September 2023 Beforepay Cost of Living Index

Daily average spending down 1.3% in September 2023

Ethical-lending fintech Beforepay released the September 2023 Cost of Living Index that showed a 1.3% month-on-month decrease in daily average spending, down to $61.14 from $61.92 in August. Daily average spending has declined for the second month in a row, with slight reductions across most discretionary spending categories and increases across most non-discretionary categories. Year-on-year daily spending increased 4%, compared to $58.81 in September 2022.

Petrol and auto expenses saw the largest increase in September 2023, up 2.6% to $8.30 from $8.09 in August. This comes as petrol prices soared to a new high in September. According to Beforepay’s monthly Cost of Living Index, petrol and auto prices have been climbing gradually since May 2023. The increase in September is a 3.9% increase from $7.99 in July and a 12.9% increase compared to $7.35 in May.

Australians continue to cut back on non-discretionary expenses to navigate inflation and cost of living increases. The daily average spend for groceries in September dropped slightly by 1.7% to $15.34 from $15.60 in August, while utilities rose 1.1% month-on-month to $6.21 from $6.14 in August. Utilities also saw the largest increase year-on-year at 16.7% from $5.32 in September 2022. 

Entertainment and leisure expenses also increased by 2.1% in September to $3.35, up from $3.28 in August, but spending slowed across other discretionary spending categories. 

The most notable month-on-month decreases were in durable shopping, down 4.5% to $6.77 from $7.09, and food and drink, down 3.5% to $11.24 from $11.65. 

The Beforepay Cost of Living Index for September 2023 is $61.14.

Daily average spending down 1.3% in September 2023, according to the Beforepay Cost of Living Index.

Daily spending on general shopping expenses, which includes items such as clothing, shoes and consumer packaged goods, was also down 1.5% to $7.36 from $7.47, followed by fitness and health expenses down 1.2% to $2.57 from $2.60.

The September 2023 Cost of Living Index is based on data from more than 385,000 Australians and includes various household expenses such as utilities, groceries, food and drink, shopping, petrol, and fitness and health, providing a comprehensive overview of consumer spending.

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

Daily average spending down 1.3% in September 2023, according to the Beforepay Cost of Living Index.

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.