s one of the takeaways from a new survey on the spending habits of Australians.
The survey, commissioned by delivery company CouriersPlease, reveals that most Aussies have committed to changing their spending habits this year.
Richard Thame, CEO of CouriersPlease, said the survey highlights the cost-of-living pressures most Australians are experiencing. “The results of this survey are an important indicator of the changing mood and spending habits of Australians,” he said.
Mr Thame said this in turn showed a need for retailers to reshape their business models.
“As consumers become more value conscious, it is essential for retailers to adapt their pricing and promotional strategies,” he said. Retailers should also “diversify product offerings, and consider expanding their delivery options”.
The devil in the detail of our spending habits
The survey entailed asking a series of questions of more than 1000 Australians. All of them had made at least three purchases in the previous three months. They were asked which (if any) of the following money-saving tactics they would adopt:
- buying from generic or cheaper brands
- buying items more often during sales periods, such as Black Friday
- waiting for ad hoc discounts before purchasing (e.g. 10 per cent off an entire website)
- researching more and comparing prices before purchasing to find the best-value items
- buying some second-hand or recycled items
- using buy now, pay later payment services more to help stretch out cash flow
- buying items on credit more often
- switching to a zero interest or low interest credit card.
Ignoring gender and age, the two tactics mostly likely to be adopted were price comparison and waiting until sale periods. More than half of respondents (55 per cent) committed to researching and comparing prices. Nearly as many (54 per cent) said they would do more of their buying during sale periods.
Switching to generic brands (48 per cent) and ad hoc discounts (41 per cent) such as 24-hour markdowns also scored well.
What about the over-50s?
It seems that us older folk are the least likely to take on board a change in spending habits.
As well as the eight options mentioned, survey respondents could also provide two other answers – ‘Other changes, not listed above’ and ‘I won’t make any changes to my spending habits this year’.
Overall only 9 per cent said they would make no changes at all. But for the over-50 age group that figure rose to 13 per cent. By comparison, only 5 per cent aged 18-30 and 6 per cent of 31-50-year-olds would make no change.
The one category in which the over-50s ‘win’
Over-50s were more willing to embrace just one of the eight money-saving tactics when compared to the younger age groups. As many as 58 per cent of us are happy to start researching more and comparing prices before purchasing. That puts over-50s ahead of the 31-50-year-olds (54 per cent) and the 18-30-year-olds (50 per cent).
Of course, not all change is good change, which is perhaps why some of us aged over 50 are hesitant to alter our spending habits. But if we can save money by doing so, it might be time for us to become a bit more open to the concept. Especially in the face of the current cost-of-living challenges.
Have you changed your spending habits in response to the cost-of-living increases? Are there any you would recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.
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