Monday, 05 Dec 2022

I dont use lights: how five Australians are managing in the cost-of-living crisis

I dont use lights: how five Australians are managing in the cost-of-living crisis


I dont use lights: how five Australians are managing in the cost-of-living crisis

Prices are going up. Food, fuel, power, water, rent, mortgages - it has become a universally known fact that the cost of essentials have been rising across the board. No one is quite sure how long the cost of living crisis will last or how bad it will get but the Australian government has been warning Australians of tough times ahead.

Such is the extent of the current situation that British economist Adam Tooze recently suggested that "crisis" doesn't quite describe what the world is facing and instead coined the term "polycrisis" - a moment when people are confronted with several simultaneous global threats - to describe the present moment.

To learn more about how Australians are responding, we spoke to five people from different walks of life, in different parts of the country.

Hazel O'Toole, 42, Western Australia

I know it sounds silly, but: grapes. That's where I first noticed it. I've got three kids - two teenage boys. Teenage boys are constantly hungry - they're a never-ending void - and you don't want to feed your kids crap. I remember going into the shops one day and the lady was like, "That will be $26," and I was like: 'What? For a bag of grapes!"

I have the luxury of a buffer. I have a good job. I work from home most days of the week so I don't have to drive into the city, which means I avoid fuel costs. There are many others out there who don't have these things.

Right now, the big thing for me is saving up for a house. I've been in Australia for 13 years and I've had nine rentals in that time. I've never been evicted for doing something wrong. I usually move because the owners are selling up or I've chosen it.

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