Modern lifestyle costs
Our lifestyles have changed and so have our expectations of what we need. A second car, the latest technology, travel and more, are all things we may no longer consider as luxuries but rather as necessities. Read through to see how expensive our evolved lifestyle has become, and how it may be hard to sustain such lifestyle without adequate finances.
Brief overview of rising living costs
Basic living costs in Australia are on the risei. Household expenditure on goods and services alone has increased 146 per cent between 1988-89 and 2009-10ii.
According to the nationwide Household Expenditure Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)iii, current housing costs have gone up by 55 per cent from 2003-04 to 2009-10 and make up the largest increase of all average weekly household expenditures.
In addition to housing costs, medical care and health expenses have increased by 43 percent on average from 2003-04 to 2009-10 and have tripled since 1999iv.
If you're supporting a family and have dependent children, you are also faced with an even higher weekly expenditure than the national average, as revealed by the ABSiii . This is not surprising as on top of other expenses, parents have to deal with education costs, and the increase of 107 percent on primary and secondary education fees from 2003-04 to 2009-10iii is not kind to the family's budget either.
Spending money on recreational activities
The Household Expenditure Survey has further revealed that our weekly expenditure on recreational activities (including holidays), as well as recreational and educational equipment and services, is already 41 percent higher than in 2003iii and a whopping 82 percent higher than in 1999ii.
The travel bug is infectious and it is clear that many Australians have been bitten. With 6.8 million international trips made from June 2009 to 2010, up by 2.1 million from two decades agov, more and more Australians are found across different continents and corners of the globe. With a total of $43.3 billion spent on domestic travel in the year ending on the 30 of September 2011vi and significant levels of international travel by Australians, regular travel is now a way of life for many.
Growing list of 'wants'
Today, lifestyle is more than just about fulfilling basic needs such as food and shelter. For instance, stocking our homes and cars with home entertainment gadgets and possessing the latest smart phone has become a high priority for manyvii.
Over the years, the mobile phone has become a principal communication tool. More people are reliant on themviii and mobile phones are now owned by almost everyone. Each Australian - including teenagersix,x - possesses on average 1.3 active mobile phonesviii. Phone buyers are now succumbing to status and aesthetics in addition to function in phone purchasing decisionsviii: Australia is one of the world's highest adopting countries when it comes to smart phones"xi. Total costs spent on handsets, phone accessories, usage plans and downloadable apps all add up and payments may strain an already tight budget even further.
Personal computers are another example of a desired product that has transformed into a modern necessity. According to the ABS household survey results on the use of information technology, 83% of Australian households had access to a computer at home in 2010-11xii compared to the 56% recorded in the 12 months to November 2000xiii. Similar to the costs involved in owning a mobile phone, it can become expensive to own a computer. Internet access is almost expected, plus there is the cost of networking equipment, software and other gadgets.
Insurance to secure your family's lifestyle
In our society, money is needed for nearly everything. It's vitally important to plan ahead by taking out life insurance. This can ensure that despite the rising costs of modern life, your family will be able to maintain the lifestyle to which they are accustomed should the unexpected happen. Get a life insurance quote online today from Allianz to start securing your family's financial future.
i UBS, Prices and Earnings Study 2011 Update, http://www.ubs.com/global/en/wealth_management/wealth_management_research/prices_earnings.html, p.4
ii Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government, Australia_Data_Tables_2009-10, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6530.02009-10?OpenDocument
iii Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government, Household Expenditure Survey (HES), 2011, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/97E70263E0B479CFCA257059007E19B6?OpenDocument
iv Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government, Australia_Data_Tables_2009-10, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/CB07CC895DCE2829CA2579020015D8FD/$File/65300_2009-10.pdf
v Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government, September 2010, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features20Sep+2010
vi Tourism Research Australia, Travel by Australians: Quarterly results of the national visitor survey, September 2011, http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/Documents/tra/National%20Visitor%20Survey/travel-by-australians-sept-quart-2011.pdf, p.2
vii Appliance Retailer Magazine, Sven Radavics, July 2011, http://www.current.com.au/2011/07/06/article/Not-just-man-toys---gadgets-are-part-of-the-Australian-lifestyle/NAMZDJLOKN
viii Ibis world, 2012, Mobile Telecommunications Carriers Market Research Report, http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=1830
ix Youth.gov.au, State of Australia's Young People report 2007: Statistical Snapshot, http://www.youth.gov.au/articles/Pages/StateofAustraliasYoungPeoplereportstatisticalsnapshot.aspx#tech
x Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Social Trends, June 2011, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features60Jun+2011
xi Business day, Alexandra Smith, October 2011, http://www.businessday.com.au/executive-style/gadgets/hail-the-doitall-device-buyers-get-wise-to-smartphones-20111018-1lu7z.html
xii Australian Bureau of Statistics, Household Internet and Computer Access, 2011, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4E4D83E02F39FC32CA25796600152BF4?opendocument
xiii Australian Bureau of Statistics, Use of Internet by Householders, November 2000, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8147.0/