‘Big Purchase’ surge has West Aussies set for post-COVID splurge

25 March 2021

A Bankwest analysis of savings goals over a six-month period has revealed the spending intentions of West Australians for the year ahead, with a surge in war chests for discretionary spending, and a focus on Homes, and Travel.

Data from 50,000 WA entries in the Savings Goal feature of the Bankwest Mobile App from August 2020 to January 2021 inclusive, showed the goal category of Big Purchase leading the growth charts across almost all generations.

The category accounted for significant discretionary purchases such as jewellery, boats, weddings, pools/spas, and furniture.

The near cross-generation consensus on targeting savings for discretionary spend has resulted in a 52 per cent surge in Big Purchase goals, followed by saving for a Home (49% growth), and Just Saving (47% growth).

The growth in saving for a Home was also consistent across generations, being the second-highest uptake for Millennials (53% growth) and Baby Boomers (76%), and close to 50 per cent growth for Gen Z and Gen X.

The property market’s current homebuying Millennials perhaps unsurprisingly made up the majority of those saving for a Home, with 20 per cent of the generation putting their money towards the goal of owning their own home.

Travel also remained on the cards for all goal-setters, making the Top 3 of each generation and the No.1 priority for Gen X (26% of goals set by the cohort) and Baby Boomers (31%), but it was less important for younger Australians.

However, while it was clear West Australians continued to save for a holiday, fewer were doing so, with Travel the only category to have declined in the proportion of goals set by each generation compared to six months ago.

Australia’s current and next generation of house hunters – Millennials and Gen Z, respectively – also emerged as the leaders in financial goalsetting, with the two brackets combining to account for 80 per cent of goals set.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “Bankwest’s priority continues to be on supporting customers and the community as the economy recovers from the ravages of 2020.

“However, Bankwest savings data and broad economic commentary both point to the swelling of household cash reserves across 2020, and the drawdown of that stockpile is critical to Western Australia’s continued recovery.

“While Just Saving remains the most common goal, the surge over the past six months in areas such as Big Purchase suggests West Aussies are increasingly feeling confident about spending on big discretionary items.

“Those spending goals suggest fewer people are saving for holidays, but Travel is still a Top 3 priority, which bodes well for the economy, given domestic travel is likely to continue to improve before international borders ease.

“We also saw a surge in the number of goals set by customers, which grew by more than 40 per cent, with most dedicated to spending, given the strong growth in categories such as Big Purchase, Home, and Something Else.

“The past 12 months presented significant challenges to West Australians, and many people and businesses continue to face hardship, but data such as this continues to make us cautiously optimistic for the year ahead.”

Ganeration age brackets

Swipe
  Gen Z Millennial Gen X Baby Boomer
Age 14-22 23-38 39-53 54-73
Swipe

What people are saving for – overall goal distribution

(NB: Highlights indicate Top 3 growth [green] and lowest growth [orange] categories)

Swipe
Goal category
Proportion of goals (%)
6mth Growth (Aug 20-Jan 21 inc.) (%)
Big purchase
14 52
Just saving
27 49
Travel
21
21
Home
16
49
Something else
10 46
Emergency fund 7 44
Family 5 41
Total 100 All goal growth 41
Swipe

What each generation is saving for – goal distribution by generation

(NB: Highlights indicate Top 3 goal categories per generation)

Swipe
Goal category
Gen Z (%)
Change in 6mths (%)
Millennial (%) Change in 6mths (%) Gen X (%) Change in 6mths (%) Baby Boomer (%) Change in 6mths (%)
Big purchase
16 +1 9 +1 9 +2 9 +1
Emergency fund 5 - 9 - 10 - 11 +2
Family 3 - 7 - 12 - 4 -
Home
14
- 20 +1 23 - 9 +1
Just saving
30 +2 26 +1 23 +1 26 +1
Something else
9 - 10 11 - 11 -1
Travel
23
-4 19 -3 26 -4 31 -5
Swipe

What has changed over the past 6 months – growth in volume of goals by generation

(NB: Highlights indicate Top 3 growth categories per generation)

Swipe
Goal category
Gen Z (%)
Millennial (%) Gen X (%) Baby Boomer (%)
Big purchase
47 60 83 71
Emergency fund 36 46 48 77
Family 34 41 49 33
Home
42
53 48 76
Just saving
46 51 48 56
Something else
44 48 50 40
Travel
18
23 26 28
Swipe

Who is setting goals – goal distribution by generation

Swipe
  Gen Z (%) Millennial (%) Gen X (%) Baby Boomer (%) Other (%)
Generations as a proportion of all goals
35 45 11 2 7
Growth in goals established by generation
37 45 44 48 N/A
Swipe

About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to deliver brilliant customer experiences every day and our purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Bankwest provides personal and business banking solutions for more than 1.1 million customers across Australia. Our customers enjoy access to an extensive network of branches and business centres, direct and third-party distribution channels, agencies and electronic banking facilities, as well as 24-hour banking on the telephone, internet and the Bankwest App. Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit license 234945.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry, please get in touch.