Financial wellbeing ahead of travel when it comes to new year resolutions



NAB research today reveals that 26% of Aussies will put getting on top of their finances ahead of travel plans in 2023 and 17% will prioritise it over weight loss or a resolution to cut down on social media.

To make their financial wellbeing a reality in 2023, four in 10 said eating out (41%) and keeping up with the latest fashion (40%) would be the first expenses they were willing to sacrifice.

But almost one in five Australians said money management wasn’t a priority for them right now, despite a rising cost of living dominating headlines.

To put money conversations back on the table, NAB is encouraging Australians to sit down and take at least 45 minutes once a month, either individually or with their partners, to get to grips with their financial situation.

NAB has partnered with leading Australian psychotherapist Lissy Abrahams to create a ‘Money Mondays Conversation Guide’ to help people get started.

NAB Executive Everyday Banking Paul Riley said the NAB Economics research reinforced just how much finance was top of mind for many Australians right now.

“It’s no surprise many people are willing to put other traditional new year resolutions aside to prioritise getting to grips with their money,” Mr Riley said.

“Many of our customers are telling us they’re making changes given the current cost pressures.”

According to the research:

  • About 13% of Australians had no financial goals at all;
  • About 7% weren’t currently prepared to cut any spending;
  • Fewer people living in capital cities were prepared to reduce their spending compared to those in regional cities or rural and remote areas, particularly when it came to entertainment, beauty products and treatments, ride share services and gym memberships;
  • Women were more willing to reduce spending on eating out than men (45% v 37%), fashion and clothes (44% v 35%) and major household items (36% v 30%);
  • By age, noticeably more young women than men were willing to stop or slow spending on eating out, fashion and clothes or buying a new phone, TV or laptop;
  • A lot more women aged 30 to 49 were also willing to cut back on eating out and beauty products and treatments, while for men they were willing to sacrifice buying a second car or home improvements.

Mr Riley said young Aussies were taking a keen interested in their finances.

“About 30% of people aged 18 to 29 people say they’d sacrifice travel to get on top of their money in 2023, while about 26% say it’s more important than reducing time on social media,” he said.

“This is particularly interesting given millennials and Gen Zers are digital natives who are often very driven by experiences like travel.

“They’re also willing to give up or reduce things they’d normally spend money on to achieve those financial goals in 2023. Eating out (46%), clothes (41%) and alcohol (40%) top that list.”

While NAB customer Bec Shrammel has a travel-related resolution – saving for a Europe trip in 2024 – she’s willing to sacrifice to make it happen.

“I was in the office five days a week in 2022 and spent lots of money buying lunch and coffees every day,” Ms Shrammel, 22, said.

“I’m planning to bring in lunch from home each day and cut out my daily coffee run in 2023.

“I know these small changes will make a big difference to my savings and will be worth it when I head off to Europe!”

Mr Riley said while it could be hard to know where to start, pencilling in a Money Monday was a way to get familiar with your financial situation.

“Pop it in your diary and when the day comes around cook a nice meal, put your phone away, and grab Lissy Abraham’s Money Mondays Conversation Guide to help you navigate the conversation,” he said.

“It can be really beneficial to sit down and look at the year ahead – you might have a big financial goal you’re working towards or be anticipating a change in your income or expenses.

“Alternatively, you might be among the 13% of people with no financial goals and could use a Money Monday to set one up in the NAB app.”

Note to editors:

  • The research was conducted in November-December 2022 by NAB Economics and based on responses from more than 2,000 Australian adults weighted to the population.

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