Australian workers’ lifestyle balance is under pressure

Lifestyle Balance – 54% of Australian workers are ‚ ≤buying themselves time’:

Australian workers’ lifestyle balance is under such pressure that more than one-half (54%) are spending money on services to save time, according to an AMP survey.

But only 3% spend the extra time gained on work.

buying time - LIfestyle Balance - 54% of Australian workers are ‚ ≤buying themselves time':
The AMP Lifestyle Monitor, a survey of more than1400 AMP customers, found that for those choosing to buy back time, socialising, work, spending time with partners and family, and exercise are the most popular activities undertaken in the time they save.

Competing interests

‚ ≤The AMP Lifestyle Monitor shows people have competing interests and are spending money on things like prepared food and household services to free up precious time,’ said AMP financial planner Andrew Heaven.

Other key findings from the AMP Lifestyle Monitor include:

  • 41% of people surveyed spend money on prepared foods and restaurant meals to save time, followed by 18% on airfares and taxis and 15% on household services such as cleaning, ironing and laundry.
  • Only 4% said they spend on childcare.
  • 57% of respondents who spend money to save themselves time said they spent up to $200 per month on services. Only 24% spent more than $300.
  • Respondents spend the time they save on a variety of things ‚ Æ 46% with their partner, 46% with children or family, 37% on work, 35% socialising and 24% exercising.
  • If they had an extra hour to spend on themselves, 60% of respondents said they would spend it on a leisure activity or hobby, followed by 34% on exercising. Only 3% said they’d spend the extra hour on work.
  • ‚ ≤It’s understandable in our busy lives that outsourcing some tasks is necessary to allow us to spend time with our family and friends, or things we enjoy,’ Heaven said.

‚ ≤Lifestyle leakage’

‚ ≤However, it’s possible that respondents are underestimating their lifestyle leakage‚ π ‚ Æ the amount they spend on incidentals in the course of the day. This includes things like buying lunches and takeaway coffees, which can really add up.’

Heaven said one way to keep things in perspective is to do a budget.

‚ ≤Work retrospectively to figure out where you’re spending your money and identify wants versus needs,’ he said.

‚ ≤For instance, it’s best to prioritise only one or two things you dislike doing the most, like ironing or cooking, and only outsource these tasks. Buy one fewer restaurant meals a week or make your daily lunch and coffee. It’s all about balance.’

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