ACM's William Huynh spoke to Moyra ODonoghue who has a mortgage on a house in California Gully in Bendigo, Central Victoria.
The 27-year-old teacher took out a loan for her place with her partner, Ben Osmond, in August 2020 and has recently rented out a room in the house to ease costs.
"Both of us have decent full-time jobs, and it's still barely enough."
"We've got a housemate now just to help out with costs, and she's also brought her boyfriend in who pays rent", Ms O'Donoghue said.
"We've gone from living with two to four people just to help out with the costs."
"We obviously chose people that we knew and trusted, but it's not the initial plan that you had for yourself," she said.
How difficult was it to achieve your home ownership goal?
Moyra O'Donoghue: "We lived together through uni for five years and worked towards the goal of getting our own place to live together as a couple, but then things change and you have to try to get ahead wherever you can.
"This opportunity came up [to rent out a room], and we thought that would definitely help to pay the bills."
Are you concerned about more rate rises?
"It's scary. It's not a little amount of money. You have all these plans for what you think is going to happen, and how you're going to handle them, and we've had to sacrifice a lot of things because of the interest rate rises.
"We were working towards a holiday.
"We can't go to the movies and things like that. You have to completely re-adjust."
"It's really scary, and it's always in the back of your head, 'How many times are they going to raise it? How much harder is it going to get? You're just constantly chasing your tail."
Ms O'Donoghue said she has felt the impact of inflation particularly on food and fuel costs.
"We were doing 'Hello Fresh' for a while, and we had to cancel that because it got too expensive."
She said rising living costs has also affected travel plans.
"We can't do anything extra for a bit of fun because everything's gone up.
"Petrol costs are going crazy at the moment so you're avoiding driving to places because you can't fill up fuel.
"We haven't gone away much on the weekends and are trying to spend less on things like clothes and things that we wanted.
"We're just trying to save and get the bills covered."
How are you cutting costs?
"I dropped my phone plan. I went from a plan to pre-paid just because it was cheaper.
"We always looking at the [heating] number and making sure it doesn't go over 23 degrees because it's just too expensive otherwise."
The Federal Government must step in to ease the cost of living pressure, Ms O'Donoghue said.
"Something to manage the cost of living, whether it's increasing wages or Centrelink payments or taking down tax or prices of things, because it's just getting unrealistic.
"With rising rents and mortgages, people aren't going to afford living."
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