Cost of living worries on the rise

OVER two thirds of Queenslanders are now worried about the rise in everyday living expenses (up from 50 per cent in October 2021) and one in 10 have no confidence in their financial situation.

The findings, from a RACQ survey, revealed more than 40 per cent of people had no savings, 30 per cent described their financial situation as ‘getting by’ and one in 10 said they were struggling.  

RACQ’s Michelle Winzer said while the findings were concerning, they were unsurprising. 

“The cost of household essentials, food, fuel and electricity have increased significantly in recent months,” Ms Winzer said.  

“As a result, we’re experiencing high inflation and rising interest rates leading to an increase in mortgage repayments and rents.

“Unfortunately, these are challenges we’re likely to face for some time, along with the pandemic and a severe flu season which is causing additional hardship for many families across Queensland.” 

Encouragingly, the report found 65 per cent of Queenslanders were taking steps to curb cost of living pressures, mostly cutting back on discretionary expenses such as luxury items, eating out and opting for cheaper food brands. 

Ms Winzer said simple steps now could make a big difference and urged members not to suffer alone and to reach out for assistance. 

“We recognise talking about finances, regardless of your situation, can be uncomfortable and we know when times are tough people can be reluctant to ask for help,” she said. 

“During this phase of uncertainty and increased pressure, it’s more important than ever for our members to get in touch with us early if they are starting to feel overwhelmed or uncertain about their finances. 

“The earlier we’re contacted, the more effective we can be in looking for ways to help whether that be fast-tracking financial hardship requests or providing assistance and flexibility with payment options.”