Restaurant, cafe and hotel spending across Australia has plummeted 56 per cent, new GDP figures released on Wednesday revealed.
But at the same time as Australia entered its first recession in 30 years, spending on alcohol away from bars and restaurants increased a staggering 17 per cent.
Now safe consumption advocates are calling on Australians to reconsider their intake.
Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology finds it takes around 66 days on average to form a new habit. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has also found that one in five Australians have increased their alcohol consumption during lockdown.
And while it’s bad news for the liver, it also presents problems for the hip-pocket. Research from the Foundation found that the average beer-at-home drinker will spend $1,440 a year and the average wine-at-home drinker will spend $2,580.
Over a month, that’s $120 for beers at home and $215 for wine at home – before any drinks consumed outside of home are counted.
“The costs for drinking alcohol outside of the home, such as in restaurants and bars, are obviously much higher,”
Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor told Yahoo Finance.
“Many Australian drinkers are also likely to consume above the average standard. So you can see how for some, the costs can really stack up and easily equate to thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
“This year has been incredibly hard for everyone, particularly for those who have experienced a loss in earnings, unemployment, social connections and especially those who have lost loved one. We’ve all been trying our best under challenging circumstances. It’s not surprising some people have been looking for different ways to cope, including increasing their alcohol consumption.”
She noted nearly one in five Australians also regret how much they drank during lockdown, and said the expense may also have contributed to the feelings of regret.
“Cutting down on the amount of alcohol a person consumes can have many positive impacts on health and wellbeing, as well as savings,” she said.
“If you’re looking for a simple way to help improve your finances, cutting down your alcohol consumption is a good starting point.”
Lalor said there is plenty of support available for those looking to kick the habit, pointing to the Foundation’s Little Habit campaign.Want to take control of your finances and your future? Join the Women’s Money Movement on LinkedIn and follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.