American Express’ global Trendex reveals Australians are prioritising wellness over ambition as they set their 2024 goals. Being healthier (69 per cent), having a better quality of life (64 per cent) and improving their mental health (57 per cent) all rank as more important than being productive (34 per cent) or successful in their career (25 per cent).
Aussies are also seeking out new experiences and connection, along with a desire to be more mindful with their finances in the year ahead.
Reconnecting through experiences
According to the Amex Trendex, 2024 will be the year of re-evaluating priorities and passions, particularly in the workplace, as a need for reconnection takes centre stage for Australians. Alongside travel, experiences – such as attending live sporting events and spending more time together – are at the top of the list.
In the workplace, Australians are setting more boundaries to achieve a better work-life balance. In fact, for 63 per cent of employed Australians, work-life balance is the strongest driver of job satisfaction, with 61 per cent preferring a better work-life balance to a higher salary.
Over three quarters (82 per cent) of employed Australians whose workplace offers health, wellness, and professional benefits are likely to take advantage of those benefits in 2024.
Flexible hours (66 per cent), the ability to work from anywhere (48 per cent), and more paid time off (40 per cent) were also revealed as factors that contribute the most to a healthy work-life balance, and over half of those employed (54 per cent) say they’re likely to take a ‘workcation’ to blend work and personal travel passions.
The ‘Matilda fever’ afterglow from the World Cup shows no sign of slowing down either. In 2024 over half of Australians (59 per cent) plan to attend more live sporting events compared to last year, and 23 per cent list soccer as their top priority sport.
Similarly, as the Australian Open continues, 72 per cent of Australians say they’re prepared to travel to see home-grown talent take to courts and pitches across Australia, and over half (53 per cent) are likely to splurge on exclusive access tickets to secure a better seat.
Along with reconnecting through experiences, 43 per cent of Australians are setting personal finance resolutions in 2024. Of those with personal finance goals, half want to be more financially independent and empowered (50 per cent), and more than a third (37 per cent) are looking to better spend within their means.
To achieve these goals, almost three quarters (72 per cent) of Australians setting personal finance goals plan to grow their savings this year, 51 per cent strive to budget better and 44 per cent plan to pay off debts in order to take back control of their finances.
Financial empowerment is an emerging theme, with over a quarter (26 per cent) looking to start investing in 2024.
“Mindful finance is moving a step beyond simply making better financial decisions. It’s also about taking control, becoming financially empowered and even considering how your spending may impact others, or the environment. As Aussies continue to learn and evolve from the current financial landscape, they’re also looking at how to make the most of day-to-day spending,” said Corinne Ng, vice president and general manager of travel and lifestyle services, American Express Asia Pacific.
The Amex Trendex showed that sustainable lifestyle habits are top of mind for Aussies with:
· 55 per cent striving to use less plastic or one-time use products.
· 48 per cent improving their recycling habits at home and 26 per cent aiming to decrease their carbon footprint.
Aussies who are planning on setting sustainability habits are making some around travel this year:
· 53 per cent planning to seek out brands that carbon offset.
· 48 per cent planning to make bookings at accommodation that prioritises sustainability.
Mindful finance and reconnection through experience aren’t the only ways Australians are choosing to better themselves in 2024. More than two thirds (69 per cent) who plan on setting mental or physical wellness resolutions want to be healthier.
According to the Amex Trendex, this 360-approach to general wellness also includes pursuing niche health trends, with Aussies saying their physical wellness resolution includes spa treatments or health regimen plans such as infrared saunas (41 per cent), cryotherapy (30 per cent), sound baths (29 per cent) and Gua Sha facials (28 per cent) in 2024.
“It’s no secret that Australians love to jump on the latest health and wellness trends. We’re also seeing American Express Card Member spending increase across the wellness category with year-over-year spend growth at places like beauty salons, health spas, massage parlours and osteopaths,” Ng said.
More sleep, getting outdoors and new skills are among the other 360-wellness trends that Australians, who plan on setting physical and mental wellness resolutions, are looking to tap into this year, which include:
Priorities for Australians who plan on setting physical wellness resolutions, include:
· Eating healthier (70 per cent).
· More outdoor activities (55 per cent).
· Drinking less (29 per cent).
Priorities for Australians who plan on setting mental wellness resolutions, include:
· Getting more sleep (55 per cent).
· Better organising their homes (41 per cent).
· Learning a new skill or hobby (39 per cent).
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