Aussies Spend Big on ‘Unbudgeted’ Technology
9 April 2015 at 10:44 am
Australians spent over $20 billion on technology hardware, digital streaming services and internet and phone plans in the last 12 months – but for one third of Australians the cost was an unexpected burden, according to a new report.
Suncorp Bank’s Cost of Being Digitally Savvy Report found that spending by survey respondents totalled over $2,300 per person on average in the last 12 months with men generally spending more than women on the technology hardware.
The report said a majority of Australians who spent any amount of money on technology budgeted for their expense.
However, it found that on average over a third of respondents stated that it was an “unexpected expense” or that they “never budget” for these products and services. These included never having budgeted for services such as internet connections, smart phones, digital accessories and mobile apps.
“The average amount budgeted fell well below the amount spent – on average budgets equalled around two thirds of what was spent. Mobile and smart phones appear to be the biggest budget blowers, on average costing over one and a half times what was budgeted,” the report said.
Australians aged 18-64 expect to tighten the purse strings and spend nine per cent less on average on technology related products and services over the next 12 months.
The only technology Australians expect to spend more on over the coming 12 months is digital streaming services such as Netflix and Stan, a result that may be driven by increasing availability of the services in the Australian market.
The report said that on average eight per cent of expenditure over the last 12 months was reported to be an “unexpected expense that was not budgeted for” suggesting that the lower expected spend will be offset by an unexpected spend if the trend continues.
“Australian men aged 18-64 were more likely to spend money on the majority of the technology related products and services. They also tended to spend more on average, in particular on desktop computers which tops the list on both accounts.
“On average, men spent $2,618 in total compared to women who spent $2,143.”
It was found that women spent significantly more on average on laptops ($733 versus $598). Men spent significantly more on digital streaming services ($271 versus $204), music and digital entertainment such as iTunes and Spotify ($252 versus $174), mobile apps ($195 versus $116) and digital accessories ($246 versus $141).
On the question of whether technology is taking over our lives, the report found that on average Australians spend 5.6 hours a day using their devices. Men spend significantly more time on average compared to women (6.5 hours versus 4.8 hours per day).