As prices for everything from food to fuel and holidays continue to rise, many people across Austria are starting to notice a strain on the bank balance.
And the situation is not expected to get easier any time soon with Statistik Austria estimating the official rate of inflation for July to be 9.2 percent – the highest level since 1975.
So far, the wave of inflation has mostly affected energy and food prices but has now also arrived in the gastronomy sector, with increasing costs in bars and restaurants across the country.
Tobias Thomas, Director General at Statistik Austria, said: “Inflation has picked up speed in almost all areas. In addition to recent increases in fuel and heating oil prices, we also see significant increases in restaurant and food prices”.
How is this impacting residents in Austria? And do they have any inflation-beating tips?
The Local put these questions to readers, and this is what they said.
“Slightly, but it’s manageable”
When asked if they were struggling with the rising cost of living in Austria, half (50 percent) of all respondents answered, “slightly, but it’s manageable”.
The second most popular response was “yes” at 40 percent, followed by “no” at 10 percent.
Not surprisingly, a respondent from Croatia who said he is not impacted by the cost of living also noted that he earns more than the average salary.
Similarly, Stephan from France said he is slightly impacted but cited “no more cleaning lady” as one of the ways he is having to cut back.
For most people though, food, energy (heating and hot water) and fuel (petrol and diesel) were the main items eating into their budget with 75 percent saying they were finding food to be the most expensive.
In real terms, this means more people are having to reduce luxuries or other expenses to pay for everyday items like food, which was highlighted by several international residents in Austria.
Andrea from Ecuador, who lives in Vienna, said: “We are eating at home on the weekends and maybe one weekend in the month we can spend in a bar or restaurant.”
Vienna-based Amiri, from the UK, said: “I have to work harder and harder to pay my bills.”
Alfie, another British resident in Vienna, said: “I’m having to cut out certain vegetables from my diet because they are too expensive.”
From a more general perspective, Otto, also in the capital, said his plan to tackle the rising cost of living is: “Save more money, cut expenses to a minimum.”
For others, energy was a concern and Helen in Vienna said the rising cost of living had led to a “mindful usage of utilities”.
Whereas one respondent in Villach, Carinthia, simply said they were not able to put any money away into savings.
“Prepare to be colder this winter”
To counteract a rising cost of living, there are usually two options – make more money or adjust your lifestyle.
For most respondents of the survey, they were aiming for the latter.
Paul Hallam from the USA said his inflation-beating tips are: “Prepare to be colder this winter, avoid using A/C, be mindful of energy and food waste, wash only full loads of clothing and dirty dishes, and eat out less frequently.”
Paul also said he is “developing better budgeting skills” and using his car less.
Otto in Vienna advised fellow readers of The Local to “read up on minimalism” to beat inflation.
While Afonso from Portugal advised others to “maximise tax efficiencies”, and Mark Hannings in Graz said “maximise use of home office and don’t drive at 130kph on up-hill stretches of motorways.”
Money saving tips to combat rising food prices were also popular with many respondents revealing they are buying cheaper brands, avoiding bio (organic) products, visiting a local market instead of the supermarket or simply “buying less”.
Finally, on a pessimistic note, one Vienna resident said: “Save as much as you can for the worse days.”