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Gen-Z worker admits spending $14,000 on Uber Eats and has zero regrets

Gen Z Aussies reveal their surprising spending strategies to beat the cost of living.

As the cost of living continues to pile on the financial pressure, many frugal Australians are sharing some of the unexpected items they’ve stopped spending on.

While many of us are cutting back on our supermarket spend, cancelling streaming services and ditching alcohol, some savvy Gen-Z Aussies have turned to more alternative money-saving solutions.

Here, three young Aussies reveal their spending strategies to beat the cost of living, and they’re as varied as they are surprising.

'Time is money so I never cook my meals'

Compilation image of Gen-Z TikTok star Ramin and Uber Eats delivery driver
For Gen-Z TikTok star Ramin, time is literally money. (Source: @Raminpopal_ / Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

For high-income Gen-Z earners, time is quite literally money. So for Aussies like 22-year-old entrepreneur Ramin from Melbourne, the concept of spending precious hours cooking is far from ideal. He posted a video to TikTok earlier this year claiming he'd spent $10,000 on Uber Eats but that number has grown.

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"I reckon that's closer to $14,000 on Uber Eats this year so far," he told Yahoo Finance.

That might seem extravagant, but he has a good reason.

"If I work at $100 an hour, driving to the store, picking out groceries, and meal preparation will take me a few hours. The total loss in dollars for this activity could be hundreds," he said in his TikTok video. "Simply ordering food for one person may only cost a tenth of the price."

Australians spend on average about $535 on groceries a month, according to September data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Baby Boomers spend the least for their household on groceries a week at $153, followed by Gen X at $187. But it's not Zoomers spending the most, in fact they are only a dollar more than X, while Gen Y forks out $208.

If the average monthly spend was the same for a whole year, that puts a grocery bill at $6420. So without labor, it's about $7,500 less than Ramin.

He's not the only one opting for delivery, with a rising trend among young professionals ordering food delivery, not for convenience, but as a strategic choice to optimise their hourly income.

Research from Roy Morgan showed meal-delivery usage among Gen-Z Aussies increased 17 per cent in the two years to 2022, while Millennial usage was up by an even more staggering 21 per cent.

The data suggests that, while the cost-of-living crisis has affected how consumers choose to dine and how often they eat out, it hasn’t stopped Aussies from prioritising convenience.

For Aussies like Ramin, the extra cost of ordering in is an investment in their time - a resource they consider far more valuable.

'I believe in keeping my fashion affordable and relatable'

Swapping brand new for preloved and Louis Vuitton glam for Zara's chic, many young Australians are focusing on budget-conscious style that doesn’t break the bank.

Gold Coast fashion and beauty TikTok star JadeeVice said: “I believe in keeping my fashion affordable and relatable. I'm all about shopping smarter, investing hundreds instead of thousands in amazing Australian fashion. It's more practical for me to save that money for experiences like travelling, that really enrich my life."

Compilation image of Gen-Z Aussies JadeeVice, Sopha Doha and JasmineTXO
Gen-Z Aussie JadeeVice (left) believes in affordable fashion, while influencers JasmineTXO (middle) and Sopha Dophaa (right) sell their clothes to second-hand fashion business Hunter Markets and donate the profits to charity. (Source: @JadeeVice, @sophadophaa, @JasmineTXO) (Samantha Menzies)

And she’s not alone, cost-of-living pressures are driving more Aussies to high-street labels and pre-loved fashion.

Recent eBay Australia research indicates ​​pre-loved fashion has become more mainstream, with nearly half of Australians (45 per cent) surveyed reporting they have increased their purchases of pre-loved fashion in the past two years. According to the survey, the main driver for pre-loved items was to save money (70 per cent).

Also by Taylor Reilly:

It’s a trend that has driven the success of businesses like Melbourne-based Hunter Markets, which resells designer clothes for a fraction of the cost, with the motto: “Real Babes Recycle”.

“I wanted to create a place where the bothersome sorting process and negative stigma around shopping second-hand was diminished, whilst creating a fun environment where you are guaranteed to find something cool,” Hunter Markets owner Sarah said.

Australian influencers like Sopha Dophaa and JasmineTXO are just some Aussies who donate their pre-loved clothes to stalls at Hunter Markets to resell and give the profits to charity.

'I only use apps to travel'

Owning a car means shelling out for the upfront cost, regular maintenance, extensive insurance policies, soaring fuel prices and, for some people, egregiously priced city parking. It's like a never-ending expense party, especially if you get ticketed, which is why so many young Aussies are ditching the idea of owning a car and using rideshares instead.

Compilation image of Gen-Z influencer Adam Milardovic and Uber symbol
Gen-Z Instagram model Adam Milardovic always uses rideshare platforms like Uber rather than driving his own car. (Source: @adammilardovic) (Samantha Menzies)

Aussie Gen-Z Instagram model Adam Milardovic is one such example: “As someone who lives in the city, I use these apps to get pretty much anywhere I need to go. I own a car, but I find myself using it less and less," he said.

"There are the rare occasions I need to leave the city but, apart from that, these rideshare services make the whole situation a lot simpler.”

Today, there are plenty of options to choose from such as Uber, Lyft, Didi and Ola. But there are also other creative options like Turo (a platform for car rental) and electric scooter rental apps.

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