Rising cost of living a worry for South Australians

July 17, 2014
Steve Pratt

A majority of South Australians have highlighted rising utility bills as their biggest financial concern for 2014.

According to the inaugural Money Survey by Mortgage Choice, 64.5% of South Australians admitted rising utility bills were their biggest concern, followed by job security (35.5%) and rising property prices (33.5%).

These results are unsurprising given that almost 90% of respondents indicated that their energy bills had surged over the past 12 months. The survey further found that 86.2% of South Australians have seen their energy costs rise over the last year.

But while it is unsurprising to see so many people concerned about their rising utility bills, here at Mortgage Choice in Noarlunga we have a few easy tips that you can implement to reduce the cost of your utility bills and ultimately feed some money back into your hip pocket.

  • Turn it off at the wall – Many South Australians don’t take the time to turn their appliances off at the wall when they are not using them. It may sound like a small thing, but switching your appliances off at the wall can help you cut standby power use and save you a significant amount of money. According to data from the Queensland Government’s Department of Energy and Water Supply, the average household pays around $100 in standby power costs a year.
  • Environmentally friendly lights – Replacing your old light bulbs and fittings with newer, energy saving options such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can help save you money over the long term. Today, LED bulbs are available for standard fittings. They may be slightly more expensive to buy, but they have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours (or 50 years for the average household).
  • Protect your home from draughts – With the winter months well and truly upon us, now is the time to draught-proof your home. Sealing gaps around doors and windows can help you to stop the warm air from escaping in the winter. A ‘door snake’, rolled up towels or newspaper can be used fix the draught problem in your home.
  • Wash in cold water – Washing your clothes in cold water can save you more than you think. Nearly all of the energy used by the washing machine goes into heating the water. So, if you want to save money and energy, consider washing your clothes in cold water. Your local supermarket will sell laundry powder that is suitable for use in cold water.
  • Out to dry - Hanging your clothes on a clothesline rather than putting them into a tumble dryer can help you reduce your electricity bills and ultimately feed money back into your pocket. Research conducted by the Australian Government found using a clothesline rather than a dryer once a week can save you $69 a year.

Whilst these tips may sound simple, when they are put into practice they can help you to save a significant amount of money and markedly reduce their utility bills.

If you would like help managing your finances, call Fiona Manley from Mortgage Choice in Noarlunga on 0421 360 205 or email at fiona.manley@mortgagechoice.com.au

 

 Table 1: Financial concerns

 

 

Which is your biggest financial concern for 2014? (multiple choice answers)

National

   SA

Utility bills (gas, electricity, water, etc.)

54.8%

64.5%

Job security

40.0%

35.5%

Petrol prices

30.0%

33.5%

Interest rates

27.3%

28.6%

Rise in housing prices

26.8%

19.7%

Food costs

23.0%

27.6%

Other cost of living (clothing, insurances, etc)

19.3%

19.7%

Economic management at Federal Government level

18.5%

18.2%

The state of the global economy

18.4%

15.3%

The rising cost of rent

16.0%

6.4%

Economic management at a State Government level

10.8%

13.8%

Fall in housing prices

8.0%

11.3%

Carbon tax

3.8%

2.0%

Other

3.3%

3.9%

 

Table 2: Increased costs

Have these costs increased for you over the last year? (Yes responses only)

National

   SA

Energy

88.3%

86.2%

Day to day living costs

88.2%

87.7%

Food

82.9%

83.7%

Transport

78.0%

76.8%

Housing costs (Eg. Repairs, maintenance, etc)

64.0%

65.5%

Servicing debt (Eg. Credit card debt, car loan, person loan, etc)

44.4%

44.3%

Childcare

27.5%

26.1%

None of these

1.8%

1.5%

 

 *About the survey

Market research company Nine Rewards was commissioned by Mortgage Choice to conduct the 2014 Money Survey. The online survey was conducted in late February 2014 and completed by 1,064 Australians from a range of financial backgrounds including first homeowner, next homeowner, homeowner and investor, investor only and not a mortgage holder.

Important information

This article is for general information purposes only. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.

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