March 2023 Beforepay Cost of Living Index
Daily spending down 1.8% in March as Australians cut back on spending
The average daily spend for Australians dropped 1.8% to $57.17 in March 2023, down from $58.23 in February, according to new data from the Beforepay Cost of Living Index. The latest figures show reduced spending across 7 key categories, including groceries, utilities and fitness and health, as consumers adjust their habits to keep up with the cost of living. The number is also down year-on-year, reflecting a 7.3% decrease from the average daily spend of $61.68 in March 2022.
The Beforepay Cost of Living Index for March 2023 is $57.17.
The data, derived from more than 350,000 Australians, reveals households are cutting back on non-discretionary expenses. The average daily spend for entertainment and leisure dropped 3.2% month-on-month to $3.00 in March 2023, down from $3.10 in February 2023. Spending in this category also saw the largest year-on-year decrease, down 18.5% from $3.68 in March 2022.
Expenses for durable shopping and fitness and health also saw similar relative month-on-month reductions. Spending for durable shopping in March 2023 dropped 5.6% to $6.21, compared to $6.58 in February 2023. Meanwhile fitness and health expenses were down 5.7% to $2.34 in March 2023 from $2.48 in February 2023.
As households continue to navigate rising living expenses, spending on necessities slightly decreased, on average, by 1% in March 2023.
Grocery spending dropped by 1.4% from a daily average of $15.27 in February 2023 to $15.06 in March 2023. Petrol and auto expenses also saw a 1% decrease from $7.95 in February 2023 to $7.87 in March 2023.
Below is a full month-by-month breakdown over the last 12 months. See sub-category descriptions here.
The Beforepay Cost of Living Index includes various household expenses such as utilities, groceries, food and drink, shopping, petrol, and fitness and health, providing a comprehensive overview of consumer spending.
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.
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.