Money

4 ways your life is about to get more expensive this financial year

July 1 saw a spate of new price rises.

By Amber Manto
It’s officially the 2017/2018 Financial Year. While there was no night of drinking sparkling or extravagant firework display as the clock struck midnight on June 30 to send of the last financial year, there are a number of things that have come into force which certainly mark the change.
Naturally these changes all have to do with money, with a new financial year a time for many companies - and the government - to reassess their financials and jack up costs. That’s right, everything is going up… except for salary (especially if you work in hospitality, but we’ll get to that later).

1. Transportation – the Opal card

Sydneysiders can expect to fork out more to get around on trains, buses and ferries with the cost of Opal rising for the first time in two years. Fare costs are going up 2.4 per cent, in order to keep pace with consumer price index (CPI) - which basically means the cost of living.
Bottom line: It’s estimated this will cost commuters an extra 50 cents a week so that’s $26 a year. While that doesn't seem like a lot

2. Netflix and similar streaming services

No longer can you pay for a subscription without also paying GST because the government has decided to take its slice of the steaming pie. Dubbed the “Netflix Tax”, an extra 10 per cent will be whacked on top the cost of your regular streaming service (this includes digital TV and music services).
Bottom line: An added 10 per cent works out to be an extra $1 to $3 per month additional charge for Netflix, depending on whether you have the basic, standard or premium service. So for a basica service you're looking at $12 extra per year, for standard it will be double this and for the premium service you can expect to be out of pocket $36.

3. Electricity bills

Might want to think twice before turning on the heater this winter as major power companies AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia have hiked up gas and electricity rates for the second half of 2017. Customers in NSW, Queensland, SA and ACT can expect to see their bills jump by up to 20 per cent, with those in South Australia hit the hardest.
Bottom line: In actual dollar terms this will be anywhere from roughly $85 for Queensland consumers, $387 for those in NSW, and a whopping $425 for those in South Australia and $580 for those in the ACT. This is per year, for an average household and takes into account gas and electricity.

4. Medicare - kind of

What the government giveth they also like to taketh away. The changes to Medicare, announced in the 2017 Federal Budget, have now come into force resulting in doctors being encouraged to Bulk Bill and prescribe generic - aka cheaper - medications. This means you won’t be out of pocket when you go for a visit and get a prescription filled which is a welcome reprieve. Enjoy it while it lasts though because come July 1, 2019 the Medicare Levy will rise from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
Bottom line: For a person earning an average income of $60,000, you're looking at about an extra $300 per year for the Medicare Levy. Of course, this doesn't come into force for another two financial years so you're safe for a while, but ultimately the government will get back what you owe them, and then some.