A majority of Australians are feeling financially squeezed. Image: Canva
  • Over one in two Australians confirmed they have felt squeezed financially
  • One in three are cutting down energy usage where possible
  • Experts recommend Australians compare their energy plans to look for potential savings

Unsurprisingly, a majority of Australians have been negatively impacted by the rising cost of living, according to a new survey by Compare the Market.

Just over half (53%) of Australians surveyed confirmed their pockets felt the pinch, while an alarming 28% said they have been seriously struggling; a paltry 12% said they haven’t felt a difference.

How Australians are reducing the pressure

The survey asked respondents what they have sacrificed in order to ease financial burdens.

Spending on social events and entertainment were the most common cuts, with 62% of responses admitting to scaling back in this area.

However, nearly half are spending less on groceries (48%), while one in three are cutting down on energy usage where possible.

Australian women were more likely to cancel or postpone health check-ups or cut down on groceries than men, with 30% foregoing health check-ups compared to 19% of men. In terms of groceries, 57% of women were spending less compared to 37% of men.

In terms of energy scrimping, the survey found the following:

  • More conscious of light use: 48%
  • Using less heating and cooling: 40% 
  • Taking shorter or less frequent showers: 28% 
  • Hanging items to dry instead of using the clothes dryer: 28%
  • Switching to more energy-efficient devices where possible: 24% 
  • Washing clothes less frequently: 15% 
  • Reducing the number of fridges and/or freezers in the household: 12% 
  • Watching less television: 11% 
  • Have not given up anything: 25%

The survey also highlighted a gendered difference, here, insofar as men were slightly more likely to say they hadn’t sacrificed or changed any of their energy usage habits compared to women.

Comparing energy plans and the cost of living

With energy costs only rising, Compare the Market’s head of energy Meredith O’Brien says it’s important Australians compare their energy plans to others available in the market – especially if they haven’t done so in over 12 months.

“For Australians in certain energy markets, there will be multiple electricity and gas plans available from different providers in your area,” O’Brien said.

“Viewing available options through a comparison site can make it easier to see if there is another deal out there that you can switch to that suits your budget.

“Finding a better tariff can help reduce your energy bills, and with the cost of living being what it is today, even a difference of just a few cents per kilowatt can make a significant difference.”

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