After 11 cash rate increases and with annual inflation remaining above 7%, Australians have been forced to tighten household budgets, identifying non essential spending they can eliminate.

Digital marketplace OneFlare has revealed spending on aesthetic services (cosmetic skin treatments) are being frequently sacrificed, with pet grooming, home interior painting and car detailing all seeing substantial cutbacks compared to last year.

Spend on home cleaning is down 20% from 2022, car grooming down 28%, and 31% spend less on home interior painting.

Pet owners are also deprioritising their animals' appearance, with reduced spending on grooming for both dogs (down 16%) and cats (down 28%).

This backs up retail trade figures released on Friday, which revealed consumers are responding to tough economic conditions by spending less back on discretionary goods.

Other data suggests that cost of living pressures are also seeing many Aussies spending less on food.

NAB's retail sales index also showed an annual contraction in takeaway food spending and relatively strong growth in grocery spending, which Chief Economist Alan Oster suggested could be explained by consumers 'substituting' eating out with home cooking.

That said, while grooming is first on the chopping block, overall health is still a priority spending area, according to OneFlare CEO Tim Fung.

"[There is] continuing strong demand for personal trainers, naturopaths, acupuncture, and physiotherapists,” Mr Fung said.


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