Half of Australian Gen Ys have less than $100 per week to spend on food and incidentals. A survey of over 1700 Australians aged 18-24 found that almost one in two (48%) have only $300 or less to spend each month after rent and bills.
The figures were released by EatNow.com.au, an online takeaway ordering platform popular with young Australians. The survey data found that in addition to having little cash to spend each month, 40% of 18-24s have only a part time or casual job.
Matt Dyer, spokesperson for EatNow, says: “In our most recent survey of over 1000 under 25s, we found that 71% said groceries are too expensive, and over half (53%) have trouble affording organic and whole foods. We also found that one third of Aussie Gen Ys opt for things like home cleaners, taking their car to the car wash and using taxis on a weekly basis – so while they’re not rolling in cash, they’re certainly not struggling to make ends meet. They just have to be a bit creative when it comes to making their budget last longer.”
60% of South Australians aged 18-24 said that groceries are too expensive in our city…
The data shows that Gen Ys are actively seeking ways to be more frugal, with 59% of those in SA using them consistently using vouchers and promotions or coupons to stretch their budget further. “I recommend always looking for bargains online first, as many places will not advertise deals in-store. For example EatNow offers discounts such as 50% off when you order from a new restaurant for the first time, however these deals aren’t always available when you order directly with the restaurant.”
With this in mind, here are 10 tips for thrifty living:
Scour buy-swap-sell sites. Moving out of home and in need of a study desk or extra lounge chair? You’d be surprised how many people are offering their unneeded furniture and other items for free on buy-swap-sell sites. If you’re willing to pick it up and give it a good home – it’s yours free of charge!
Use the amenities at work. Instead of wasting money on a printer and toner for all those university papers, concert tickets and resumes, print them out at work for free. Don’t work in an office or know anyone that does? You can print at your local library for as little as 10c a page.
Stick to the list. Shopping lists are perceived as something only soccer mums with four kids use, but they have the potential to save you a whole heap of cash. Write a list of things you actually need before hitting the shops and stick to it strictly to avoid impulse buys – remember, there’s a huge difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’.
Date night in. In EatNow’s recent survey, 50% of under-24s said they spend more on food when in a relationship. Loved-up couples should take advantage of a romantic night in and use online takeaway sites like EatNow.com.au, which has an abundance of special offers and deals, plus delivery straight to your door.
Switch banks. You don’t have to stick with the bank account your parents opened for you in primary school. Several banks now offer cash-back on pay pass or tap-and-go purchases as well as zero ATM fees – why would you pay to access your own cash when there are free options available?
Light it up. Candles are a definite craze at the moment, but in addition to the heavenly aroma they give to a room, they also have the potential to save you money on your electricity bill – double win!
Get cash back. EatNow’s recent survey found that 71% of under 24s postpone buying fashion items when money is tight. By using cash-back sites such as cashrewards.com.au, you not only have access to exclusive discounts across your favourite retailers, but you receive cash back in your pocket for simply making a purchase.
Cut up your cosmetics. Do you spend a small fortune on good quality face moisturiser? When you think it’s empty and time to discard, think again. If you cut the tube open, there will be enough left on the sides to last you another week at least. Just remember – it all adds up over the space of a year.
Enforce Secret Santa. The Christmas period can be super pricey and it’s easy to blow your budget. Rather than buying each family member a gift, suggest Secret Santa instead – this way everyone only purchases one gift and you get the added thrill of not knowing who yours is from. Suggest the same for your workplace Christmas party and among your friendship circle and see your budget reap the benefits.
Buy home-brand drugs. Every chemist will have their own ‘home-brand’ drugs available at a cheaper price, even for prescriptions, so always ask the pharmacist for a generic drug instead that includes the same ingredients. Prescription medications including antibiotics aren’t the same price at every chemist – look for discount chemists.
Hopefully using some or all of these tips will see the savings in your bank account rise rather than dwindle! Get thrifty!