Budgets pushed to brink
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.