14th November, 2017 | 3 minutes

Aussies are feeling the pinch as bills rise at twice the rate of income

by Laura Crowden
iSelect Corporate Affairs Manager

The rapidly rising cost of living is hurting Australians who say their monthly household bills are rising at just under twice the rate of their income, according to new research released today by Life Admin experts iSelect.

The Kantar TNS research study, commissioned by iSelect,[1] revealed that Australians reportedly spend an average of $2,374 on their monthly mortgage/rent and household bills, an increase of almost 40 percent in the last two years, compared to around a 20 per cent increase in household income.

The rising cost of living, and rapid decrease in disposable income, is taking its toll with almost 60 per cent of Australians believing the high cost of bills and expenses is having a negative impact on their life.

Laura Crowden, spokesperson for iSelect, said the research was evidence that our ‘lucky country’ has transformed into an ‘expensive country.’

“This research underlines that over 6 million Australians (42 per cent) are feeling overwhelmed by their rising bills and expenses and that the majority of Aussies (51 per cent or nearly 8 million) believe their household bills are preventing them from living their life to the fullest,” Laura said.

“In an effort to regain control of their finances as they struggle with record house prices and ever increasing energy bills many Aussies are tightening the purse strings on everyday essentials as well as life’s luxuries,” said Laura.

One third of Aussies said they have forgone a holiday to pay their bills and expenses, while a quarter used less heating over winter and 2.3 million Australians (15 per cent) have even cut back on fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

While cutting back on expenses was important, many Aussies are missing out on savings by sticking with the same household service providers.

Only 44 per cent of Aussies switched providers in the past year and those that got a better deal reported saving an average of $790, which adds up to around a staggering $4.3 billion nationwide. That means that there is potentially around $5.4 billion in savings to be made by those Australians who have stuck with the same providers and as a result could be paying much more than they need to.

In light of rising cost of living pressures, Australians are calling out for assistance with 8 million Australians saying they want help finding a better deal on their household bills and expenses.

Reviewing your energy, insurance and personal finance costs is well worth it but doing it yourself can be pretty tedious and many people put it off because they think it isn’t going to be worth the effort. But those customers who used iSelect to switch told us it could take as little as 25 minutes – not even a full episode of Family Food Fight!

Taking the time to shop around could give the average Aussie a reported saving of around $800 each year to ease the pressure and help get the household budget back into black.

And what would they spend that freed up cash on?  Aussies told us they would be most likely to put any savings from switching providers towards a holiday, paying down debt, a treat or towards their mortgage or house deposit.

Reduce your cost of living expenses today by seeing if you can save on your energy bills

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Sources:

[1] In September 2017, iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with Kantar TNS to assess the attitudes of 2,000 Australians who are decision makers for their service providers towards their household bills and expenses.

 

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