Last drinks called on stingy mates. Aussies plagued with 'shout doubt'

29 August 2017

The idea of buying rounds of drinks sounds like a good idea in theory, but according to a survey by industry super fund-owned bank ME, ‘shout doubt’ is very real for many Australians.

The research showed while 85% of us participate in buying rounds of drinks, 81% would rather buy their own.

ME’s ‘Whose Shout?’ survey showed more than half of Aussies think shouts are unfair, ending in us spending more:

  • 64% say they spend more than they otherwise would when involved in a shout
  • 56% think it’s unfair as someone always spends more or less than others
  • As an aside, 34% also think they drink more than they would otherwise when involved in a shout.

And when it comes to costing us more, Aussies feel they aren’t getting a fair dinkum go at the pub:

  • 55% believe shouting a round forces them to buy more expensive drinks for their mates
  • 51% reckon the drinks they buy don’t get bought back.

Half of Australians also see the system as a way their stingy mates can get off scot-free, with 50% claiming they know someone who consistently fails to return a shout – it’s no wonder so many think the system is broken.

So why does the system survive? The answer is social pressure. Only 23% felt comfortable opting out of a shout, with social pressures including:

  • Feeling expected to participate (42%)
  • Not wanting to look tight with money (39%)
  • Thinking it would appear un-Australian to refuse (26%).

ME money expert, Matthew Read, said ‘shout doubt’ was a feeling most Aussies could relate to.

“I’m sure most of us have a colourful story to tell about a round of drinks – whether it’s someone sneakily ordering a $20 cocktail when everyone’s sharing a jug of beer, or that friend who always manages to miss their shout.

“Social and emotional pressures can play a big part in our spending and saving habits. Behavioural economics shows us we often act irrationally when it comes to money, so it’s good to be aware of those pressures.

“If you don’t want to be in the shout – say so. Chances are most of your friends will think similarly. You’ll probably save a bit and drink less.

“But on the other hand, sometimes shouting is the right thing to do if you’re with mates you can trust to repay the favour. Choose your moments,” said Mr Read. 


Editor notes

Note about the survey: Survey conducted by Pure Profile in August 2017; online survey completed by 1,000 adults.