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Hey, big spender: older Aussies splurge on eating out

splurge on eating out

Australians under 30 might make up nearly half of all fast food purchases, but they’re not the ones who spend the most on eating out, new data reveals.

According to the Commonwealth Bank's national statistics, the average Australian spends $90 a month on fast food and $143 on restaurants. That constitutes an overall monthly spend of $640 million on fast food and restaurants by Commonwealth customers.

To the executive general manager digital, Pete Steel, it’s interesting that while those under 30 make up nearly half of all fast food purchases, they’re not the cohort who is actually spending the most.

He explained: “Customers aged 40 to 45 spend the most per month on fast food, potentially because they are purchasing meals for a family, while those aged between 50 and 55 spend the most in restaurants —$184 a month on average.


“Interestingly, spending on groceries has remained fairly flat only increasing by 2 per cent in the last two years.”

Noting that Millennials eat out the most, Mr Steel said it’s important that Australians keep track of their spending – particularly discretionary spending that can be planned for, reduced or even avoided.

“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.”

He continued: “Being able to track what you’re spending on bills, groceries and dining out can help our customers plan and keep on top of their finances.”

Breaking it down:

State Fast food (per customer) Restaurants (per customer)
NSW $84.19 $129.57
WA $83.59 $129.26
QLD $81.72 $117.84
SA $81.66 $114.97
VIC $79.89 $109.63
TAS $79.01 $107.85
ACT $74.65 $106.89
NT $74.22 $103.83

Commonwealth Bank noted that fast food is most popular in mining towns like Karratha ($87.89), Kalgoorlie ($80.15) and South Hedland ($75.32) while restaurants are the preferred option for those who live in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo ($158.16), Cairns’ Port Douglas ($156.81) and the Hunter Valley’s Pokolbin ($123.23).

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, households headed by someone older than 55 years old have seen spending on goods and services increase by 21 per cent between 2009-10 and 2015-16. 

Meanwhile, households headed by someone over 65 years of age have had goods and services spending increase by 22 per cent.

While the average household spent $1,425 on goods and services in the 12 months to June 2016, those headed by a person over 65 years of age spent “significantly less”, the ABS said, at $888. Those with a reference person of more than 75 years spent even less, at $671.

Lone person households headed by someone older than 65 years old spent just $539, the least out of all categories.

Interestingly, households in the 75-and-over bracket spent the most out of all age groups on food and non-alcoholic beverages, at 18.9 per cent of spending. Those aged 65-74 years old followed at 17.8 per cent. For both groups, this type of spending took up the largest portion of all expenditure.

Hey, big spender: older Aussies splurge on eating out
splurge on eating out
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