INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

Australians put dreams on hold as cost of living rises

Australians are increasingly being forced to shelve major milestones, including having children, family holidays and house upgrades, due to the rising cost of living.

According to Finder, 53 per cent of Australians admit they have paused a major life milestone due to soaring living costs.

The survey revealed more than 37 per cent of respondents have cancelled holiday plans, while 16 per cent have delayed upgrading their homes due to the cost of living.

At the same time, 9 per cent have been unable to move out of home, 6 per cent have not pursued possible career progression and 5 per cent have put off starting a family because of high costs.

Personal finance expert at Finder, Sarah Megginson, said the cost of living was stopping many in their tracks.

“Whether you dream of having a baby, buying a new home or even just moving out of home for the first time, many plans have been put on hold because the cost of living has added so much financial pressure the last couple of years,” Ms Megginson said.

“Many people feel like they’re going backwards financially at the moment.

“If you have a home loan, your mortgage is likely to have increased – or if you’ve locked in a great fixed rate, your mortgage will soon soar – and everyday expenses are eating up all our spare cash.

“These big life milestones aren’t cheap, so many are pulling the pin or postponing events until their financial situation improves.”

Finder’s research revealed that 4 per cent of Australians had put off getting married due to economic conditions, while 3 per cent had halted plans to send their kids to private school.

Ms Megginson said Australians should look at building their savings while life plans are on hold.

“A lot of people feel like they’re starting from scratch – in fact, our research shows that nearly half of Aussies have less than $1000 in savings,” she said.

“If you want to start moving in a different direction, ask yourself what you can do today to make a start.

“People often hate the idea of sticking to a budget and setting goals and boundaries around money because they think it’s going to be restrictive and hard.

“In my experience, having a budget is actually the opposite – it gives you the structure of knowing exactly what you can afford, and it’s really motivating to chip away at debt and see your savings grow.”

Ms Megginson said people needed to make immediate financial changes to free up cash.

“Scour every expense and compare providers to see where you can save,” she said.

“Then put that money in a dedicated account assigned to your life goals, or use it to pay down debt if you have credit cards and personal loans to get rid of.

“You can do it in a way that feels reasonable and doesn’t restrict your everyday enjoyment, so life doesn’t start to feel like it’s all work and no play.”

Show More

Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.