How have the cost of living increases impacted your lifestyle as a renter

90% of Aussie renters have changed how they shop to cut costs at home.

In its national February survey, Rent.com.au asked renters to consider the impact the rising cost of living is having on their household budgets and spending habits – and importantly what are they doing about it.

In the current economic climate, the burden of the cost of living looms large, affecting people of every age and background. Whether you’re a seasoned adult managing the complexities of daily life or a newcomer to financial independence, it’s evident that relentless increasing expenses are hitting us all.

What we asked

On the spending side of things, what kind of changes have you made in your household due to the cost of living?

Cost of living - what changes have you made to save

No surprises here, groceries (91%) are the number one area where people are looking to reduce their costs. Renters are savvy and indicate there are several ways to find some real savings – from swapping out name brands, hunting out specials and buying in bulk though to speciality stores (seriously, check out your local butcher) or taking advantage of reward platforms.

Utilities is an area where only 50% of renters are looking to save money. It is at the “non sexy” end of our spending interests and is not really something you can shop on a weekly basis. But there are deals out there, RentPay’s $5 a week discount with Origin is a good example for those that are prepared to put in the leg work.

We also looked at it across the different generations, not huge differences (renters are all doing it tough in this cost of living crisis!) but some interesting observations.

Cost of living - what changes have you made to save (generation)

Age appears to play some role in where and how we’re cutting costs. The older you are, the more likely you are to be slashing your grocery bill. Perhaps it’s the result of years of experience in stretching those dollars or simply a testament to the wisdom that comes with age – either way, it’s a savvy move.

On the flip side, our younger counterparts are going harder on cutting down on discretionary items like going out and subscriptions. From streaming services to meal kit deliveries, millennials and Gen Z’ers are saying goodbye to those recurring costs that quickly add up each month. Who needs a dozen different streaming platforms, anyway?

Managing your costs can only take you so far so we asked about income as well.

What we asked

Have you looked at ways to increase your income to help manage the increased cost of living?

Cost of living - do you need to make changes on the income side

This is one area that we are seeing some differences between generations.

Over 70% of Gen Z and Gen Y are either searching for a new job, putting in extra hours at work or have started a side hustle to keep their heads above water, with another 20% needing to consider these options given the rising cost of living.

In contrast, it appears boomers are weathering the storm a bit more comfortably. Close to 40% of them report that they’re managing just fine. This is a combination of boomers experiencing less financial strain compared to younger generations, but the comments also indicate there aren’t many options to bring in extra income for the older generation.

Summary

Cost of living pressures are impacting all of us, be that renter or homeowner.

Rents are skyrocketing and inflation is still north of where we want it (although it seems to be reflected in our costs more that our incomes!). Federal and State governments have various initiatives to help address things, however it will take some time to see the impacts.

In the meantime, we are seeing Renters take control – 90% are reducing their costs and 60% are looking at ways to boost their incomes. Retailers and Employees should both take notice.

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