Current track




Aussies reveal their biggest budget woes

Written by on May 12, 2024

The cost of living is the leading cause of concern for Australian households, while pressures paired with the housing crisis mean 60 per cent of parents are supporting their adult children, new data reveals.

New data from Insights Exchange, who sought responses of more than 2000 Australians aged 18-79, found women were more concerned by inflation than men, with 73 per cent of women ranking it among their highest compared to 65 per cent of men.

But across the board, 69 per cent of Australians ranked cost-of-living in their top three concerns for the coming three years.

While that was down five percentage points on the same survey last year, Insights Exchange founder and chief executive Nichola Quail said it was clearly the most pressing concern.

The data comes as Treasurer Jim Chalmers prepares to hand down his second full-year budget on Tuesday, which he has said would primarily focus on driving down inflation, while easing cost-of-living pressures.

Dr Chalmers has said cost-of-living relief would flow to pensioners and Australians on fixed incomes struggling to pay their power bills, healthcare and other essentials.

Ms Quail said that concern about cost of living had led to a growing “mooch generation”, with 23 per cent of 18-34 year olds living at home with their parents.

At least 60 per cent of Australian parents, meanwhile, are financially supporting their adult children.

“That is all directly related to cost of living, in terms of rent increasing more and (young people) not being able to afford to get into the housing market,” Ms Quail said.

“We’ve also seen through some of our qualitative research, younger adults coming home, they’ve gone out renting and then due to the cost-of-living and rents increasing, they’re actually having to move back home to their parents.”

As the government on Saturday announced it would tip an additional $11.3bn into building new homes and combating homelessness, Ms Quail said Australians of all ages were concerned about housing, but particularly among the younger cohort.

A 25-year-old female told the survey: “Inflation is incredible, and the rent market makes it nearly impossible for me to live independently. I’m 25 and I always expected I’d be able to support myself by about this age, and the goalposts keep moving further away”.

Meanwhile, 28 per cent were highly concerned about accessing healthcare for themselves and family, 20 per cent faced most about rising crime rates, while 17 per cent put concerns about meeting their mortgage payments

Given basic, immediate needs “aren’t being met”, only 19 per cent ranked the environment as among their top three concerns, compared to 39 per cent in 2022.

The survey also found almost half of Australians are considering, picking up a second job.

“It’s either through the gig economy, like becoming an Uber driver, or just simply picking up a second job,” Ms Quail said.

“That was something that really stood out.”