The Aussiest of rituals is ‘unfair’

“We actually hate each other.”
“We actually hate each other.”

IT LOOKS like last drinks for the shout.

Buying rounds of drinks for your mates has been an Aussie tradition for as long as anyone can remember, but skyrocketing alcohol prices may be bringing the party to an end.

A survey of 1000 Australians by ME Bank has found 56 per cent of people think buying rounds of drinks is unfair, as someone always spends more or less than others.

The study found that while 85 per cent of people take part in shouting rounds, 81 per cent would actually prefer to buy their own drinks.

"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," ME Bank spokesman Matthew Read said in a statement.

"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."

The "Whose Shout" survey found 64 per cent of respondents spend more than they otherwise would when involved in a shout, and 55 per cent believe shouting a round forces them to buy more expensive drinks for their mates.

A further 51 per cent believe the drinks they buy don't get bought in return, and 50 per cent know someone who consistently fails to return a shout.

With such negative attitudes towards the shouting, the survey found social pressure was keeping the system alive. Only 23 per cent of people felt comfortable opting out of a shot, 42 per cent felt expected to participate, 39 per cent said they don't want to look cheap, and 26 per cent believe it would appear un-Australian to refuse.

"If you don't want to be in the shout - say so," said Mr Read. "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."

The growing reluctance to shout may have something to do with beer prices - the price of schooners and pints has risen at twice the rate of inflation over the last decade.

Topics:  australia editors picks

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