With inflation in Australia at its highest levels in over two decades, the rising cost of living is by far the largest concern for nine in ten (87%) Gen Z and Millennials, new data from shopping platform, Cheddar has shown. 

The data has revealed that big-ticket items aren’t a top priority for this age group, who are instead uncovering new ways to make their money go the distance. This includes finding clever ways to source deals and earn cashback on their purchases as they turn their focus to experience-led spending on categories such as travel, dining and health and wellbeing.

The cost of living and inflation is the top area of concern for young Australians, with 87% ranking it as a key concern. This was followed by house prices (77%) and concerns around income and employment opportunities (50%). 

Despite the economic backdrop, experiences are top of mind for this age group with six in 10 (60%) intending to prioritise their spending on dining in the next 12 to 18 months, followed by over half (56%) intending to spend on health and wellbeing and a similar proportion (47%) intending to prioritise travel. 

Gen Zs and Millennials are much savvier shoppers, engaging more with cashback programs and buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) services than their older generation counterparts, the data has revealed. Over six in 10 (63%) of Gen Z and Millennials shop across different brands and platforms to find the lowest prices. Older generations rely more heavily on loyalty programs with three-quarters (73%) of those ages 42 and over opting for point schemes that allow them to bank up benefits for future purchases. 

Similarly, half of young Australians (48%) engage with cashback programs, enabling them to earn back some of the money they spend on purchases. This drops to just a third (32%) of older generations. BNPL has also become a popular tool for Gen Z and Millennials with more than three in ten (32%) using the likes of CommBank’s StepPay to help them spread payments over longer periods of time. 

Cheddar managing director, Helen Hey said, “Young Australians want to experience life while being savvier with their spending. This is no mean feat which is why we’ve built Cheddar – a platform that’s native to how Gen Z and Millennials approach life. We’re more than just a shopping platform, we’re a way to help manage young Aussie’s lifestyles. 

“We consistently see travel, dining and fashion as the top-performing categories, and I expect this trend to continue throughout 2023 as this age group places a firmer emphasis on shared experiences and self-expression. After giving back $1 million to our users in the first year alone, we want to triple that in our second year. Our goal is to onboard everyday categories like groceries to help young Australians get more back from their everyday purchases.”