It’s a lazy Saturday night and you’ve got no plans. You’ve refreshed your Facebook feed for the third time with no new updates, so you’re forced to stare at the ceiling… until you decide to pull out your laptop and do some online shopping.
According to Mozo’s Comfort Spending Report, 81% of Aussies turn to spending to make themselves feel better when they’re stressed, anxious or, more often than not, bored. Boredom was the number one driver of comfort spending for almost half of those surveyed, forming a bad habit costing us an average of $1,403 a year each, adding up to a massive $25.5 billion across the country.
Of the Aussies surveyed, 67% confessed to spending $100 a month, a quarter said they spend up to $300, 5% are spending up to $500 and 3% spend more than $500.
How Aussies pay for a bad day
A more worrying thought was how Aussies were paying to fix a bad day, as almost half of respondents admitted to using a credit card, 9% chose a post-pay service, like Afterpay and 4% used their partner’s plastic.
But it wasn’t all bad news, approximately half of respondents used a debit or EFTPOS card and 17% dipped into their savings.
Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont reminded Aussies that while a new pair of shoes or greasy comfort meal might help in the moment, making it a habit could blow the budget.
“At a time when many people are heading to the checkout to comfort themselves, it’s important to track your expenditure to help ensure your trip to the checkout doesn’t turn your bad day into a financial nightmare,” she said.
Avoid budget-busting boredom
To help Aussies stay on track with their monthly budget, and keep themselves occupied during the dullest of times, here are our top tips to cure boredom for free.
Start organising - If your wardrobe has seen better days, use your boredom as inspiration to start organising and decluttering your wardrobe. Not only will your wardrobe look much tidier, but once you start decluttering one area, it’s pretty hard to stop yourself from moving to the next!
Get baking - There’s nothing better than tucking into a fresh batch of cookies, especially when they’re made from scratch. Recipes of all kind are just a google search away, and who knows, you might even discover a natural talent for the culinary arts!
Learn something new - When it comes to boredom, the Internet is your best friend. You can find documentaries on Youtube or Netflix on a range of topics, like wildlife or medicine. There are also plenty of short courses you can take for free, on everything from ethics to astrophysics.
Express your opinion - Picked up a new product you’ve been loving (or hating)? Tell someone about it by leaving reviews on the website from where you purchased it. You’d be surprised at the number of people who value someone else’s opinion.
Keep your cards to your chest - While this tip won’t necessarily cure boredom, it could help you save money the next time you find yourself scrolling through your favourite online shop. Many websites offer the option to save your card details for a faster checkout, but don’t fall into this trap. By making it just a little harder for yourself to checkout when online shopping, you’ll have extra time to second guess your purchase and ask if you really need it.
If you are going to splurge after a bad day, you might be better of to stick to your debit card to avoid buying things you can’t afford. Our debit card comparison tool can help you find the right card for your spending needs, or you can check out our Comfort Spending Report for more findings.