Millennials continue to spend big on ATMs


It’s not all fast cars and dining out for millennials, with new findings from Westpac showing that the youngest adult generation are spending a whole lot of money on ATM fees overseas.

Those born in the 1980-2000 bracket are spending around $11.3 billion overseas each year, with $183 million spent on international ATM fees alone. According to the 2016 Westpac Travel and Finance Report, the lack of financial knowledge is high in younger adults, who are not considering the price of cash currency conversion against international withdrawal fees.

“The research shows that millennials don’t know the cost of using international ATMs, a cost which can quickly chew through their budget,” said Westpac head of youth and millennial markets, Ashley Gray.

“[This] can be reduced though some simple research.”

Gray said that there were online tools and budgeting trackers that could help millennials digitise their overseas spending experience and save on time and money.

When surveyed, 61 per cent of millennials who used overseas ATMs said they would spend it on food drink, while 42 per cent would prefer to shop and only 11 per cent would use it for recreational activities.

Of those who use ATMs overseas, they do so an average of 10 times per trip and according to Westpac, would be willing to walk an extra 8 minutes each way to find a free ATM.

“I encourage millennials to thoroughly research their destination in advance and create a daily travel budget that takes into account current exchange rates,” said Gray.

“It’s important to be realistic when planning a budget.”