The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (2024)

In the lead-up to the federal budget on May 14, and Joel Gibson are helping bust the budgets of Aussie families.

Aussie parents with small children are facing some of the biggest pain points when it comes to rising weekly costs.

The state of the paid parental leave scheme, RBA interest rate increases and the often exorbitant cost of groceries have meant mums and dads are doing it extraordinarily tough.

READ MORE: Brisbane single mum's $200 bill shock in cost-of-living crisis

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (1)

Paige and Daman Sandhu, who live in Marsden Park in Sydney's north-west with their one-year-old daughter Aria, are able to slash their weekly spend thanks to their low supermarket spending.

But their mortgage is the biggest drain on their finances.

Paige, 26, tells her mortgage repayments have been a huge albatross on her family's back – on top of paying for nappies, formula, groceries and bills.

If you are interested in taking part in our ongoing budget series please contact reporter April Glover at

Most of their money goes into their variable home loan, which costs the couple more than $1100 every week with an interest rate of 5.99 per cent.

Luckily, they save on takeaway meals and groceries thanks to both working at a restaurant, which often provides lunch and dinner.

Paige says things would feel more manageable if they were able to stash away $250 to $300 more per week.

And when it comes to the federal budget, Paige says she'd love to see the paid parental leave scheme improved.

Here's a snapshot of Paige and Daman's weekly bills:

  • Mortgage: $1150 per week
  • Groceries: $80 per week
  • Streaming services (Netflix, Kayo, Disney+): $14.25 per week
  • Phone bill: $120 per month, $30 per week
  • Nappies/baby wipes in bulk: $15 per week ($60 per month)
  • Petrol: $45 per week
  • Eating takeaway: $0
  • NBN: $24.75 per week

All up, the Sandu family's weekly bills amount to $1359 per week.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (2)

On a monthly basis, the family is able to save a lot of money on their energy bills thanks to having solar panels.

Their latest bill for the quarter was just $20.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (3) had personal finance expert Joel Gibson take a look at Paige and Daman's weekly bills and provided some helpful tips for slashing some of their costs.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (4)

Energy: Save even more!

"It's fantastic to see such a small energy bill thanks to solar. But it could be even smaller," Gibson said.

"Because they export almost three times as much power as they use, it pays to get a really good solar feed-in tariff.

"Currently they're getting a generous 10c per kilowatt hour. But Origin has a Solar Boost plan available to some customers - if they used Origin to install their solar - with an even bigger feed-in."

Gibson noted he checked the solar comparison site Wattever, which found Engie has a solar plan with a 12c feed-in tariff, which would mean the Sandhus would have no bill at all.

"In fact, they might have been slightly in credit for the month," he added.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (5)

Streaming: Save over $200 per year

"This bill keeps going up and up. I call it 'streamflation'. Kayo and Disney+ have both raised prices recently, for example," Gibson said.

"One way to save is to turn the services on and off – binge a series, then cancel for a couple of months, then come back to binge another series.

"If you're signed up to Kayo for the footy season, cancel it in the summer. Same for other seasonal sports."

Another way to save, Gibson explained, is to downgrade. Netflix has a Basic tier with ads that costs $192 less than Premium per year.

Kayo also has a one-screen option (no ads) that costs $120 less per year.

Disney+ has a standard plan (no ads) that costs $48 less per year.

Netflix has cracked down on password sharing and Disney plans to do so, but you can still get away with it for the time being.

"And don't forget all the fantastic free content available on 9Now (part of Nine, the publisher of this website), 7Plus, ABC iView, SBS On Demand and 10Play," he said.

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Mobile: Save more than $200 per year

For $120 per month, Vodafone is giving Paige 80GB of data and a phone repayment.

But Gibson has found an even better deal.

"According to leading comparison site Whistleout, you can get the same amount of data on the Vodafone network with Kogan for $40 per month or unlimited data with Felix (owned by Vodafone) for $40 per month. So you could save about $10 a month by switching but, of course, you'd have to pay out your phone," he said.

"It's worth checking how many device repayments you have left – if it's not too much to pay it out and you can afford it, you could end up ahead."

He also says watching how much data you use in a month and adjusting your plan could save you a lot in the long run, too.

"I'd also check if you're using 80GB a month. The average person uses around 15GB, so you might be able to save hundreds of dollars by downgrading to a smaller plan at around $30 per month. Vodafone also has an annual plan with 320GB for under $30 per month," he said.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (7)

Baby supplies: Save more than $360 - potentially

"They're lucky to have such a low grocery bill. This one is a real stress for a lot of families," Gibson said.

"Baby supplies aren't cheap but luckily they're able to be bought in bulk and stockpiled if you find a cheap price."

He added: "Paige and Daman are also lucky enough to live near one of the 15 Costco warehouses in Australia. Costco membership is about $70 a year but see if a friend has a card and borrow theirs!

"It sells 184 size 3 Huggies nappies for $63, which is 35c each. At Woolies, the biggest box is 90 nappies at 43c each. So if they're not already shopping at Costco, they could cut their nappy costs by around 19 per cent or $144 a year."

He also suggests shopping around different brands for nappies.

"Changing nappy brands can save even more – Aldi's Mamia nappies cost just 21c each, which would be a 50 per cent saving compared to buying Huggies at the major supermarkets," Gibson said.

"Amazon also has occasional specials on nappies and wipes that are cheaper still so keep an eye out and stock up, especially around Prime Day in July."

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (8)

Mortgage: Worth a try

"5.99 per cent is a pretty good rate so I can't promise there are any significant savings here," Gibson said.

"But it never hurts to shop around as a small difference in mortgage rate can add up to thousands of dollars over time."

Gibson recommended checking out the lower rates on Ratecity, which listed mortgages with CBA or Reduce Homeloans for around 5.90 per cent.

"Or you could try a platform such as Joust which collects your info and introduces you to the bank or broker that can offer you the best rate," he said.

"This saves you the hassle of shopping around yourself."

Joel Gibson is the author of EASY MONEY, and a money-saving expert on TikTok, TODAY, 2GB, and ABC Radio.

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid (2024)


The $1150 weekly cost this Aussie couple can't avoid? ›

Most of their money goes into their variable home loan, which costs the couple more than $1100 every week with an interest rate of 5.99 per cent. Luckily, they save on takeaway meals and groceries thanks to both working at a restaurant, which often provides lunch and dinner.

How much does a family of 5 spend on groceries? ›

The Takeaway

Creating a budget can help keep costs in check. On average, a family of five spends anywhere from $922 to $1,488 a month on groceries, according to USDA monthly food plans. If you're looking to curb your spending, consider meal planning, buying in bulk, and shopping at more affordable grocery stores.

How much do you spend on groceries a week? ›

The average family spends about $270 at the grocery store per week, but that number increases when children are taken into account. Families with kids spend an average of $331 a week on groceries or 41% more than families without kids.

How much does a middle class family spend on groceries? ›

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released in late 2023, the average household grocery bill is $475 per month or $5,703 a year (as of 2022). Keep in mind that your household's size, income, lifestyle and dietary restrictions all affect your grocery budget.

What is a realistic grocery budget for a family of 4? ›

This includes purchasing items from your local grocery store or supermarket. On average, a family of four can expect to spend anywhere between $500 to $1,000 per month on groceries, depending on factors such as dietary choices, quality of ingredients, and location.

How much should a 2 person household spend on groceries? ›

Average grocery cost per month for 2 people in a household

The average grocery costs for a two-person household across the Thrifty to Liberal plans range from $476.92 to $868.66: Male and female living together: $514.09 to $819.26. Two adult females: $476.92 to $769.86. Two adult males: $551.26 to $868.66.

What state has the most expensive groceries? ›

1. California

In California, the average weekly grocery spending is $297.72. Cities like Riverside and San Francisco are even higher at $300.50 and $298.44, respectively.

How much does the average couple spend on groceries? ›

Single-person households, as you might expect, spent the least on food: $5,235 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two-person households spent $9,363, up from $8,242 in 2021. The national average for three-person households was $11,158. Four-person households spent $13.055.

How much does the average family of 5 spend on groceries a week? ›

Weekly grocery prices vary widely across the country, the study found, and California topped the list of most expensive places to buy food with a household average of $297.72 per week, or $27.51 more than the average for the 48 continental states.

How do you budget for a family of 5? ›

It splits your income three ways:
  1. 50% toward needs, such as groceries, housing, basic utilities, transportation, insurance, child care and minimum loan payments.
  2. 30% toward wants, such as travel, gifts and meals out.
  3. 20% toward saving, for an emergency fund or for retirement, and debt paydown beyond minimums.
Feb 9, 2024

How much does a family of 5 spend monthly? ›

Average Expenses of U.S. Households in 2022 and 2021
Family of two$6,372$5,782
Family of three$7,189$6,597
Family of four$8,460$7,749
Family of five or more$8,068$7,400
3 more rows
Nov 14, 2023

What is a reasonable grocery budget for a family of 6? ›

Average food and cleaning supply costs for a family of six vary depending on geographical location and the age of children in the home. For reference, a family of six typically spends anywhere from $1126 to $1546 per month on food and approximately $1,200 per month on other necessities, such as cleaning supplies.


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