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Rationing to roulette: 11 million Australians are taking action to combat the cost of living crisis

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Desperate Australians are turning to everything from coupons to gambling to make ends meet, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,058 respondents revealed 3 in 5 Australians (59%) – equivalent to 11.8 million people – are taking action to give themselves some breathing room from the cost of living pressures.

Almost 1 in 2 (48%) admit they have had to drop their living standards in response to rising inflation and the cost of living.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said households are adopting a variety of measures to help ease the cost of living crunch.

"From selling cars to moving back in with parents, Aussies are having to be ruthless.

"The cost of living crisis is forcing people to take extreme action to boost their financial position."

Finder's survey found 7% plan to downsize their property to tackle affordability issues.

A concerning 6% would take on more debt to get by and the same proportion (6%) would gamble more.

The data shows 5% are having to move back in with their parents to cope, while the same proportion will rent out a spare room.

Cooke said Aussies are having to be very conscious of their spending going forward.

"Rising costs are leaving people facing some pretty scary deficits. We're seeing massive increases in the cost of housing, groceries, energy and transport.

"Being frugal is a good way to rein in spending and provide some relief for budgets."

Cooke encouraged consumers to "get creative" when it comes to ways to save money.

"With food and electricity costs so high, these essentials are a great place to start.

"Increasing inflation is a big threat to financial security and the sooner you take action to safeguard yourself the better.

"No matter how desperate you are, it's never too late to start taking back control of your finances.

"Start with paying off your most expensive debt, and then look at the best way to maximise your savings," Cooke said.

Will you or have you done any of the following in response to rising inflation and the cost of living?
Drop living standards (e.g. buy fewer groceries, shop less)48%
Do nothing because inflation won't affect me that much22%
Do nothing, even if inflation affects me19%
Downsize property7%
Take on more debt (e.g. credit card, personal loan)6%
Gamble more6%
Rent out a spare room5%
Move back in with my parents5%
Sell my car4%
Source: Finder survey of 1,058 Australians, August 2022

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