Strength in Victimhood
Things are moving fast and you need to move fast too, just to stay in place. Here's a couple of hints on what to do.
Despite what the politicians and talking heads will tell you, financially things are starting to hurt.
Sure we've got record low official unemployment but we also have an entire class of people who are under-employed or who have given up looking for work.
Even for those with secure employment are feeling the pinch and it's little wonder why.
Interest rates are up around 60% on where they were a few months ago.
That means your residential mortgage has jumped from sub 2% to more than 3%. Those in the commercial sector are looking at moves from sub 3% to a little under 5%.
Both of these suck huge amounts of otherwise productive money out of the economy.
Then you can add transport costs to the budget pain.
With diesel round $2.50 a litre everything requiring transport is set to become more expensive. That means virtually everything will be going up.
Your personal commute will cost more too.
Regular petrol hovers between the $1.60 and $2 mark. When the excise is returned, that price will jump by 10% or more.
Despite the Labor pre-election promise of cheaper electricity bills some pundits think we'll be lucky if they only go up by $1000 per annum.
It all adds up to a perfect storm for family finances.
The real question is what can we do about it? The answer to that lays with a multi-tiered approach of earning more and saving wherever you can.
The saving part is easier said than done. It means stocking up on staples by buying in bulk. This will help you avoid the dreaded shrinkflation - a combination of rising prices and smaller package sizes.
Earning more is a tougher gig. Many, like aged pensioners, are discouraged from entering the workforce despite everyone being better off if they did. The punitive penalties on pensions for working a few extra hours need to go.
Even getting a second job can be problematic.
A lot of stores won't entertain the idea of mature workers.
It's as if they have zero respect for experience and common sense. Based on my personal experience, a lot of shops could do with a fair bit more of these to make their business more attractive to potential customers.
That leaves the idea of some sort of side hustle to help your budget bottom line.
These can take all manner of shapes from a purely digital endeavour to selling craft goods at your local market. I've seen an explosion of jams and chutneys, vegetables, lotions and potions at our local community market.
There are also the service industries ranging from massage to fortune telling making their wares available.
Whether you are into those things or not, at least these producers are getting off their backsides and trying to make things a little better on their financial front.
I suspect most will make only a modest contribution to a profitable bottom line but just staying in place is better than going backwards every week.
It's becoming a tired refrain but I cannot say it enough.
You cannot and should not rely on government to save you.
Whatever they do and whatever they promise, will only make things worse in the long run.
The decision about what future you want for yourself and your family, is one you need to make right now.