Tassie tradies spend up big

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 17 Februari 2013 | 19.55

A NATIONAL financial health survey has confirmed some stereotypes in Tasmanian culture but it has shattered others.

Among the findings from the BT Financial Health Index is the fact that carpenters, brick-layers and other "tradies" are the biggest spenders in Australia, outlaying more than doctors and lawyers each month on food, medical expenses, childcare and schooling and other essentials.

Burnie "chippie" Justin Schmidt said he endorsed the findings based on his years in the trade but his brother Mark Schmidt said three of the tradies working at Island Workshop Pty Ltd broke the stereotype and were healthy eaters and got into serious exercise when they downed tools.

Justin Schmidt estimated some tradies spent up to $30 a day on tucker.

"You add up a bacon and egg roll and takeaway coffee for breakfast, a sausage roll and drink for smoko and more fast food for lunch and afternoon smoko and you are forking out a lot of money just to survive on the job," Justin said.

But some tradies are bucking the trend and looking after both their wallets and their health.

"The three carpenters I have on site today in Hobart are in great nick and involved in swimming, kung fu and other pursuits," Mark Schmidt said.

"Perhaps the days of the fat tradie are over."

A national survey into Australians' financial health has also revealed that cashed-up tradespeople, who are predominantly men and often self-employed, are the most guilty of "binge shopping".

The BT Australian Financial Health Index, based on a survey of almost 5000 Australians by Ernst & Young, found tradespeople spend on average $844 a month on food and $628 on family expenses such as medical bills, childcare and education.

Professionals dish out $831 a month on food and $594 on family expenses.

The survey also found tradies love to shop, with 17 per cent going on "buying binges".

- with BRITTANY STACK


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