NAB Consumer Insights: Impacts of cost of living pressures on consumer spending and lifestyle behaviours

Australians are making big changes due to the rising cost of living

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Consumers are focussing more on their outgoings, prioritising essentials and cutting back where they can. 1 in 2 are switching to cheaper brands & shopping around, turning off electrical appliances & light and making fewer car trips to save petrol. Over 4 in 10 have cancelled or cut back on food delivery & entertainment, coffees, snacks & lunches. Encouragingly, 4 in 10 have created or are now following a budget and keeping a better track of their spending. This has important implications for how businesses must position themselves to align with changing consumer sentiment and behaviours.

The top five ways Australians are changing their spending behaviours are:

  1. Switching to cheaper brands or shopping around for cheaper products
  2. Cancelling/cutting back on food delivery services
  3. Cancelling/cutting back on entertainment such as cinema, theatre, etc.
  4. Cancelling/cutting back on subscriptions such as newspapers, magazines, audio books, apps
  5. Cancelling/cutting back on gym, sports, or club memberships

The top five ways Australians are changing their lifestyle behaviours are:

  1. Cutting back/turning off electrical appliances/lights
  2. Cutting down on car journeys to save on petrol
  3. Cutting back/stopping buying micro treats e.g. coffee, snacks, lunches
  4. Creating/following a budget/keeping a better track of spending
  5. Cancelling/delaying or making more modest holiday plans

NAB Group Executive for Personal Banking, Rachel Slade, acknowledged that there are some individuals who may be feeling the cost-of-living pressures.

“When we look at our customers, as a whole they are in a really good position right now – in fact 70% are ahead on their mortgage payments giving them financial flexibility.”

“As a bank we’ve never been in a better position to help. The establishment of our NAB Assist team in 2016 together with some smart analytics means that we are able to quickly identify those customers who may need our help so we can get in touch with them.”

“There are many things we can do to help from discussing flexibility around home loan payments to providing tailored budgeting tools. And we are seeing many customers make their own adjustments – 40% of Australians are now creating and following a budget which is brilliant.”

Get in the insights in our NAB Consumer Insights -Cost of Living Special Report (Q2 2022)