Aussies flex ‘budgeting muscle’ to combat cost of living



  • Cost of living concerns ease for the first time in nearly two years but Australians feel better placed to respond quickly if price pressures shift.
  • 8 in 10 Australians believe their costs rose for groceries, household bills, transport, eating out and travel over the last three months but fewer expect prices will continue to rise as much.
  • Australians saving nearly $300 each month as they prioritise their spending.

Australians are managing the cost of living and adapting to shifting price pressures by flexing their newly built ‘budgeting muscle’.

Despite rising petrol and grocery prices during the past three months, new data from NAB shows Australians are feeling better placed to manage the increased cost of living.

NAB Personal Banking Group Executive Rachel Slade said Australians were using their newfound resilience to reprioritise their spending and manage in their own way.

“Australians are now flexing their personal budgeting muscle to manage shifting price pressures,” Ms Slade said.

“There is no doubt the past 12 months have been tough, but we’ve seen Australians build their resilience and they are telling us they feel better prepared to adapt by reprioritising their spending.”

New data from NAB also reveals:

  • Fewer people now expect prices will continue to rise as much over the next three and 12 months than they did mid-year.
  • As petrol prices nudged record highs, nearly 1 in 2 (45%) Australians said they had cut back on car journeys to save on fuel.
  • Australians are saving around $300 each month by cutting back on eating out at restaurants (55%), micro treats like coffees and lunches out (50%), tickets to the movies (47%) and saving on car trips.

“Australians continue to reprioritise spending according to what they value personally. Many Aussies adjusted budgets to cheer on the Matildas in the stadium or treat themselves to a trip away for the school holidays – even if it meant they had to scale back their original plans,” Ms Slade said.

“Some people are facing tougher decisions than others and we know the cost of living isn’t being felt by everyone in the same way. But the economy is resilient, and Australians are broadly in good shape.”

NAB has reached out to more than half a million customers since May last year to check on their financial wellbeing during a period of higher interest rates and a rising cost of living.

“We’re really pleased with how our customers are going but averages can mask the story on the edges or at an individual level where people might be feeling the pinch a bit more,” Ms Slade added.

“We’ve proactively reached out to more than half a million customers to check on their financial wellbeing, offer targeted, one-on-one help if they need it and ensure they feel well supported.

“For those who are concerned about their financial situation, get in touch with your bank as soon as you can. The earlier you reach out, the better. At NAB, more than 90% of customers who get in touch with our NAB Assist team are back on their feet financially within 90 days.”


Additional information:

  • Data from NAB Consumer Sentiment Q3 survey of around 2,000 Australians.
  • Visit NAB’s website for details on how to get financial assistance, for both individuals and businesses.
  • Read about the humans behind NAB Assist on the NAB News page.

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