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Research reveals extent of living pressures

Generic realestate images from the Queensland suburb of Stafford, Saturday, January 6, 2018. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Saving for a rainy day is starting to become a thing of the past as locals battle rising living expenses.

Almost 15 per cent of Hinkler mortgage holders are in financial stress as are more than 46 per cent of renters.

New research is shining a light on financial pressures.

According to RACQ, over two thirds of Queenslanders are now worried about the rise in everyday living expenses (up from 50 per cent in October 2021) and one in 10 have no confidence in their financial situation.

The findings also reveal more than 40 per cent of people have no savings, 30 per cent describe their financial situation as "getting by" and one in 10 said they are "struggling".

Spokesperson Michelle Winzer says while the findings were concerning, it was sadly not surprising that more and more people were feeling the pressure given the different challenges facing communities.

“The cost of household essentials, food, fuel and electricity have increased significantly in recent months,” Ms Winzer says.

“As a result, we’re experiencing high inflation and rising interest rates leading to an increase in mortgage repayments and rents.

“Unfortunately, these are challenges we’re likely to face for some time, along with the pandemic and a severe flu season which is causing additional hardship for many families across Queensland.”

Encouragingly, the report found 65% of Queenslanders were taking steps to curb cost of living pressures, mostly cutting back on discretionary expenses such as luxury items, eating out and opting for cheaper food brands.

Ms Winzer says simple steps now could make a big difference and urged members not to suffer alone and to reach out for assistance.

“We recognise talking about finances, regardless of your situation, can be uncomfortable and we know when times are tough people can be reluctant to ask for help,” she says.

“During this phase of uncertainty and increased pressure, it’s more important than ever for our members to get in touch with us early if they are starting to feel overwhelmed or uncertain about their finances."

Image: AAP