How are New Zealanders managing the cost-of-living crisis and financial pressure?

Cost of Living Crisis: Kiwis Grapple with Financial Pressures

Soaring Inflation and Interest Rates Fuel Financial Anxiety

A new study by the Financial Services Council (FSC) reveals a staggering 70% of New Zealanders are grappling with regular financial worries. This marks the highest level of monetary anxiety in over three years, signaling the profound impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Inflation and interest rates have emerged as primary concerns, with 89.6% expressing alarm over rising prices and 75.6% dreading the effects of mounting interest rates. Amidst these economic headwinds, confidence in job security is dwindling, with 85% of respondents expressing unease about their employment prospects.

Debt and Savings Take a Hit

The research also sheds light on the increasing burden of debt, with 6% more respondents reporting personal debt compared to last year. The number of individuals with less than a month of savings to sustain their current lifestyle in the event of job loss has also risen.

Renters and Retirees Feel the Squeeze

Renters, in particular, are facing significant financial strain. Close to 60% indicate difficulty meeting their living expenses. Retirees are not immune to the crisis, with one-fifth expressing concern about maintaining their current lifestyle for less than a year.

Expert Insights: Navigating Financial Challenges

FSC CEO Richard Kiplin emphasizes the heightened financial pressure faced by New Zealanders amidst the ongoing crisis. “Many individuals are under immense strain, making it extremely difficult to cope with the daily stresses of the cost-of-living challenge,” Kiplin said.

He underscores the impact of declining job security on financial well-being. “Job security is crucial to financial security, but with rising unemployment and declining job security, more people are worrying about money on a regular basis,” Kiplin added.

Tips for Financial Resilience

The FSC provides practical advice for those struggling financially:

  • Seek Support: Reach out to financial advisors, providers, or helplines for guidance and assistance.
  • Review Expenses: Identify and cut unnecessary expenses to free up financial resources.
  • Manage Debt: Discuss debt management strategies with family or friends. Consider contacting organizations like MoneyTalks or DebtFix for professional assistance.

also read:What is the impact of US inflation data on the dollar-yen exchange rate and potential currency intervention by Japanese authorities?

By Divya

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