13th Nov 2017

CommBank transaction data analysis reveals the high cost of eating out

middle aged man eating burger
Leon Della Bosca

Australians are spending a small fortune to satisfy their food cravings, says CommBank.

The country’s addiction to fast food, ordering in and dining out is costing Aussies millions each month.

Analysis of CommBank transaction data has revealed that its customers alone spend more than $640 million per month on eating out.

Foodies are spending about $140 per month each at restaurants and around $90 per month on fast food.



Of the trackable transaction, almost 72 per cent of fast food purchases are made on debit cards, while 55 per cent of restaurant bills are paid with debit cards and the rest on credit cards.

CommBank’s Executive General Manager of Digital, Pete Steel, says that customers should think carefully how they pay for food purchases, especially considering the nation’s credit card debt sits at $51.3 billion with about $31.4 billion of that accruing interest.

“The RBA said about 85 per cent of all transactions are non-cash now, so we think as money is getting invisible it’s a lot easier to spend,” said Mr Steel.

“When it comes to debit or credit, responsible budgeting and cash flow management is the key. Whether you are taking a monthly line of credit or whether you are spending directly out of your account, the key is to understand what you are spending.

“Everyday spending can amount to a lot of money at the end of the month, and sometimes it’s hard to see where your money is going, or why we spend more at different times of the year.”

The rise of ‘tap and go’ payments could be to blame for the increase of impulsive spending, says Rising Tide Financial Services’ Managing Director Chris Browne

 “They are not taking cash out of their wallet and paying for their takeaway, they are rushing out their card and they are done,” said Mr Browne.

“You need to quantify the expense you would suffer if you take your family to a restaurant, for example is it worth taking them to a restaurant and paying $100 if I can make the same meal for $20 and make it at home.

“The reality is a lot of people are under pressure and working harder and longer because they have skyrocketing mortgages so inevitably they are going to eat takeaway and eat out.”

How much do you spend each month on fast food and dining out? Do you think that tap and go payment systems are encouraging you to spend more, or making it more difficult for you to track your spending? What discourages you from cooking and eating at home?

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Tags: money, finance, food,