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The top 3 ‘spenemies’ you’re likely wasting your money on

·2-min read
woman with shopping bags
An average of $3,172 per person is spent on "spenemies" each year. (Source: Getty)

As the rising cost of living continues to eat into our household budgets, it’s never been more important to keep our spending in check to meet our savings goals.

But, according to research from ANZ, many of the common spending sinkholes go entirely unnoticed.

The bank has identified these “spenemies”, which it defines as “non-essential, sneaky little spends that often fly under the radar and get in the way of our savings goals”.

The top three are:

  1. Food and drink - 46 per cent of Aussies don’t realise how much they are spending on snacks they don’t really need.

  2. Impulse purchases - 41 per cent of Aussies can’t resist convenience purchases at the counter.

  3. Entertainment - 32 per cent of Aussies are jeopardising their savings goals by spending big on streaming services and other entertainment. Numbers crunched by comparison website Finder discovered it would cost $311.53 a month to subscribe to all streaming services in Australia.

According to the research, as many as two in five Australians aren't keeping track of their spending, with 43 per cent not sure where their money goes.

This results in an average of $3,172 spent on these sneaky money traps each year.

“We know it’s not always easy to stay in control of your finances, especially if you’re unsure of your spenemies,” ANZ financial adviser Liana Cauchi said.

“Knowing your spenemies better, and how quickly they can add up, can make it easier to get on top of your money and improve your financial well-being.

“As my Dad always said, ‘If you watch the pennies, the pounds take care of themselves’.”

How to spot these spending pitfalls

Cauchi shared some tips for curbing your spending without sacrificing too much:

  1. Monitor your spending. Keep track of what is coming in and out of your account.

  2. Look closely for emotional spending cues - what are your triggers? How can you change this behaviour?

  3. Ask yourself the age-old question - is it a want or a need? If it’s a want then you’re in ‘spenemy’ territory my friend, and you need to get out fast.

  4. Review your bank account. Are there any subscriptions or memberships that you don’t use?

  5. Use a budgeting app to track your spending.

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