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Ditching booze: Why young Aussies are drinking less

Young Aussies are cutting back on booze, with alcohol spending plummeting.

Australian women drinking.
Young Aussies are reeling in their drinking and instead prioritising their health and well-being. (Source: Getty)

Emma Valette used to go out drinking every weekend and would budget $100 for a night out, including buying drinks and Ubers.

Now, the 24-year-old Sydney student said she only drank about once a month and had stopped going out for drinks, instead opting to have friends over for house parties or dinner parties and enjoying a wine with food.

“It’s really expensive to go out for drinks or even having a nice bottle of wine can get expensive,” Valette told Yahoo Finance.

“Mainly, I’ve just had a change in priorities in how I want to budget. My friends and I are more into organising travel, going to sports, going to the markets and I’d rather spend money on that than drinking.”

Valette said she was spending about a quarter of what she used to on alcohol and liked that she was now able to enjoy her weekends, hangover-free.

Young Aussies ditch alcohol

New transaction data from ubank revealed Millennials spent 28 per cent less on alcohol last month, compared to the year prior. Gen Z were also reeling in their spending, dropping 15 per cent, year on year.

ubank chief product and growth officer Andrew Morrison said customers were reallocating their spending as costs rose around the country and the world. At the same time, the bank has noticed an uptick in spending on health, including health insurance.

“It does seem like younger people are reprioritising their spending towards things like health or other ways of enjoying themselves, whether that’s travelling or concerts or special events and opportunities,” Morrison told Yahoo Finance.

“The data definitely showcases how Aussies are getting creative about the ways to gain momentum with their money.

“For some, it’ll be eliminating alcohol but, for others, it may well be reducing Uber Eats spend or cutting back on streaming services.”

Morrison also pointed to a Googlethink study, which found Gen Z’s may be deterred from drinking alcohol because they valued their online image and being in control. Younger people were also prioritising their work and university over socialising, as well as placing importance on their mental health.

Since cutting back on drinking, Valette said she’d noticed an improvement in her mental health.

“I think a lot of us have been feeling this ‘hang-xiety’, where you feel really anxious when you have a hangover. So that’s definitely something I’m enjoying not having on the weekend. I think my mental health is much happier,” she said.

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