Savings put on hold by rising living costs

A growing number of Australian families are failing to save up because of mounting financial pressures elsewhere, it has been suggested.

Matt Young of nine-to-five.whereilive.com.au observed that despite the many economic fears generated by the global financial crisis, Australians still appear to be "trying to live up to the expectation of a lifestyle that is just unattainable".

Indeed, he argued that in addition to keeping up with ideal lifestyle goals like a "beautiful home" and the latest fashions, Aussies are being faced with increasing utility, mortgage, insurance and credit card bills.

Mr Young highlighted the diversity of such pressures by speaking to one stay-at-home mum, Kara-Lee Dewhirst, who said that she did not have the luxury of being able to compare savings accounts as her family instead struggled to simply make ends meet.

"What savings accounts?" said Ms Dewhirst. "My hubby works so hard getting up at 3am to go to work for us – three kids, three cats and not a cent to spare. Electricity bills are getting ridiculously high and with school excursions, fees and the rest of the bills, I'm still wondering how we are going to get Christmas this year."

According to recent Reserve Bank data, Australian credit card balances have gone up by 16 per cent over the last three years amid rising living costs.

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