Australians Plan to Spend Less After COVID-19

Australians Plan to Spend Less After COVID-19

As the economy takes a hit, search for phone plans that save you money

The coronavirus outbreak is changing the way consumers spend their money. As most Australians stay home to slow down the spread of the virus, the economy continues to take significant hits. And a new survey indicates things might not get much better even after the pandemic, as Australians indicate an unwillingness to spend the way they did before the outbreak.

A recent survey by data analytics company IRI Australia suggests that only 15% of Australians plan to spend the way they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the coronavirus outbreak is having a global impact on the maority of countries’ economies, Australians seem to have a bleaker view than others. The majority of the 13,000 Australian households surveyed expect a weaker economy for the next 12 months.

IRI Australia survey

IRI Australia survey indicates 88% of Australians expect an economic crisis longer than 6 months, compared to 60% of Americans. src

Here’s a look at some other key findings from the IRI survey:

  • 48 percent of respondents believe they’re worse off than before the pandemic;
  • 45 percent of respondents’ income have been affected by the pandemic;
  • 39 percent of respondents are working less than before the pandemic;
  • 7 percent of respondents have lost their jobs.

With sources of income declining (if not disappearing altogether), consumers have to spend less and pay more attention to value products than brand name products. And as phone plans have become a staple amongst Australians, now is the time to shop for value-driven phone plans from smaller telcos.

Now is a great time to shop around for your phone plan

During a recession, consumers tend to hold on their money a little longer. As the economy declines, many consumers may have to work for less pay – if they’re able to find work at all. This translates into a reduced willingness to spend, further shrinking the economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having that effect on Australia’s economy right now, and most expect it to stay that way for over a year. Most are staying home either willingly or based on some type of governmental directive or guideline. This has affected businesses, causing some to cut down employee hours or lay off workers. This means less money in Australians’ pockets and, again, an unwillingness to spend.

COVID 19 impact on the economy

Over 70% of Australians expect COVID-19 impact on the economy to last more than 12 months. src

And as consumer demand reduces, value deals become more attractive – and more available. This is one of the best times to move away from brand name plans and shop for a phone plan from smaller service providers, especially now that you have a lot of time on your hands.

MVNOs typically have cheaper phone plans

If you’re looking for value in a phone plan, the best place to start is MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators – the smaller telcos). These telcos resell the major networks (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone), so they don’t have to worry about infrastructure costs, overhead costs, and wide ranging products lines. As a result, MVNOs can offer some of the best plans to consumers during economic downturns.

MVNOs are becoming increasingly popular amongst Australians, largely due to their value offers. And because there are so many of them in the country, the competition is stiff – leading to even more competitive, value-driven deals.

MVNO market share

MVNO market share continues to grow in Australia.

Here’s a look at some example:

  • Amaysim
    Prepaid mobile plans using the Optus Network, ranging from $5 to $50 for 2GB to 60GB of data. All plans include unlimited standard national talk and text.
  • Boost Mobile
    Prepaid mobile plans using the full Telstra network. They offer short expiry plans, normal expiry plans (28 days), and long expiry plans (over a month and up to a year). You’ll find plans costing anywhere from $10 to $300, including 3GB to 240GB of data that can rollover. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, as well as unlimited international calls and text to select countries. You also get data-free streaming of Apple Music.
  • OVO
    Prepaid mobile plans using the Optus Network, ranging from $9.95 to $49.95 for 2GB to 40GB of data. All plans include unlimited standard national SMS, and most include unlimited standard national talk as well. You also get access to OVOPlay entertainment content.

Final words

To cut down on your phone plan expenses, figure out what you really need. Do you really need entertainment content in your phone plan? Do you really need that much data? Do you really need a phone plan from a major telco brand? Answering No to these questions can result in a lot of savings, as they open the door to many great deals from MVNOs.

Even if you want entertainment and plenty of data, you’ll find great deals from smaller telcos. With the COVID-19 pandemic expected to have a long, drawn out impact on the Australian economy, it’s best to look for ways to spend less on your phone plan, and the best place to start is MVNOs.

To get you started, we put together a few examples of some of the best MVNOs out there. You can also compare more phone plans here. And if you want a more in-depth look into phone plans and the best offers out there, download The Guide to Australian Phone Plans for free.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.