Petrol Price Rises Placing the Classic Kiwi Under the Pump
Death, taxes & rising petrol prices. The new-age norm for the Classic Kiwi.
From the everyday battler to the high-rise executive and everyone in between, the cost of fuel is fast becoming one of our biggest regular expenses. There is no hiding the rising costs of fuel and the damaging effect this has on everyday expenses for the everyday New Zealander. With Labour weekend on our doorstep, the classic kiwi road-trip is in jeopardy, as is summer outings just down the road. Remember the good ol’ days. Mum packing every essential bar the kitchen sink. Dad constantly complaining about said baggage, the volume of holiday-makers on the road and anything in general. Not to mention the constant quip of ‘are we there yet?’ from the backseat drivers. Afraid to say, classic kiwis, but the timeless roadie concept could well be parked if you are not prepared to fork out serious coin for your gas-guzzling journeys.
It’s easy to point the finger at the faceless corporates running the petrol pumps. An easy target with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern even declaring that New Zealanders are being ‘fleeced’ by fuel companies. The petrol companies are simply operating as any business would do; charging what the market demands for the product in question – in this case petrol. Whether we admit it or not, petrol is an essential. Like milk and bread, toilet paper and toothpaste, petrol remains an essential, everyday cost for the classic kiwi. As much as we endeavour to seek alternatives; be it cycling, walking or public transport there is no denying the need for fuel for the classic kiwi. Us New Zealanders have a high reliance and dependence on our vehicles. We are not happy with the rising costs of an essential. Having to pay more today than we have previously is something that does not sit well with the everyday, classic kiwi. It’s not ok.
The typical New Zealander’s budget accounts for your everyday costs such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, supermarket costs, possibly insurance and taxes as well as petrol or transport costs. Needless to say, there isn’t much breathing space to work with. As a proportion the classic kiwi spends a higher proportion of their salary on fuel than most developed countries. As the everyday New Zealander feels the pinch at the pumps, something has to give. The degree of flexibility we have with our recreational spending is far less reaching than anything we have previously experienced. Even though the statistics show our spending is in fact increasing, at rapid rates. Credit and debit card spending in the September 2018 quarter rose at its fastest pace in seven and a half years. The rise driven in part by increasing petrol prices – with spending attributed to the fuel industry up by $65m (3.4%).
What does this mean for the classic kiwi?
Not to go all ‘Christmas Grinch’ and dampen the parade on the fast-approaching classic kiwi Christmas but consumer debt is rising. And fast. The price at the pumps is a drain on the everyday New Zealander’s budget. And our habits are not changing. The classic kiwi is not a fan of change. A meat and three veg operator. As stable as they come, with a reluctance to adapt and adjust. It begs the question, at what point will a price in petrol force change among the everyday New Zealander?
Something has to give. Like it or not, if we are not prepared to change our ways it may have to be a less-than-inspiring Christmas. If the continual rise in fuel does not serve as a wake-up call to cut back on car use or seek alternatives, say economic, fuel-efficient vehicles or even electric vehicles us New Zealanders will need to refine our already-constricted budgets.
It may be too late…
Christmas will be here before you know it. Cutting back in areas of your budget is one step to take. A more complete step to take is debt consolidation. A thorough, methodical approach to better manage and organise your finances. A step to free up cash flow, allowing you to better control and drive your finances. At a time when the classic kiwi needs it most. A chance for the classic kiwi to take things into their own hands.