December 2023 Beforepay Cost of Living Index

Australians spent $66 on Christmas 2023, fuelled by lower petrol prices

New data from the latest Beforepay Cost of Living Index revealed the average Australian spent $66 on Christmas shopping in December 2023. This is up from $62 in 2022 and $49 in 2021. The holiday spend is calculated as the increase in shopping spend between November and December, adjusted for length of month.

The increased holiday spending was made possible by reductions in petrol and utility costs in December. The average Australian saved $24 on petrol, auto, and utility spending in the month, more than making up for the cost. Petrol and auto expenses decreased by 5.47% from $8.41 to $7.95. Utility expenses also saw a decrease of 5.05% from $6.34 to $6.02, continuing a month-on-month trend observed in previous years.

The daily average spend across all key spending categories rose 3.95% month-on-month from $62.34 in November to $64.69 in December. The month-on-month rise is a slight increase compared to the same period last year when the figure rose from $60.48 to $62.02 between November and December 2022.

The Beforepay Cost of Living Index for December 2023 is $64.69.

Beforepay released the December 2023 Cost of Living Index today, showing a 3.95% increase in average daily spending to $64.69, up from $62.23 in November.

Daily average spending on shopping surged by 26.43% from $8.06 to $10.19, aligning with the traditional year-end gift-giving and December sales. The increase was also seen in durable goods spending, up 8.53% month-on-month from $2.58 to $2.80. 

Entertainment and leisure spending increased by 8.21% month-on-month from $3.29 to $3.56 as Australia entered the holiday season. Meanwhile, food and drink expenses were up only 2.26%, from $11.07 to $11.32, and groceries by 0.98%, from $15.28 to $15.43. These figures suggest that while socialising and festive dining were popular, consumers remained mindful of their spending.

The December 2023 Beforepay Cost of Living Index provides a comprehensive view of consumer spending trends during a key period of the year, offering valuable insights into the behaviours and preferences of Australian consumers.

Below is a full month-by-month breakdown over the last 12 months. See sub-category descriptions here

Beforepay released the December 2023 Cost of Living Index today, showing a 3.95% increase in average daily spending to $64.69, up from $62.23 in November.

Cost Of Living Sub-Category Descriptions

Below are brief descriptions that outline the type of expenses applicable to each spending category.  


Grocery stores where raw vegetables and meat are sold. 

Food & Drink

Any restaurant, pub or vendor that sells food that is not prepared or processed, i.e. not groceries.

Petrol & Auto

Any spending on petrol, car maintenance and car accessories.


Spending on non-edible, non-durable goods, i.e. clothing, shoes, consumer packaged goods. 


Spending on electricity, gas (home) and phone. 

Entertainment & Leisure

Movie streaming, tickets, mobile and console gaming, hobbies, bookshops and other recreation expenses.

Durable Shopping

Spending on long lasting products, such as white goods.

Fitness & Health

Any expenses on gyms, health insurance and chemists


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About the Beforepay Cost of Living Index

The Beforepay Cost of Living Index shows the average daily spend of Beforepay registered users across multiple household expense categories. This article contains selected summary information only and is provided for general information purposes only. The Cost of Living Index data is derived from a Beforepay user’s average daily spend in selected household expense categories per person. The data may vary depending on the main bank account linked with Beforepay. The numbers have not been adjusted for seasonality. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Beforepay and the related bodies corporate of Beforepay, make no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of the contents of this article. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Beforepay does not accept any liability for any loss whatsoever arising from the use of this article or its contents or otherwise arising in connection with it.