Rising cost of living a worry for Queenslanders

April 07, 2014
Deborah Mazoudier

A Mortgage Choice survey shows utility bills a big financial concern. 

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

According to the inaugural Money Survey by Mortgage Choice, 61.7% of Queenslanders admitted rising utility bills were their biggest concern, followed by job security and rising petrol prices.

The results of the survey were largely unsurprising given that almost 90% of respondents indicated that their energy bills had surged over the past 12 months. The survey found 88.8% of Queenslanders have seen their energy costs rise over the last year.

In addition, 92.2% of Queenslanders 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, there are a few easy tips that Queenslanders 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 Queenslanders 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.

While these tips may sound simple, when they are put into practice they can help Queenslanders to reduce their utility bills. Anything Queenslanders can do to reduce their bills and ultimately ease their financial concerns is a positive.

If you would like to check on the health of your current finance, feel free to give me a call on 0405375550.

Table 1: Financial concerns

 

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

National

NSW

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

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

54.8%

44.8%

55.6%

61.7%

64.5%

49.3%

Job security

40.0%

41.3%

38.3%

39.8%

35.5%

45.3%

Petrol prices

30.0%

27.4%

27.6%

36.4%

33.5%

25.4%

Interest rates

27.3%

26.5%

26.2%

23.8%

28.6%

32.3%

Rise in housing prices

26.8%

32.2%

30.4%

19.9%

19.7%

31.3%

Food costs

23.0%

18.7%

22.4%

24.3%

27.6%

21.9%

Other cost of living (clothing, insurances, etc)

19.3%

17.4%

20.1%

22.8%

19.7%

17.4%

Economic management at Federal Government level

18.5%

21.7%

21.0%

18.0%

18.2%

12.4%

The state of the global economy

18.4%

22.2%

20.6%

13.1%

15.3%

19.4%

The rising cost of rent

16.0%

24.3%

16.4%

15.0%

6.4%

16.4%

Economic management at a State Government level

10.8%

8.3%

5.1%

14.6%

13.8%

12.4%

Fall in housing prices

8.0%

5.7%

8.4%

4.9%

11.3%

10.4%

Carbon tax

3.8%

7.0%

4.7%

3.4%

2.0%

1.5%

Other

3.3%

2.6%

3.3%

2.4%

3.9%

4.5%

 

Table 2: Increased costs

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

National

NSW

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

Energy

88.3%

90.4%

86.9%

88.8%

86.2%

89.1%

Day to day living costs

88.2%

84.8%

86.4%

92.2%

87.7%

89.6%

Food

82.9%

80.0%

85.0%

82.5%

83.7%

83.1%

Transport

78.0%

74.3%

78.0%

82.0%

76.8%

79.1%

Housing costs (Eg. Repairs, maintenance, etc)

64.0%

60.4%

66.4%

61.2%

65.5%

67.2%

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

44.4%

39.6%

44.9%

48.5%

44.3%

46.3%

Childcare

27.5%

28.7%

32.7%

26.2%

26.1%

23.9%

None of these

1.8%

3.0%

1.9%

1.0%

1.5%

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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