Here's What We Learned From Running Australia’s Biggest Millennial Money Survey
Images by Ashley Goodall

Here's What We Learned From Running Australia’s Biggest Millennial Money Survey

Basically things are grim.
September 17, 2018, 2:33am

Earlier this year we attempted an honest look at our generation's relationship with money. We wanted to know how everyone makes it, spends it, and most importantly, feels about it. Over 7,000 of you participated, and we got a lot of feedback. And a lot of it was from people feeling overwhelmed and lost about both their personal finances, and financial futures.

These findings will inform the kind of money coverage we bring you. We want to try answer your questions, and provide some real resources. But we also think it’s important to share what we discovered, and let you know that when it comes to money anxiety, you're not alone.


Of participants, the average full time salary was $69,321.
For men it was $73,654.
For women it was $65,293.
(This was influenced by the higher number of men working in higher paying trade-based jobs)

Generally, men assumed the Australian salary was about $5,000 higher than women did.


Compare that to external, Australia-wide findings:
The average full-time male salary (excluding overtime) in Australia was A$83,902 per annum.
The average full-time female salary in Australia (excluding overtime) was A$70,392 per annum. (source).

The average full-time salary for a Caucasian person was $67,973.
the average full-time salary for a Central/South East Asian person was $60,323
the average full-time salary for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Person was $49,431

The average full-time salary for people under 25 was $41,728.
The average full-time salary for people over 25 was $71,872.

"Where does all my money go?"

When it comes to living expenses, our money goes in the following directions: rent (62 percent), groceries (42 percent), and bills/utilities make up the bulk of millennial spending.

In terms of lifestyle, the main things millennials spend money on are "wining and dining" (36 percent).

Approximately 69 percent of our disposable income is spent on "vices," these being such unnecessary pleasures as booze, takeaway food, partying, cigarettes, and drugs.

One in five of us spend the majority of our disposable income on Uber (across food and rides).

Roughly one in 10 (nine percent) of us spend the majority of our disposable income on drugs.

The most expensive thing most young people have spent money on was a car (23 percent), followed by a university degree (22 percent).


Only one in 10 (10 percent) say the most expensive thing they’ve bought was a house.


The majority of millennials (50 percent) have been renting for less than two years.

The average time renting for a millennial was 4.7 years.

Despite all the talk about the rise of forever-renting, 85 percent of millennials want to own a home some day.

Only six percent of millennials said they didn’t want to own their own home.

Almost half (48 percent) of millennials say they would rather rent for longer and be closer to the things they need.

Only 18 percent of millennials said they can afford to work and buy in a location of their choosing.

Despite being younger, the majority of of Gen Z respondents were prioritising home ownership and financial security over the next five or more years.


Nearly one in five people are saving, but are unsure what for specifically.

75 percent of respondents are in some form of debt.
The average amount of debt was $13,691.
Roughly six percent of us are in $20,000+ debt

The majority (59 percent) don’t have a credit card (good for you).


Gen Z are statistically more likely to have a "side hustle."

Exactly 43 percent of Gen Z respondents feel "anxious" about the future and are ticking to traditional career paths.

Majority (30 percent) of millennials work in retail and hospitality.

Given the choice, more than half (55 percent) would prefer to "work more / earn more" then "work less / earn less."


Over half (51.42 percent) of people said they need stable, ongoing work to feel comfortable in life.

On average, millennials reported that they would need to clear $911 per week to feel financially “comfortable."

18.57 percent of millennials say they are being underpaid in their jobs.

32.09 percent of millennials live paycheck to paycheck.

The future

37.87 percent of millennials feel our parents had it better than us

When asked how they feel about their finances, 71 percent of millennials say "negative."