A representative survey of 1,075 respondents commissioned by ING Bank estimates that Aussies are spending an average of $105 a month on scheduled outgoing payments for services they don't use or have even forgotten about.
This works out to be $1,261 a year, which extrapolated across the estimated 6,365,440 Aussies with at least one such payment, could mean over $8 billion wasted.
Of these people, 28% were paying for services or subscriptions that friends or family members continued to take advantage of, despite not using it themselves.
Nearly all Australians (95%) have at least one scheduled outgoing payment per month - the average person has five.
This equates to 96 million transactions every month.
More than half (56%) of those with outgoing payments say they continue to sign up for fresh subscriptions.
These people are estimated to have added an average of $48 to their monthly scheduled debits.
One in three (34%) admitted to having signed up out of boredom.
Top unused subscriptions or services
A further 39% admitted that they have scheduled payments they had forgotten about, or no longer used.
A quarter of the respondents with outgoing monthly payments weren't fully aware of them all, with the top categories being:
- Transport tolls (14%)
- Electricity/gas bills (14%)
- Entertainment subscriptions (11%)
- Car rego/car rental memberships (11%)
- Phone bills (7%)
- Child care (6%)
Time for a financial spring clean?
According to ING's research, 55% of Australians are planning some sort of 'financial spring clean' to trim these excess expenses.
Entertainment subscriptions, from Netflix to Xbox Live, are expected to be on the chopping block, with 45% of those addressing their wasted payments targeting such services.
Gym memberships (15%) and fitness apps (12%) were the next most common responses, followed by 10% who indicated they intended to cancel subscriptions for their image editing and filter applications.
The research though also estimated that Aussies take an average of nine months to get around to removing a subscription or payment they are not using.
If the average Australian is spending $105 a month on these services, that still works out at a $945 loss when they eventually cancel.
Matt Bowen, Head of Daily Banking at ING, said the report showed how significant 'cleansing your bank account' can be, and gave some tips on how to better manage online spending.
"These findings show that small changes like cancelling an unused subscription or monitoring for nonessential outgoings, can make big savings when Aussies need it most," Mr Bowen said.
"Creating reminders on your phone or setting up bank account notifications are quick wins for keeping on top of your spending and saving those all-important dollars for the year ahead.”
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