Is your daily cost of living affecting your ability to get ahead?

Last year, our article Living in the world's most expensive country looked at the rising costs of living in Australia compared to other countries around the globe. 

Now let's turn to some of the costs that are likely to affect you on a daily basis.

Food costs

If you’re the one who does the grocery shopping, you may have noticed the slight increase in the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages over the last 12 months or so (up 0.4% to December 2015)1.

We can take heart in knowing though, that fresh produce, such as fruit (down 2.7%) and vegetables (down 3.7%) still provide a cheaper, healthier, alternative to takeaway food (up 2.7%).

And the rise of farmers’ markets delivering fresh, local produce at affordable prices, as well as cheaper supermarkets, should also help keep your grocery bills on track.

Travel costs

If you’re planning to travel overseas this year, your plans may be taking a hit as the Aussie dollar is not as strong as it was a few years ago. But don’t panic, there are still destinations where you can visit where the Aussie dollar still offers good value.

And despite the rising costs of domestic (+5.9%) and international (+2.4%) holiday travel and accommodation, air travel is still considered affordable and has fallen significantly over the last 70 years2.

Clothing costs

The fluctuating Aussie dollar is having an impact on clothing suppliers in different ways. If the Aussie dollar continues to fall, we can expect to pay higher prices for imported fashion items, as well as shipping costs.

However, the silver-lining will be for local suppliers because clothes manufactured in Australia will be more competitive, making them cheaper for us to buy.

Petrol costs

Have you filled up your car lately? Then you’ll know that petrol prices are down on what they were earlier this year. And with oil prices down 70%3, we’re hoping that it’ll be some time before we’re back to paying over $1.50 a litre at the bowser.


The cost of living in Australia is also affected by the amount of debt we generate as a nation. However, not all debt is bad. In fact, some debt is actually good for you because it helps you create a better future.

And while we have more debt now than we did 10 years ago, we are managing it better than we have in the past. Find out more about how debt can create wealth.

Some ways to get ahead


1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, Dec 2015,



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