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When the going gets tough, our pets get pampered


The saying goes that Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but if new research is to be believed, Australia is poised to take that title, with Aussies more likely to curb their electricity usage, or switch to cheaper products when the going gets tough, rather than cut spending on their pampered pet.

RaboDirect surveyed 2,500 Australians, aged between 18 and 65 in August 2015, as part of its annual Financial Health Barometer, and the findings show that only 14 per cent of pet owners would reduce spending on their pets if their income dropped.

Remarkably, almost half (48 per cent) of pet owners would take steps to minimise their power usage. We’d be more likely to reduce spending on essentials (47 per cent), switch to using cheaper products (35 per cent) or look for additional work (16 per cent) rather than curb spending on our furry friends.

Unsurprisingly, horses are the most expensive pet, with over a quarter of horse owners (27 per cent) spending more than $201 per month on their animal, whereas nearly half (46 per cent) of bird owners spend less than $50 on their feathered friends.

Pet owners are significantly more likely to have pet insurance where monthly expenses exceed $100 per month, however only one in ten horse owners have insurance.
Glenn Wealands, Head of Research & Analytics, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group, said: “Our research shows that the majority of Australians are pet owners, but with the investment of love and affection also comes the significant costs of feeding, exercising and grooming them, as well as often expensive veterinary bills.

“Unexpected costs are a reality of pet ownership but good planning and saving can significantly help to reduce any nasty surprises along the way.”

Pet owners regard their pets as essential to their overall wellbeing, with nearly half (49 per cent) stating that keeping pets is more important to them than being able to socialise with friends or being able to retire before the age of 65.

“At RaboDirect, we understand how hard Australians work to earn money. Through our Financial Health Barometer research we hope to arm Aussies with insights into how they can save more effectively and the trends that are potentially affecting their savings trajectory,” Glenn continued.

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 Australian savers is putting their cash away 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