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Budget 2022: Three shocking charts show cost-of-living pain

·2-min read
man counting $50 notes
The 2022 Budget aims to ease the cost of living for Aussies. (Source: Getty)

Australians are saving half as much as they were this time last year as rising costs of living eat into household budgets.

New Finder data showed Australians were saving an average of $461 per month in February, which was less than half of the $953 per month people were saving 12 months earlier.

Sarah Megginson, Finder’s senior editor of money, pointed out that households were saving more money during the pandemic, which accounted for some of this difference.

However, she said a sharp drop-off in savings through February and March may represent “an early indication of rising inflation and interest rates digging into people’s pockets”.

High costs of living will be a major focus in the Federal Budget, which will be handed down tonight.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has already announced several measures to ease the financial burden on households, including a one-off cash payment of $250 to pensioners and low-income earners.

Housing stress also on the rise

The Finder data also showed 37 per cent of Australians admitted to struggling to afford their rent or home loan repayments in March.

This is the highest this figure has been since Finder launched its Consumer Sentiment Tracker in May 2019.

To help more people enter the housing market, the Federal Government has expanded the Home Guarantee Scheme, which allows first home buyers to put down a 5 per cent deposit without paying pricey lenders mortgage insurance.

The Budget will contain more details about the scheme.

Soaring petrol prices also hurting Aussies

Fuel prices have also spiked above $2 a litre, leaving many motorists “dreading” a trip to the petrol station.

The Federal Government has confirmed a temporary cut to the fuel excise tax to alleviate rising petrol prices for motorists.

More details about the fuel tax cut will be revealed later today.

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