Alcohol and cigarettes heading towards 10% of our weekly spending

Every three years Statistics NZ updates the national shopping list to show us what we are spending money on. 

The 2014 Consumers Price Index review tells us where our money is spent and on which products, in what amounts… 

The really big wakeup call here is that we all talk about how little we drink and yet the truth in the numbers is that we drink twice as much as we admit to. 

The Household Economic Survey, which is self-reported, shows that we lie when it comes to how much we drink. 

The alcohol industry sources show that we drink twice the amount that we own up to. 

The simple summary:

  1. We spend more money on alcohol and cigarettes than we do on education or health (no surprise there given alcohol and cigarettes are the polar opposite of health spending).
  2. Alcohol and cigarettes make up 7% of a typical household’s weekly spending.
  3. The South Island (excluding Christchurch) spends an estimated 8.2% on alcohol and the liver disease rates in the South Island are growing at 36% per year – for the past five years running.
  4. Takeaways and ‘restaurant’ meals (yes, ‘McDonald’s’ is classed as a ‘restaurant’…) is now 4.3% of our weekly spending.
  5. Fruit and vegetables get barely 2.5% of our weekly spend.
  6. About 30% of our income goes on the house.
  7. Food is up 19%, alcohol and cigarettes are up 7% while health is down 4% 

Posted: Monday 8 December 2014