Spending shrinks as families feel the pinch

Australian families are changing their spending habits because of mounting debt problems and fears about the volatile economy, it has been revealed.

Over 630 interviews conducted in marginal electorates around Australia showed that a significant proportion of voters are cutting back on their spending because of real or perceived financial hardship, the South Australian Sunday Mail reported.

The survey found that 48 per cent of households believe they are worse off now than at the 2007 election, while 44 per cent said they are worse off compared to this time last year.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent of respondents said they had delayed buying big items because of financial worries.

Rising debt problems have encouraged more Aussies to compare debit cards in search of safer spending tools. Australian Retailers Association director Russell Zimmerman commented that while the shops have been holding mid-year sales, many are not selling the stock because of dwindling consumer confidence.

"It’s tough out there and retailers are finding it harder to move product at the moment than they have in the past. They are offering 50, 60, and 70 per cent off sales which is unheard of. We are seeing that 20 per cent off isn’t enough to entice customers these days," he said.

The news comes after the Gillard government last week confirmed plans to give families the option of receiving childcare rebate payments fortnightly from July 1st next year in order to ease the cost of living.

This article is brought to you by Mozo – Helping you compare debit cardsADNFCR-1761-ID-19885267-ADNFCR