Cheap holidays and smaller phone bills balance living costs

Peter Terlato 3 August 2016

Cost of Living

The latest CPI data shows how we're spending our money.

The cost of living in Australia, among almost all household types, rose in line with the consumer price index (CPI) in the June quarter, according to the latest data.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Selected Living Cost Index (LCI) for June 2016, revealing moderate reductions in cost associated with food and non-alcoholic beverages, communications, recreation and culture for all households.

The four household categories include pensioners and beneficiaries, employees, age pensioners, other government transfer recipients and self-funded retirees.

Communication costs, such as phone and internet bills, fell between 1.3% and 1.5% across all households in June, compared with the previous March quarter.

Costs associated with recreation and culture, such as taking a holiday or visiting the theatre, also saw quarter-on-quarter drops across the board. This commodity was the most significant partial offset for self-funded retirees, driven by domestic holiday travel and accommodation. Falling accommodation and airfare prices reflect the softening demand during the winter period.

For pensioner and beneficiary households the LCI rose as a result of a rise in alcohol and tobacco costs (+1.3%). Increases to tobacco can be attributed to the government's 1.2% federal excise increase in March.

Increases in private health insurance premiums in April saw costs associated with health rise 2.2% quarter-on-quarter for employee households in June.

Over the last twelve months the LCI for age pensioner households rose just 0.7%, while the CPI rose 1.0%.

Paying regular living expenses can be a daunting experience for young people moving out of home. Use our handy guide to find out how much it’s going to cost now and into the future.

Picture: Shutterstock

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