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Cheap frills, micro-splurging and work perks: the savvy ways Aussies are getting what they want for less

Published on 21/08/2023

The ING 2023 Sense of Us report reveals Aussies are maximising every opportunity to live life to the fullest, while prioritising financial goals.

A report released today by ING Australia reveals the ways Aussies are living life to the fullest without exhausting their funds. From rejecting faddy fashion (62%) and micro-splurging in the supermarket to making the most of their time at work, Aussies are being savvy about reaching their financial goals.

The 2023 ING Sense of Us Report has found fashion and beauty to be one of the biggest areas Aussies are looking to cut back (70%), with a quarter (24%) purchasing off-season items and one in five (18%) cutting their own hair. What’s more, a fifth (22%) of millennials say they are ditching fast fashion to save money.

The research also reveals a new trend, supermarket ‘micro-splurging’. While the majority of Aussies (88%) are cutting back on supermarket spending – micro-splurging, i.e. splurging on premium everyday grocery products, is one way they are affording a little luxury in their lives. The top micro-splurging items include: meat and fish (30%), tea and coffee (29%) and pet food (16%).

In addition, the report found Aussie workers are finding ways to live life to the fullest at work. Two fifths (41%) say the opportunity to learn is one of the most important things they want out of their job, whilst 33% want to socialise at work events, and a fifth (20%) admit they attend for the free food and drink.

Carly Yanco, Head of Brand at ING Australia, comments on the report findings:

“We do this report each year to delve into how Aussies are thinking and feeling about the current state of affairs – as the name suggests, it’s a sense check of Australians. This year it seems faddy trends are out and finding creative ways to experience a little luxury is in!

“While for a third year in a row, ‘saving money’ has topped the goals list for many Australians, what’s different about 2023 is that Australians are, understandably, more conscious about economic conditions. This is what’s driving them to be more creative about how they go about spending and saving to ensure they’re still living fulfilling lives.”

The full comprehensive ING Sense of Us report can be viewed online, with key take-outs including:

Family, friends and relationships

  • Technology continues to influence our relationships, as two in five (41%) of Aussies made friends on social media in the past 2 years. When it comes to dating, IRL (in real life) meet-ups are the way most Australians have met their most recent or current partners (64%).


  • After saving money (45%), travel (31%), came second in the list of Aussies’ top goals for 2023.
  • Over three quarters (77%) are planning holidays this year, up from 61% in 2022.
  • Trips to see relatives tops the nations’ holiday wish list (30%).
  • Almost three in four (73%) Aussies who plan to travel are willing to cut back on everyday luxuries in order to afford their trips, most commonly giving up meals and drinks out (41%), new clothes (38%) and takeaway coffee (31%).

The simple life

  • Amongst this all, Aussies are finding new appreciation for the simple things, most commonly investing in their happiness through regular exercise (50%), healthy eating (45%) and connecting with friends and family (39%).

Notes to Editors

This study was conducted online between 10th – 22nd March 2023 by YouGov. The sample is comprised of a nationally representative sample of 2,073 Australians aged 18 years and older. Results include comparisons to the ‘Sense of Us’ study conducted in March 2022, which comprised of a sample of 2,342 Australians 18 years and older and the ‘Sense of Us’ study conducted in February 2021 which comprised of a sample of 1,054 Australians 18 years and older.

Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to project what is representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+) using ABS population estimates.

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank more than 22 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services. ING is:

  • Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFI Global’s XPRT Survey, December 2022 – May2023 (n = 31,860) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia
  • Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFI Global’s XPRT Survey, December 2022 – May 2023 (n = 31,860). MFI is defined as the bank that the consumer says is their main financial institution.
  • Canstar’s Bank of the Year and has been since 2020. Recognised for outstanding value across home loans, savings, credit cards, personal loans and customer satisfaction. (Canstar 2023)


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