Last drinks called for stingy mates: 70% of us say buying drinks is “financially unfair”

author-avatar By on August 23, 2019
Last drinks called for stingy mates: 70% of us say buying drinks is “financially unfair”

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Buying rounds of drinks for your mates seems like an Aussie tradition, but most of us would rather just buy our own drinks to save money.

A ME Bank ‘Shout Doubt’ survey of 1,000 Australian drinkers revealed that while 85% of us participate in shouting rounds of drinks, 86% would prefer to buy our own.

The survey found the two most common reasons people don’t like shouting drinks are that it forces them to spend more money (78%) and they feel it’s financially unfair (70%).

People think shouting rounds of drinks is financially unfair because people avoid or delay returning the shout (52%) and people want more expensive drinks when it’s not their shout (42%).

But social pressure means we’re ‘locked in’ to buying drinks, with 94% of survey respondents agreeing the accepted custom is to return the favour if someone shouts you a drink.

Over half (58%) said they’ve wanted to opt-out of a shout, but 47% found it too hard because they felt expected to participate, while 30% didn’t want to look tight with money.

ME money expert Matthew Read said people should speak up if they didn’t want to take part.

“If you don’t want to be involved in the shout, be upfront with your friends from the outset – there’s a high chance they feel the same way,” Mr Read said.

“There are positive social benefits to shouting your mates a drink, but it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to shouting etiquette.

“We all have that one friend who is nowhere to be found when it comes to their round.”

The survey also found four drinks is the average amount people think is acceptable to buy in a round. Depending on your mates’ drink of choice, this could set you back $38 for beers, $40 for wine, or almost $70 if your friends are cocktail drinkers.

“I’m sure most of us have a colourful story to tell about a round of drinks – like someone sneakily ordering a $20 cocktail when everyone’s sharing a jug of beer,” Mr Read said.

The most generous shouters among those surveyed are men, higher-income earners, and for some reason, people from Tasmania.


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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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