You’re probably doing fine. And drinking too much.
In breaking news from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, apparently the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. On a cheerier note, there’s a bunch of us in the middle who are doing better than we were five years ago.
And here are five of the more interesting findings:
- In general, unless you’re on a pension of some kind, you’re probably doing OK. Prices have gone up by 19 per cent, but spending has gone up by 38 per cent and wages have gone up by 50 per cent. The ABS says this indicates a “rise in real living standards over the five years (from 2003-04 to 2009-10)”.
- We’re getting screwed on housing. Then there’s the outrageous squeeze on our wallets from pay TV. And the exorbitant costs of… well, having fun, mostly. Spending on recreation, meals out and fast foods is increasingly eating into our wallets.
- One in five households in the highest quintile (the top 20 per cent of earners) are suffering some kind of financial stress. This includes things like not being able to raise $2000 in a week if needed. Which is weird, because they’d be getting that in a week. About 7 per cent of the poorest households occasionally had to go without meals. Meanwhile the richest households sometimes went without as well. But you suspect that’s more a lifestyle choice*
- Northern Territory weekly household spending is $1,500, second only to the bloated bureaucratic spend-a-thon in Canberra, which is $1,536.
- Australians spend about as much on booze as on electricity. Well, they are essential services.
*Note the ABS warns these could be slightly dodgy stats.
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