Gen Z Aussies embrace "loud budgeting" in response to soaring living costs

The "no or low spending months" trend is also hot these days

Gen Z Aussies embrace "loud budgeting" in response to soaring living costs


By Mina Martin

In a growing financial trend for 2024, Generation Z Australians are adopting a “loud budgeting” approach, redirecting non-essential spending into high-interest savings or offset accounts amidst rising living expenses, according to the latest NAB insights.

New consumer sentiment data from NAB Economics reflects emerging TikTok behaviors among Gen Zs, showcasing a “cash-conscious” mindset.

Young Australians under 30 are notably curbing spending on eating out ($124), micro treats like coffees, snacks, and lunches out ($73), entertainment ($64), car journeys to save on petrol ($70), food delivery services ($96), and streaming services ($30).

The rise of “loud budgeting” among Gen Z

Paul Riley (pictured above), NAB personal banking executive, said the “loud budgeting” trend is gaining momentum, saving younger Australians an average of $450 monthly.

“In 2024, being ‘cash conscious’ is officially cool with terms like ‘loud budgeting’ emerging overseas and on social media,” Riley said in a media release. “‘Loud budgeting’ is all about unapologetically prioritising your own financial goals, setting smart boundaries on spending, and feeling comfortable to talk about it openly and authentically.

“Rather than going out for an expensive dinner with friends, younger Australians are confidently opting to stay in and choose to put that amount into a high interest savings account or pay down debt.”

Embracing “no or low spending months”

Another popular trend is “no or low spending months,” which involves forgoing alcohol, takeout, clothes shopping, beauty purchases, holidays, eating out, and asking friends to repay owed money.

More than half (56%) of Gen Z and younger Australians are allocating the money saved from cutting back on non-essentials – averaging $450 monthly – into savings accounts.

“The younger you are, the more likely you are to stash that money into a high-interest savings account or an offset account so instead of spending it, you’re saving it,” Riley said.

More younger Aussies saving

Despite the challenges of the cost of living, Riley noted a consistent increase in the number of younger customers opening savings accounts over the past 12 months, with a simultaneous uptick in savings account balances within this age group.

NAB reported a 24% growth in high-interest savings accounts opened by Gen Z customers in the last year, with savings account balances rising by 5.3%.

Riley suggested leveraging banking tools to monitor spending and savings, emphasizing the utility of features that categorize transactions automatically.

NAB’s spending feature, used by more than 1.5 million customers, has seen a 62% increase since mid-2023. The tool categorises transaction data, providing insights into direct debits, subscriptions, memberships, insurance, and other expenditures.

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