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Survey results: Your personal experiences with inflation

Thanks to the hundreds of readers who shared their experiences in Australia's current inflationary environment. Here is a summary of the results and extracts from your comments.

Rising living costs are keenly felt with 83% of people believing that costs are rising more than the officially-reported inflation rate.

Do you feel inflation has been higher than the official trimmed mean average of 5.75% in the last two years?

On which goods and services seem to have increased in price the most, the standout answers (selected by more than half of our respondents) were food (91%), travel (64%), insurance (78%), dining out (65%), tradies (57%), and utilities (64%).

What goods in particular seem more expensive? (multiple selections allowed)

What services in particular seem more expensive? (multiple selections allowed)

Almost three-quarters of respondents believe companies are taking advantage of the high-inflation environment.

Do you feel companies are taking advantage of the inflationary conditions?

The final question asked readers to share their more quirky and unusual anecdotes and examples of rising costs and inflation. While most comments are included in the longer report linked below, here is a sample:

  • We started the backyard vege plot and it's going gangbusters! We scour the neighbourhood for produce and share our abundance of navel oranges with anyone who comes near our front door.
  • Restaurant wine increases out of proportion.
  • An example last week, at the Grand Central shopping centre car park in Toowoomba Qld. The first 3 hours are free, however, my total time was 3 hours & 30 minutes. They charged me $2.00 for the additional 30 minutes & there was no provision to pay by cash. When I received my credit card statement I was charged $2.10. That was a 5% fee!!!!
  • Lower your standard of living. Shop around & consume less.
  • It is becoming increasingly expensive to use the convenience of digital payments as more and more outlets (service industry, hospitality, medical and so on) charge a credit card surcharge - and without prior warning.
  • I'm not one to scout about to save 6 cents a litre, but there are noticeable mark-ups of 50-60 cents a litre at some service stations. I ask you, why? 
  • Fuel surcharge on transport costs.
  • Restaurants adding weekend surcharges, also on holidays.
  • My doctor bulked billed and then changed to no bulk billing. There was no notification. You found out after the consultation. Now the medical practice is empty but you can easily get an appointment which was not the case with bulk billing.
  • Car insurance. My car is 1 year older so insured value is lower. No accidents but premium increased by over 20%.
  • Restaurants adding service fees on top of menu price rises (are we now becoming the US??) and pass through of credit card charges.

Full results and comments can be downloaded here.


October 23, 2023

After reading full list of results/ comments where insurance increases crop up often, my decision 30 yrs ago on moral grounds to not invest in insurance companies seems justified. In floods and fires many uninsured in high risk areas when we see news and those who are insured and rightly claim, contribute to overall increase of insurance cost for all after major calamities. When one sees pictures of burned houses there is often burned tree/trees in close proximity to a home and I think, why don't they remove trees near home to minimise risk? Councils may be to blame re tree removal, there seems a disconnect between removal and risk of fire to home. I know person who took 10YEARS for approval to remove but they kept at it for 10 years to remove risk of damage to home, approval after last major fires came to their fence from council land full of tall trees. Meanwhile, cost of removal trebled to fixed income retiree. Let's not go to how councils approved homes in historical flood areas and adds to everyone's insurance cost after major calamities. Supposedly having alarms and keyed window locks gives discount re risk, time ins. companies gave extra discount for not living in flood area and no trees near the home.

George W
October 20, 2023

I'm sorry, I own a business and the charge that companies are taking advantage of inflation to raise prices is mostly bollocks. Have you seen cafes and offices in CBDs lately. They are full only 2-2.5 days a week. The knock on effects are enormous for CBD pubs and others. They need to pay exorbitant rent - how else bar raising prices are they meant to survive? And that doesn't take into account cost inflation, which is huge. I recently came off a 3-year electricity contract and the new one is up 150%. Add in minimum wages going up 7%, rent by CPI of close to 6%, and what do you think companies have to do to keep the doors open?


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