AMP Lifestyle Monitor finds time still of the essence

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Australians are feeling increasingly time-pressured with more than half of those surveyed (54%) spending money on services to save themselves time according to the inaugural AMP Lifestyle Monitor.

The AMP Lifestyle Monitor, a survey of over 1,400 AMP customers, looked at how respondents spend their time.

For those choosing to buy back time, socialising, work, spending time with partners and family, and exercise are the most popular activities undertaken in the time they save.

AMP financial planner Andrew Heaven said: “The AMP Lifestyle Monitor shows people have competing interests and are spending money on things like prepared food and household services to free up precious time.”

Other key findings from the AMP Lifestyle Monitor:

  • 41% of people surveyed spend money on prepared foods and restaurant meals to save time, followed by 18% on airfares and taxis and 15% on household services such as cleaning, ironing and laundry. Only 4% said they spend on childcare.
  • 57% of respondents who spend money to save themselves time said they spent up to $200 per month on services. Only 24% spent more than $300.
  • Respondents spend the time they save on a variety of things – 46% with their partner, 46% with children or family, 37% on work, 35% socialising and 24% exercising.
  • If they had an extra hour to spend on themselves, 60% of respondents said they would spend it on a leisure activity or hobby, followed by 34% on exercising. Only 3% said they’d spend the extra hour on work.

Mr Heaven said: “It’s understandable in our busy lives that outsourcing some tasks is necessary to allow us to spend time with our family and friends, or things we enjoy.

“However, it’s possible that respondents are underestimating their ‘lifestyle leakage’ – the amount they spend on incidentals in the course of the day. This includes things like buying lunches and takeaway coffees, which can really add up.”

Mr Heaven said one way to keep things in perspective is to do a budget.

“Work retrospectively to figure out where you’re spending your money and identify wants versus needs.

“For instance, it’s best to prioritise only one or two things you dislike doing the most, like ironing or cooking, and only outsource these tasks. Buy one less restaurant meal a week or make your daily lunch and coffee. It’s all about balance.”

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