How much will Aussies spend to stay online in a lifetime?

Aussies spend more on online services each month than you may think.

Looking to reduce your monthly bills? You might want to take another look at how much your internet, mobile, and streaming services cost.

Over their lifetimes, the average Australian will live to be 82.5-years-old and spend nearly $140,000 (AUD) to stay connected.

Assuming they start paying at age 18, Australians will spend over $78,000 on internet, $41,800 on mobile, and $19,300 on streaming services over a lifetime.

And that’s without including pay TV or streaming services and phone, tablet, or computer prices—even budget smartphones begin around $100, and some folks will spend thousands on new iPhones every year.

But if you break down the prices into monthly budgets, it’ll be easier to lower your bottom line.

Average Australian monthly telecommunication costs:

  • Internet: $80 per month
  • Mobile: $45 per month
  • Streaming: $25 per month
  • Total: $150 per month

Is it time to go off the grid and live in the Outback? Probably not.

The total spending on internet, mobile, and streaming adds up to $1,800 in a year on average, and the average weekly income for Australians is $1,713.90.1 So, for a week’s worth of work, you get a year’s worth of communication, entertainment, and information. And more importantly, you stay connected.

But if you care to cut those costs even more, you could take a few approaches:

  • Internet: Since internet service is a necessity for work and school these days, it’s hard to cut out completely. But you can switch to a cheaper internet service provider or lower speed plan to save some cash every month.
  • Mobile: Switching to a cheaper mobile provider can help lower your monthly bills, along with combining individual accounts into a family plan. And maybe put off on getting the latest phone upgrades for a year or two, at least.
  • Streaming: You could save $9,675 in a lifetime by cutting out one (or more) of your streaming subscriptions to under $25. Or, with a little extra effort and planning, you could switch from one service to another every month to maximize your library options while only paying for one service at a time.

While the lifetime costs might seem staggering, you can find ways to chip away at your ongoing costs with a little compromise.

Curious to see what people pay for services in the US? Click here (and don’t forget to convert from USD to AUD).

Methodology

To calculate the lifetime cost of being connected, we used the most-recent available pricing data to determine the average monthly price of internet, streaming, and cell phone bills.

To find the average monthly cost of streaming and mobile, we surveyed 1,000 Australians asking them how much they pay on average per month.

To find the average internet bill, we used data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) and Cable.co.uk.

We scaled the average monthly cost of each of these services and found out how much Australians will spend on these services in a year and throughout their lifetimes. We sourced life expectancy from the World Health Organization.

All figures are in $AUD.

Sources

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Average Weekly Earnings, Australia,” May 2020. Accessed January 4, 2020.