NSW and Victoria residents splurge on self-care, holidays and mall sprees after lockdown

People getting haircuts from masked hairdressers in a salon post-lockdown as consumer spending increases.
Photo by Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant on Unsplash

While many Australians have been dedicating more funds to their savings accounts during lockdowns, there have been notable shopping splurges as restrictions ease in New South Wales and Victoria.

Spending on personal care skyrocketed in both states in what many are calling ‘freedom week’: aka the week following the easing of lockdown restrictions in each state as 70% vaccination rates were reached.

According to Commonwealth Bank merchant terminal data, Victorian hairdressers and barbers saw the biggest week-on-week spike in profits at 700%, with remedial massage businesses (556% increase) and health and beauty spas (526% increase) not far behind. 

Getting groomed and pampered was also at the top of spending agendas in NSW, with a real-time consumer spending tracker recording a 683% increase in this category compared to the previous four weeks. The tracker also showed this figure was a 222% increase on the pre-pandemic spending of January 2020.

Victorians are also getting party outfits ready it seems, with CBA recording a weekly 628% increase in formal wear rentals. Meanwhile, NSW is preparing for future holidays with spending up 210%. Interestingly, a 79% increase in department store spending in NSW also shows consumer demand for in-store experiences after months of online shopping splurges.

How to save money while you spend

While the urge to shop may be strong (and very necessary in the haircut department), there are some tools and approaches to spending that might help you save money while you also splash it around. On your next shopping trip, consider:

  • Using round-ups

You’ll often be able or required to link your savings account to a bank account with the same financial institution for your daily transactions. With some banks, you’ll be given an option to turn on a savings feature usually known as a ‘round-up tool’ that works in tandem with these accounts. 

Generally, it involves setting an amount or dollar limit that will be rounded-up to each time you make a transaction, with the money being sent off to your savings account. Say you set the round-up to the nearest $5. Then, if you spend $26 on a lunch outing, $4 will be whisked away to your savings fund where it can earn interest and grow.

  • Satisfying bonus interest criteria

Many high interest savings accounts require you to meet certain conditions to earn the top rate on offer, otherwise known as a bonus interest rate. In some cases, this involves settling a number of debit card transactions each month via a linked bank account. 

When you are shopping, be sure to do some of it in person with your plastic to meet bonus interest earning criteria. And remember, withdrawing cash from an ATM or buying something online with your card details often doesn’t count as an eligible transaction.

  • Shopping local

While you might be able to find bargain basement offers online or from international retailers, you can save on shipping costs by buying from local vendors. And even if it isn’t the cheapest version of the item you’re after, you’ll get a feel-good boost by supporting your local economy. Plus, you can take home your prizes on the day, rather than waiting for potentially delayed shipping (especially with the Christmas postal rush on the way).

While you might be parting with some cash post-lockdown, you’ll want to ensure that you’re making the most out for your savings. Start by comparing your account against the options listed below, and consider switching if you’re not getting the best rate for your circumstances.

Compare savings accounts - last updated 3 March 2024

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    Deposit at least $200 to either Spend or Save account from an external source each month.

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    Savings Account

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    Bonus variable rate is available for the first four months.

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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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