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Impact of financial situation

Comparitive financial situation

This section examines the impact of an individual’s response to their financial situation, and how they have attempted to reconcile and manage limited financial resources and the anxiety of living in low income. Of those who responded, over half of the respondents felt that their financial situation was worse or a lot worse (51%) compared to 12 months ago, with 36 per cent reporting that there was no change in their situation compared to the previous year (Chart 10a) (2).

Chart 10a Financial Situation

"Things will get better in the future. You can only be positive and look forward." - Respondent comment

"I am moving into my car soon." - Respondent comment

Future financial situation

In terms of how respondents viewed their future financial situation, almost half (47%) reported feeling positive and very positive about the next 12 months. While 27 per cent reported feeling that there would be no change in the next 12 months, 26 per cent reported feeling that their financial situation would be continue to be negative or very negative (Chart 10b) (3).

Chart 10b financial situation


"I will go without meals at times to make sure that there’s enough for the kids to eat at meal time. I'm really good at cooking cheap nutritious meals – no packet stuff – too dear. Big struggle but I am determined." - Respondent comment

Reactions to financial situation

Chart 11 provides details on what respondents have had to do or have felt as a result of their financial situation over the past 12 months.
We have sometimes been forced to cut down on basic necessities to pay for rent and bills so that we do not get a bad history.

Chart 11 financial situation

"I have bought no new clothes (op shop) and still trying to wear old clothes from past years. Only have two jumpers for winter. I try to get by. I would like to make my family and my life better in so many different ways. It’s embarrassing having no money." - Respondent comment

Almost two thirds of respondents reported feeling stressed about their futures (62%) and have had to cut down on basic necessities as a result of limited financial resources (62%). Almost half of respondents (47%) reported going without meals and over two thirds (37%) have resorted to selling or pawning possessions to make ends meet.

Over half of respondents had to delay the payment of bills (55%) and over a quarter have had to delay rent or mortgage payments (28%).It’s really hard to get by. Especially the bills, gas, electricity and rents are very expensive.

"I am renting, because it is so long to get into public housing. It is financially draining and I am finding it very difficult to keep putting food on the table." - Respondent comment

Over half of respondents (58%) had approached welfare and community based services for help and 47 per cent had asked for help from family and friends. Current financial circumstances had resulted in family conflict for 29 per cent of respondents.

1  Data note. The data presented in Charts 10a and 10b are based on the proportion of total responses received for these questions.
2  ESIS 2014: n=2485, NR=119 (5%); ESIS 2013: n=2705, NR=78 (3%).
3  ESIS 2014: n=2485, NR=184 (7%); ESIS 2013: n=2705, NR=89 (3%).