That is the other thing we forget – that household incomes have been rising faster than the inflation rate. Therefore, on average, it shouldn't be the electricity bill that breaks the budget, but all the other stuff we spend money on.
And while we're complaining about the rising cost of living, we tend to overlook all the things that haven't been rising, or not rising much. Over the past three years, the all groups CPI has risen by 7.7 per cent, an average of about 2.8 per cent. The categories with the biggest increases have been alcohol and tobacco up 19 per cent thanks to higher taxes, followed by education up 18 per cent and that housing group ahead 15 per cent.
But at the same time, clothing and footwear didn't increase, transport and recreation and culture costs fell and communications increased by just one per cent.
It's swings and roundabouts, or perhaps shoes and school fees, in the cost of living game. Smoke and pay private school fees for a pile of kids who like airconditioning and leaving the TVs and computers on and you'll go backwards. Ditch the coffin nails, send the kids to state schools or, better yet, don't have kids and stay at home letting your parents pay for the power bills and you'll have no trouble living the good life. There are plenty of cost of living choices we make for ourselves.
Friday, 28 October 2011
The cost of living aint so bad
Michael Pascoe looks at cost of living issues in They're spending money, Jim, but not as we know it and writes: