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Are lifestyle fads the key to happiness?


Paleo, gluten free and raw foodism are all said to be lifestyle fads, but there might actually be some method to this lifestyle madness with new research revealing the more money Aussies spend on healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and organic food, the happier they are in life.

Of the 2,500 Aussies aged between 18 and 65 surveyed for RaboDirect’s 2015 Financial Health Barometer, 49 per cent of those who said they were completely happy with life bought organic food, one in four followed a diet, and almost one third regularly practiced yoga or pilates.

The research shows that, of those who perceived themselves to be in excellent health – generally younger Australians – more than half (56 per cent) are spending on a gym membership, and nearly one in four (23 per cent) on a personal trainer.

Younger Australians are guilty of checking their weight more frequently than their bank balance with almost a third (29 per cent) of 18-29 year olds checking their weight once a month, while only 17 per cent checking their bank balance as frequently.

On average 25 per cent of Australians surveyed checked their weight once a month, while 20 per cent checked their bank balance.

Glenn Wealands, Head of Research & Analytics, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group, said: “Investing in activities that boost health and happiness, such as exercise, buying organic food and using vitamins or supplements, inevitably comes at a cost. However, by maintaining a healthy approach to personal finances, an overall increase in wellbeing can also be achieved.”

“Our research this year clearly shows that Australians who are motivated in all aspects of life from health and fitness, getting out to watch a sports match or walking their dog, are generally more happy and financially in control,” Mr Wealands said.

“The lesson here is to get motivated about your money. At RaboDirect, we understand how hard Australians work to earn money and we want to ensure they’re making the most of their savings so they can make the most of life. Simple tactics such as swapping from a transaction account to an account that earns a high interest rate can make all the difference.

“The Financial Health Barometer research aims to arm Aussies with insights into how they can save more effectively and the trends that are potentially affecting their savings trajectory,” he said.

Other key attitudes towards saving and spending revealed in the 2015 Financial Health Barometer include:
  • The wellbeing of mortgage holders and those who already own their own homes is substantially higher than those who have no plans to buy a house
  • Pets are regarded as essential to the health and wellbeing of pet owners, with Australians more likely to minimise power usage or switch to cheaper products before cutting spending on their furry friends
  • Of Australians working full or part-time 30 per cent feel like they are always in the red and 23 per cent are kept up at night by their finances
  • 40 per cent of Australians save into their transactional account, missing out on $2.3 billion in potential interest (^Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 months to April 2015 (n=33,630) Australians aged 14+ years who hold a transaction account).
  • The average Australian could only live on their savings for four months
  • The more money Australians spend on healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and organic food, the happier they are
  • Almost one in three Australians are saving for a holiday, whilst beer lovers spend more than $1,000 per year on beer
  • Shoes are the most regretted impulse purchase and women have 17 per cent higher average debt levels than men

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact DEC PR on rabodirect@decpr.com.au Ph: 02 8014 5033

About RaboDirect
RaboDirect is the online savings arm launched by Rabobank Australia Limited in 2007. As savings specialists RaboDirect is passionate about helping customers achieve their savings goals, through a range of high interest savings accounts and competitive term deposits.

RaboDirect is a division of Rabobank Australia Limited, part of the Rabobank Group, one of the world's leading specialists in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years' experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness.