Here’s a fact you already knew and have been told a million times if you’ve ever lived in Sydney: it’s fucking expensive. Housing prices might be going down, but it sure doesn’t seem like the rent is. Then you have rising petrol prices, electricity bills, grocery bills, and lord help you if you ever dare to have a little fun and go out to eat. In a nutshell, cost of living here sucks. At least it’s pretty.
And yep, according to a new analysis by The Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods and shared with the ABC, there are certainly increases in electricity prices, but we’ve gotten more responsible with saving power.
“Certainly it is the case that electricity prices have increased — they’ve perhaps doubled in the past 10 years — but we are using a little bit less electricity,” Lead researcher Ben Phillips told ABC, “So we may only spend say $30 a week in Sydney on electricity, whereas we might spend twice that on restaurant meals.”
The analysis’s estimates compared cost of living changes with changing incomes and drew data on consumer price index, inflation and national accounts figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and took into account a few income and housing surveys for good measure.
And yeah, housing still remains the highest cost of living in Sydney, but at least as a percentage of income, it hasn’t increased too much in the last 10 years. As for petrol, despite all the hullabaloo about rising prices, Phillips says it’s actually cheaper now than it was 10 years ago.
But there are a couple of other things whose hefty price increases are driving up our cost of living that you probs hadn’t even thought of before.
The biggest increase, again as a percentage of income, was seen in health insurance and other medical expenses. From 2008 to 2018, they jumped from requiring 2.8% of a Sydney resident’s household income to 4%.
The second biggest jump was overseas holidays, but yeah ok this one is probably more a choice…that I will gladly spend all my money on, personally. The people of Sydney went from spending 2.2% of their income on international travel in 2008, to 3% in 2018.
Honourable mentions also went to household maintenance, going from 2% to 2.7% of income, and childcare which jumped from 0.8% to 1.5% of income.
As for the true Sydney pastime of hitting up hip, trendy and super delish restaurants? Yep, it’s in the top five of most increased, rising from 2.8% to 3.4%. But you know, gotta eat.