Rising cost of living a worry for New South Welshmen - Mortgage Choice survey shows utility bills a big financial concern

April 08, 2014
Melanie O'Connell


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


According to the inaugural Money Survey by Mortgage Choice, 44.8% of New South Welshmen admitted rising utility bills were their biggest concern, followed by job security (41.3%) and rising property prices (32.2%).

Mortgage Choice franchisee Melanie O’Connell said the results of the survey were largely unsurprising given that more than 90% of respondents indicated that their energy bills had surged over the past 12 months.

“In addition to rising energy costs, 84.8% of New South Welshmen said they had seen their day-to-day living costs skyrocket over the course of 2013. As such, it is no wonder the majority of the surveyed respondents highlighted rising utility bills as their biggest concern for the year.”

But while it is unsurprising to see so many people concerned about their rising utility bills, Melanie said there are a few easy tips that residents can implement to reduce the cost of their utility bills and ultimately feed some money back into their hip pocket.

Turn it off at the wall – Many residents in the Macarthur region 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 cooler months fast approaching, 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.

Melanie said while these tips may sound simple, when they are put into practice they can help the local community to save a significant amount of money and markedly reduce their utility bills.

“Anything Macarthur Locals can do to reduce their bills and ultimately ease their financial concerns is a positive,” she said.

If you would like help managing your finances, call 02)4627 7447 or visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au/melanie.oconnell


For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Melanie O’Connell

Mortgage Choice

02) 4627 7447 or 0435 048 118



*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.


About Mortgage Choice

Mortgage Choice has sourced a home loan for well over 350,000 people since 1992. It works with all manner of property finance borrowers via hundreds of franchises.

The company writes one home loan every 15 minutes in Australia by providing professional guidance on, and choice of, products offered by an extensive panel of leading lenders. Many of its brokers provide a broader service, helping customers source commercial and personal loans, asset finance, deposit bonds and providing referrals for risk and general insurances.

Mortgage Choice pays its franchisees the same commission rate regardless of which lender the customer chooses as long as it's a residential home loan with one of the 27 lenders on our panel. This ensures the broker is focused on getting the right outcome for the customer. 

To cater to the growing needs of our customers, Mortgage Choice officially integrated financial planning into the business.

The company has no balance sheet or funding risk, and consistently delivers strong profits and attractive yields. It listed on the ASX in 2004 (MOC) and is a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).

Recent recognition: 2013, 2012, 2011 Australian Broking Awards Major Brokerage of the Year – Franchise; 2013, 2012 Australian Broking Awards Best Ethical/Social Responsibility Program; 2012 Australian Broking Awards Best Training and Education;   No.1 on The Adviser magazine’s 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Top 25 Brokerages list; 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005 MFAA Awards Retail Aggregator/Originator of the Year; 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 10 Thousand FEET Top 10 Franchise list; 2010 Forbes Asia-Pacific Best Under A Billion list.

Mortgage Choice holds an Australian Credit Licence: no. 382869 and Mortgage Choice Financial Planning Pty Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Mortgage Choice, holds an Australian Financial Services Licence: no. 422854. Both licences are issued by ASIC.

Visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au or call customer service on 13 77 62.

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