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Kiwi's poor savers and likely to fritter - survey

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 1 Comment

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New Zealanders fritter away more than $16 million on impulse purchases every day, a new survey suggests.

The survey, commissioned by Westpac New Zealand, found those aged 18 and over spent a median of $5 a day on impulse buys - adding up to $674,000 an hour or $16.1 million a day.

Supermarkets, cafes and fast food outlets were found to be the most likely beneficiaries of impulse spending but bigger ticket items such as computer and video games, shoes and perfume were also bought on a whim.

"This is money that is spent without any thought or planning and raises the question of how much better off would we be as individuals and a country if we could save as impulsively as we spend," Westpac chief executive David McLean said.

"We all have our dreams, some big, some small - buying a home, a new pair of shoes, retirement - and those dreams could be a little easier to achieve if we saved more."

The survey also showed the recession had little impact on the spending habits of many New Zealanders, with 54% of respondents saying they currently spent the same amount on impulse purchases as they did before the financial crisis.

McLean said impulse spending made up about 9% of the total amount spent each day.

New Zealanders were also found to be poor savers, with 49% saying they either did not have a savings account or did not use one regularly.

"New Zealanders have traditionally not been good at saving. But one of the lessons from the recession is that regular saving and a nest egg can help create personal and household stability and, on a wider scale, contribute to a more balanced economy," McLean said.

"Impulse saving, rather than impulse spending, is one way to achieve that and help make those dreams come true a little quicker and a little easier."



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Comments from our readers

On 2 February 2011 at 11:21 am BaddieJoneee said:
The survey was commissioned by Westpac? The same bank that brought us "Location, location" on TV? Impulse buying is assisting manufacturers and retailers in an environment where consumers are generally holding onto their money. I'll get more pleasure out of a chocolate bar and a bottle of pop than thinking about the tax I pay on dismal returns from a savings account or managed funds.
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