IT'S not secret Australians are among the most obsessed with technology in the world.

But have you ever thought about how much that obsession is really costing you - in time, money - not to mention missed social connections?

According to Suncorp's Cost of Being Digitally Savvy report, Aussies aged between 18 and 64 spend an average of almost $2500 a year on technology and digital services - that's $37 billion.

 And they are spending 1650 hours online every year- far more than they are talking to their kids, catching up with friends or meeting neighbours.

While connecting to the internet was revealed as the biggest expense ($1,428) followed by the purchase of digital devices ($772), the nation's thirst for on-demand entertainment via TV subscriptions and apps totalled $265 per person.

Families (with children under 18) spending nearly a quarter more than the national average ($2,995), which was primarily driven by mobile phones and streaming devices.

Suncorp's Cost of Being Digitally Savvy report reveals how much our online obsession is costing us.
Suncorp's Cost of Being Digitally Savvy report reveals how much our online obsession is costing us.

Suncorp's Tony Wessling said the research found we spend between four to five hours online every day, which equates to nearly 68 days a year.

"While this may seem like a lot, it can be easily done considering we use technology for 70 per cent of our
everyday activities like paying bills, banking, watching TV and keeping up to date with news.

"We just need to be mindful of the impact our digital reliance has on our back pocket, especially considering the
data revealed 40 per cent of additional or unanticipated tech costs are covered by credit or dipping into savings.

"Technology is one of many household expenses, and costs can easily increase given the ease of spending
and accessibility. While we may view technology as a vital resource, like any expense it's important we keep
track of how much we're spending, especially when it comes to apps and data."

Suncorp's Behavioural Economist, Phil Slade, said we've embraced technology as a core part of our lives partly
because of the way it's made boring and mundane tasks simple.

"There is no doubt technology makes our lives easier and more convenient, with more than a third of us
identifying it as an essential part of our lives," Mr Slade said.

"Technology hasn't only changed the way we manage our life administration, it's completely transformed the
way we connect, absorb news, be entertained and spend money.

"Our devices make complex and tedious things simple as everything we need is in the one spot. And when
things are simple they feel logical and we feel more confident about making decisions.

"But with everything it's about balance. The key is to discover ways to maximise the advantages of our digital
life, while not missing the opportunities we get from the randomness of real life."


Other key findings:

  • Our willingness to embrace integrated technologies is also on the rise, with 80 per cent of home assistants and 59 per cent of wearable devices purchased in the last 12 months.
  • Australians between 24-35 years are the nation's biggest spenders ($2768 - $303 above national average), while those aged 18 - 25 are the biggest consumers (5 hours and 20 minutes - 50 minutes above national average).
  • New South Wales is home to the nation's biggest digital spenders ($2,523), followed by Queensland
  • $2,440) and WA ($2,316). While Victorians are some of the most cash-conscious ($2,260), they're investing more time online than the other states.
  • On average, Australian households have six digital devices