Give friv­o­lous spend­ing the boot

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - MONEY SAVER HQ - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

CON­SUMERS frit­ter­ing away their money on cof­fee and shoes are be­ing urged to rein in loose spend­ing.

Many cof­fee ad­dicts can­not func­tion with­out a daily caf­feine hit, while oth­ers will forgo a packed lunch and in­stead make a mid­day dash to grab some food on the run.

But these bite-sized spends are mak­ing their mark on our bal­ance sheets, while try­ing to look good in the of­fice is tak­ing the is­sue to a whole new level. The new Choosi Work­place Re­port has re­vealed Aus­tralians spend the fol­low­ing:

– $31 per week on lunches.

– $40 per week on cof­fee.

– $687 per year on fash­ion. And women are dip­ping into their pock­ets more to look good, spend­ing an av­er­age of $802 on fash­ion an­nu­ally, while men are splash­ing just $561.

Of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor Mad­di­son Tweedie, 26, said she loves to keep her wardrobe filled with new ad­di­tions and can eas­ily spend a few hun­dred dol­lars on a pair of shoes.

“When I’m buy­ing work clothes like a good pair of pants, I pre­fer to spend a bit more on bet­ter qual­ity that will last longer,’’ she said.

But Ms Tweedie ad­mits “she tries to live in the mo­ment” and not be too tight with her spend­ing. She has re­straint, rarely us­ing her credit card, and she’s also stash­ing cash for an over­seas hol­i­day she plans to take later this year. “There’s no point hav­ing $10,000 in your bank ac­count at the end of the year if you are mis­er­able,’’ Ms Tweedie said.

Choosi spokes­woman Ka­t­rina Fos­ter said con­sumers need to think more care­fully about where they are splash­ing their cash, as it can eas­ily drain out of their pock­ets. “Whether it’s clothes, cof­fee or lunches it’s im­por­tant to ad­here to a fi­nan­cial goal, whether it be sav­ing up for a hol­i­day or hav­ing some­thing at the end of the tun­nel,’’ she said. “By re­duc­ing your cof­fee in­take, for in­stance re­duc­ing it from two to one per day, that can quickly add up.” Aus­tralians have em­braced “tap and go” tech­nol­ogy, mak­ing spend­ing quicker and eas­ier than ever, but on the flip side, this can pull on our purse strings.

Ris­ing Tide Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices’ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Chris Browne said con­sumers need to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween needs and wants to en­sure they are not spend­ing money un­nec­es­sar­ily.

“A lot of peo­ple cat­e­gorise wants as needs,’’ he said.

“So a need is a thing like school fees, or elec­tric­ity, whereas wants are things like gym mem­ber­ships, booze and gam­bling.” He urges friv­o­lous spenders to pen out a bud­get on pa­per and hang up these goals in their liv­ing rooms so they can mon­i­tor their progress along the way and keep on track.

Pic­ture: DAVID SWIFT

FASH­ION STATE­MENTS: Mad­di­son Tweedie ad­mits to spend­ing a lot of her spare money on clothes and ac­ces­sories.

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