Otago Daily Times 29 November 2013
Families are struggling to keep up with bill payments as everyday expenses continue to rise, a budgeting service says.
A Statistics New Zealand survey shows average weekly household spending has increased by more than $90 over the past three years, to $1111.
That’s been driven by significant increases in the cost of food, transport, housing and household utilities like gas and electricity.
Aucklanders are spending the most, an average of $1253 a week, and spend significantly more on housing, transport and food than residents elsewhere in the country.
The Household Economic Survey showed housing costs and utilities were the biggest household costs at $272, making up about a quarter of household bills on average.
Food costs made up one-fifth of expenses, costing $192 a week on average, up from $177 three years ago.
Darryl Evans, CEO of the Mangere Budgeting Service, said clients were spending a large portion of their income on rent, with very little left for food.