The cost of comfort spending

Do you buy when you’re sad, bored or stressed?

More than 87% of Australians* have admitted to comfort spending in 2020 with one in five regularly buying things to make themselves feel better when they’re bored, anxious or lonely.

Mozo’s Comfort Spending Report found Australians splurged $37 billion on comfort purchases last year, an average of $2172 per person.

Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said COVID-19 lockdown contributed to comfort spending.

“Many of us have been cooped up at home and that has led to some sizable comfort spending,” Ms Lamont said.

“One in three Aussies surveyed by Mozo told us they engaged in more comfort spending in 2020 than ever before. 

“Given this, it’s no surprise that over half (53%) admit that their comfort spending habit has put pressure on their household budget.”

The report found comfort spending is often linked to emotions with 37% of people surveyed saying anxiety and stress was linked to their comfort spending, while a further 16% said they spend money when they had a bad day at work and 38% comfort-spent when they were bored.”

Ms Lamont said comfort spending could have a negative impact on your finances.

“Almost half of Aussies (45%) are putting their comfort purchases on credit cards and a further 13% are dipping into their savings in order to make these purchases,” she said.

“Try to recognise the triggers for your comfort spending so that next time it happens you can pause and ask yourself whether you really need to be buying something or if there’s a better way to lift your mood. 

“Going for a walk, calling a friend or doing something relaxing can all lift your mood without hurting your budget.”

What are we comfort buying?

  • Takeaway (43%)
  • Chocolate (39%)
  • Clothes (38%)
  • Junk food (28%)
  • Alcohol (25%)

*Source: Mozo Comfort Spending 2021 report

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.