House­holds do it tough

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN ROLFE

TWO- THIRDS of Aus­tralian house­holds are cut­ting back to cope with fi­nan­cial pres­sure.

Re­search by con­sumer group Choice re­veals the most pop­u­lar ways peo­ple are cop­ing with the crunch are by spend­ing less on en­ter­tain­ment and cloth­ing.

Fam­i­lies with school- aged chil­dren are most wor­ried about the ris­ing cost of liv­ing.

One in five peo­ple say they have been liv­ing off their credit card to cover the gap un­til next pay day. This is most com­mon among those with a home loan.

“We are con­cerned to see these signs of house­hold stress at a time when in­fla­tion and mort­gage in­ter­est rates are his­tor­i­cally low,” Choice chief ex­ec­u­tive Alan Kirkland said.

In­fla­tion has been rel­a­tively tame since 2009 and most home- loan cus­tomers are pay­ing less than 5 per cent in­ter­est.

But 85 per cent of those Choice sur­veyed said house­hold bills had in­creased over the past year.

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