What Aussies Are Doing To Cope With The Cost-of-living Crisis
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What Aussies Are Doing To Cope With The Cost-of-living Crisis

Limiting spending, refinancing loans, moving back home with mum and dad and working a side hustle are popular options being adopted today

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Nov 9, 2023 12:01pmGrey Clock 3 min

Mortgage holders are limiting household spending and refinancing their loans, while a rising number of young Australians are moving back home with their parents. These are some of the ways in which people are dealing with today’s cost-of-living crisis, which has been caused by the highest inflation rate in two decades along with rising interest rates and rents, according to research by Finder.

Three in four Australians surveyed in September said they were somewhat or extremely stressed about their financial situation. This includes 84% of mortgage holders, up from 76% in September 2021. Finder says almost $15,000 in extra interest costs have been added to the annual repayments of an average Australian home loan. And that was before the Reserve Bank of Australia raised the official cash rate again this week. The RBA raised rates by 25 basis points to 4.35%. That was the 13th increase since May 2022 and takes the cash rate to its highest level since 2011.

The research cites data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the total monthly value of refinanced home loans peaked at $22 billion in June. Finder says more than 70% of refinancing borrowers were going to a new lender rather than renegotiating with the existing one. However, the savings were fairly small. On average, refinancers went from a variable rate of 5.01% to 4.78%.

Graham Cooke, Finder’s Head of Consumer Research, said “the willingness of homeowners to refinance for even marginal gains underscores the pervasive cost-of-living crisis, reflecting a desperate search for any fiscal relief.” He added that millennial homeowners were struggling the most today. “This could be a sign that they jumped in when rates were at record lows and were unprepared for an environment where rates and repayments increased.”

Finder says young renters are increasingly moving back in with their parents to escape rising rents or to save to buy a home. Unaffordable rents prompted 30% to move back home. A further 30% did so to save money for a home deposit, while 14% said the loss of a job forced a change in living arrangements. Mr Cooke said interest rate rises were actually having a higher impact on renters, given landlords typically pass on higher costs to tenants through rent increases.

Cutting discretionary spending is another method of coping with rising costs. The Finder research shows 45% of Australians have cut back on dining out or ordering home delivery, 32% are shopping around for better prices, 23% have reduced beauty and self-care treatments, and 19% have cancelled a holiday. A small proportion (3%) have moved their child to a different school with lower fees.

Refinancing advice

Mr Cooke said it was important not to rush a refinancing decision. “There is a significant gap in rates offered by different lenders for comparable loan products. The best thing you can do is take the time to review and compare your home loan options to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rate. It’s never too late to find a better home loan deal.”

Advice if you’re moving back home

Mr Cooke said there was no point ‘returning to the nest’ without changing your spending habits. “Prioritising a budget is critical. Start cutting out non-essentials and look for ways you can save money. Working out all your expenses to the smallest detail will give you an idea of how much capacity you have to save.”

Tips for cutting spending

Finder says shopping around can help reduce non-discretionary spending as well. Finder recommends that consumers consider switching energy providers and insurers, and use a high-interest account for savings. RateCity recently reported that nine financial institutions on its panel are now offering savings account interest rates that are above inflation at 5.5% or more.

Take up a side hustle

Finder research also shows 35% of Australians are earning extra income through side hustle jobs like dog walking, mystery shopping, tutoring, freelancing and ride-share driving. Popular non-employed side hustles include recycling cans and bottles, making and selling goods, selling pre-owned goods and renting out a spare room or garage.



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Judge Blocks Effort to Auction Graceland

Family of Elvis Presley was fighting the attempted sale, alleging fraud

By TALI ARBEL
Sun, May 26, 2024 2 min

A Tennessee judge on Wednesday blocked an allegedly fraudulent attempt to auction off Graceland, the former Memphis home of music legend Elvis Presley and a major tourist destination in the state.

Elvis’s granddaughter, actress Riley Keough , says a company that had planned a Thursday sale was fake and trying to defraud the trust that owns Graceland.

Judge JoeDae Jenkins in Chancery Court in Shelby County, Tenn., granted the injunction to stop the auction, according to a court clerk. The court had granted Keough a temporary restraining order on the sale last week.

The auction was initiated by an entity called Naussany Investments & Private Lending. It had filed a public notice for a foreclosure sale in Tennessee, alleging Lisa Marie Presley , Elvis’s only child, defaulted on a $3.8 million loan it made to her. The group said it now owns Graceland because Presley defaulted on the loan.

Presley, Keough’s mother, controlled the Graceland trust until her death in January 2023 . Keough then took over as trustee.

Lawyers for Keough said Naussany’s loan documents are forgeries, and the firm “appears to be a false entity created for the purpose of defrauding” the trust that owns Graceland, Presley’s heirs or any purchaser of Graceland.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which manages Graceland, has also said Naussany’s claims were fraudulent. “There will be no foreclosure,” said Elvis Presley Enterprises spokeswoman Alicia Dean . “Graceland will continue to operate as it has for the past 42 years.”

Keough’s lawyer declined to comment.

Naussany Investments and Kurt Naussany, named in the complaint as acting on behalf of the entity, couldn’t be reached for comment. A phone number listed in the complaint didn’t work, and emails sent to associated addresses weren’t answered. The Wall Street Journal couldn’t separately find contact information for a Kurt Naussany. A lawyer for the entity couldn’t be identified.

The Graceland complex in Memphis, which includes an exhibition center and a 450-room hotel, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Elvis bought the property in 1957, when he was 22 and an ascendant star. He died in 1977 at the age of 42 and is buried on the Graceland property. Graceland opened to the public in 1982.

Lisa Marie Presley’s mother, Priscilla Presley , reached a settlement in 2023 with Keough over who would control the trust. The settlement came after Priscilla Presley challenged a 2016 amendment to the trust filed by Lisa Marie Presley that removed her mother as trustee.

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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