Bud­gets pushed to brink

NT News - Real Estate - - Realestate Market Place - AN­THONY KEANE

SURG­ING vet bills, coun­cil rates and postage costs in the past decade are among the un­ex­pected ex­penses push­ing house­hold bud­gets to the brink.

A News Corp in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cost of liv­ing since 2008 has found elec­tric­ity is not the only cause of fi­nan­cial pain.

Gas, wa­ter and med­i­cal ser­vices are all up more than 80 per cent dur­ing the period, while in­sur­ance, coun­cil rates and school costs are up more than 60 per cent.

MyBud­get founder and CEO Tammy Bar­ton said peo­ple were over­whelmed by the rise in house­hold costs.

“It’s be­com­ing quite a com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tion to nav­i­gate, es­sen­tially a per­fect storm of fi­nan­cial stress,” she said.

“This isn’t just an ef­fect on low-in­come earn­ers.

“We’re also see­ing mid­dle- to high-in­come fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als strug­gling with sav­ing.” Ms Bar­ton said peo­ple should not ac­cept price rises as the norm.

“Com­pa­nies are will­ing to fight to win your busi­ness (so) ring around to check that you’re get­ting the best deal on power, tele­phone, in­ter­net, in­sur­ance and your home loan.”

Fresh Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics data shows elec­tric­ity prices are up 117 per cent over 10 years, five times more than the Con­sumer Price In­dex in­fla­tion rise of 23 per cent in the same period.

The ABS data shows that in the past two years prices of many ser­vices more than dou­bled in­fla­tion’s 4 per cent

“There are so many things to in­sure in mod­ern life — we have more cars than be­fore, our homes are worth more and we have more con­tents,” he said.

“I have no­ticed, run­ning peo­ple’s bud­gets, that vet bills have come out of nowhere in the last year or two, and they’re usu­ally un­ex­pected.”

Mr Rankin also noted the steep costs for chil­dren.

“These days kids do so many dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties – they’re all pi­anists, Olympic swim­mers and karate ex­perts,” he said.

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