25-Oct-2019 • Personal Finance

A new ME study indicates a connection between bad fuel habits, and bad money behaviours, in turn leading to lower financial comfort.

ME’s survey of 1,000 Australian drivers revealed 1 in 4 Aussie drivers identify with having bad fuel habits*.

These same drivers also reported lower financial comfort (15 points lower) than drivers with good fuel habits.

Australians with bad fuel habits were also less likely to display the following good money behaviours:

‘Good’ money behaviour

% of Australians with good fuel habits who exhibit this trait

% of Australians with bad fuel habits who exhibit this trait

I have a rainy-day fund in case of emergency



I pay my credit card balance in full each month



I think long-term about my money



I pay my bills before the due date



I plan my purchases rather than making impulse purchases



I shop around and research bargains



I follow a budget



I review my utility and insurance provider to ensure I’m getting value for money




ME money expert, Matthew Read said “If you’re someone who throws caution to the wind, ignoring your fuel light until it’s almost too late, there’s a pretty strong chance this type of behaviour extends to other parts of your life, including your money management. And the results confirm this.”

“Like poor money management, bad fuel habits can be categorised as behaviour with short-term benefits, and relate to sense of control and organisation. In the long-run this type of behaviour can increase overall effort, stress and in some cases may end up costing you more.

“The good news is you can change your habits; with a bit of hard work and persistence it’s possible. If changing your behaviour can positively influence your financial comfort then it’s worth a shot.

“Some changes you might consider are shifting to a long-term mindset, dealing with things head on, and making the effort to shop around – just to name a few.


Editor notes: ME surveyed 1,000 Australian adults who own or drive a car via insights provider Pure Profile.

*Bad fuel habits were categorised by agreeing to two or more of the following statements:

  • If my fuel light comes on, I keep driving for a little while before refuelling;
  • When buying fuel, I don’t fill up my whole fuel tank, to reduce the money I must spend in one-go; and
  • I have run out of fuel or have been very close to running out of fuel in the past 12 months.
Did you find this page useful?
We're sorry, please tell us why?
Please leave your feedback before submitting.
Please note: This form is for website feedback, so enquiries won't reach our customer service team. If you need to get in touch, call or email us here.
Thanks for giving ME feedback.