Heritage Bank research finds Aussies identify as tightwads

Aussies are self-proclaimed tightwads fixated with skimping on fashion and food because of the instant gratification it gives them, according to a consumer behaviour report.

Heritage Bank collaborated with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and surveyed a sample size of 1,000 Australians living in different areas of the country.

When respondents listed priorities on what they preferred to save money on, 95% included travel expenses, 93% fashion, followed by food at 90%. They were also comfortable with labelling themselves as “tightwads” when it came to their spending personalities.

In light of the findings, UTS researcher Dr Eugene Chan, said it was interesting to see “that tightwads, who are typically very rational in their spending, are looking to make savings they connect with emotionally”.

“We’re definitely seeing a trend in Aussies wanting to be more savvy with their finances, however, Australians are more concerned about saving money on purchases that bring them ‘instant gratification’,” he noted.

The study also found that because consumers were obsessed with discounted minor purchases, they have been missing out on $7.4 billion annually by failing to switch service providers on products such as credit cards and home loans instead.

The tightwad mentality was also reflected in MasterCard’s November SpendingPulse report, where it found consumer spending increased by 3.1% year-on year, a “modest” figure.

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Senior Vice President of Market Insights for Mastercard Advisors, Sarah Quinlan, said “there was significant discounting that assisted in driving sales in September, which is not positive for the bottom line of retailers as they head into the holiday season.”

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