UBank has commissioned new research to look at the impact of social media on the spending habits of Australian millennials. The findings revealed how a desire to impress online, and envy of others on social media, are driving impulse spending and out-of-budget purchases.

Millennials are open about discussing their personal finances, spending habits and recent purchases

  • 75% of Australians are happy to discuss their recent purchases (clothes, technology, material items)

  • 24% of millennials who are happy to discuss their finances believe personal finances should be part of everyday conversations, and 42% of respondents who discuss their finances with family and friends do so at least weekly

  • Almost half (47%) of millennials share their finances or spending habits on social media, at least sometimes

Millennials turn to social media to impress online

  • 3 in 4 millennials (75%) at least sometimes observe what people are spending through social media (81% of ages 18-24)

  • More than a third (38%) of millennials regularly observe what others are spending through social media, with 26% often observing and 12% constantly wanting to know what their friends and family are spending their money on

  • 21% of millennials often share their purchases on social media

  • 47% of millennials feel ‘really happy’ about themselves when they share what they’ve spent their money on

  • 68% of millennials look to friends, family, influencers and brands for ideas on what to spend their money on

  • Most millennials (82%) would share their purchases of material items or experiences on social media

  • A quarter of millennials (25%) admit they feel envious when they see what others have purchased

  • 27% of millennials share what they have purchased on social media with the hopes of impressing their followers

And this is having an impact on their financial goals and personal financial management

  • 23% of millennials have purchased over their budget to get a positive response on social media

  • 26% of millennials say their long-term financial goals are compromised by what they share on social media

  • 1 in 10 millennials (11%) would prefer 1000 likes on a social media post over $200 in their bank account/super

– Of those who said they would prefer 1000 likes on social media, rather than $200 in their super fund/savings account, 39% said the level of acknowledgement provided by likes on social media is worth more than $200


This study was conducted online between Wednesday 6 June and Monday 11 June 2018.

The total sample was 1300 comprising 1000 Millennials (aged between 18-34 years) and 300 Baby Boomers (aged 50-64 years) distributed throughout Australia, as follows:







South Australia


Western Australia


NT / ACT, Tas


Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the sample.

Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

About UBank

UBank was launched in 2008 and was developed and is supported by the financial strength and global capabilities of National Australia Bank Limited (NAB). UBank is a fintech and provides simpler, better, smarter banking for its customers online and over the phone. Operating under NAB’s banking licence, UBank currently offers a range of products competitive home loans, high-interest online savings accounts, a range of high interest and Term Deposit accounts (which can be used by Self-Managed Super Funds). © National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 230686.