The Best Laid Plans

by Frederic Ann


2013 image

The Best Laid Plans...

Most Australians achieved their plans for 2013 in the 'Big Picture' sense but there were plenty of surprises along the way.

The two-wave study (completed in January and December of this year), compared lifestyle, education, employment, travel and purchasing plans for the year against actual activities; and yielded some interesting findings.

    • Major life events such as getting engaged, having a baby, retiring or moving overseas did not deviate from plans significantly over the course of the year, though fewer Australians achieved their dream of buying a home.

    • Classic New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight, stopping smoking or working fewer hours yielded mixed results. Plans to join a gym or start a diet were generally acted on without significant deviation, while many Australians who resolved to quit smoking may be hoping for greater fortitude in 2014 (smoking cessation was five percentage points lower than planned cessation). Interestingly, significantly more Australians managed to reduce their working hours than planned to do so at the start of the year (9% planned to reduce working hours, compared to 16% who actually reduced their hours). 

    • Significantly more Australians purchased a mobile phone or smartphone (23% planned compared to 41% who did), or tablet computer (14% planned compared to 28% who did), than indicated an intention to do so at the start of the year.

    • TV Purchases were also significantly higher than originally intended, probably as a result of the digital switchover.

    • Australians shopped around for a better deal for their gas and electricity in significantly greater numbers than anticipated in January. Twice as many respondents changed their gas provider (10% changed compared to just 5% who planned to change) and electricity provider (16% changed compared to 8% who planned to) during the preceding 11 months. 



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