Sydney family says interest rate rise and cost of living crisis destroying ... trends now
A desperate family can no longer afford to take their kids to the beach and fear they may lose their dream home as mortgage stress and the spiralling cost of living hit hard.
The Reserve Bank of Australia put up the cash rate by another 0.25 percentage points to 3.35 per cent on Tuesday, with major banks expected to pass on the rate hikes to customers.
Now Sydney mother-of-five Ash Kettley, 30, and her husband Greg, 31, face having to sell up and return to renting, if the family can even find one they can afford.
They are already saving every cent they can to make ends meet - but fear the latest rate rise on top of inflation could push them over the financial edge.
'Are we going to have to sell this house because we just can't afford the repayments on the mortgage?' Ash told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.
'Every night I pray the interest rates will come down - otherwise we're going have to sell our house and go back to renting.'
Ash Kettley revealed her family can't even afford to take the kids to the beach any more because they can't justify the $50 in fuel it costs as the price of food and power bills spiral
The family bought their $900,000 four-bedroom home (pictured) in Oran Park, 70km south-west of Sydney's CBD, when their interest rate was just 2.9 per cent three years ago
They bought their $900,000 four-bedroom home in Oran Park, 70km south-west of Sydney's CBD, with an interest rate of just 2.9 per cent three years ago, after previously renting nearby.
The Kettley family have been hit by rising costs on every front - and as they are on a fixed income, they are unable to do anything but cut their spending.
Food costs have soared over the past year, with Australian Bureau of Statistics last week reporting food and soft drinks have gone up by 9.2 per cent in the last year, even higher than the rate of inflation.
Mortgage interest soared by 26.6 per cent in just one quarter for people in work, according to the ABS, while housing costs in general rose 10.7 per cent, year on year.
The family have also been hit by school costs, with Ash's kids facing $409 uniform costs, with shoes and winter uniform on top.
Kids are also expected to supply their own jotters, pencil, whiteboard markers, pencil sharpeners, hand sanitiser and even toilet roll at the local state schools.
'When I was in high school, that was all free,' added Ash. 'Now we're even having to supply dictionaries.'
When they first moved in the mortgage was almost the same as their previous $550 per week rent - but they've since endured nine rate rises while both on fixed incomes.
Ash is a full-time carer while her forklift driver husband is on Workcover disability pension after he suffered a career-ending injury at work.
'We can't even afford to take the kids to the beach any more because we can't justify the $50 in fuel it costs,' said Ash.
'We need that money for food or bills. The kids are suffering badly because of it.
'The school holidays have been a nightmare because we can't afford to go away to Queensland or the Central Coast when accommodation is at least $200 a night.
'But what do you do with five kids for six weeks? You can't afford to do things with them. You take them for a walk or to the skate park but it's the same, day after day.
'It's just terrible for the kids.'
The family had to massively scale back Christmas for children Armando, 10, Gregory, 6, Alex, 5, Corey, 3, and Ruby, one, to keep costs under control.
'We started to feel the pinch towards the end of last year,' admitted Ash. 'We've been trying to make it work - but now we're at the point where we're just making it work.
'For Christmas it was a set of clothes - five pairs of underwear, five pairs of socks - and then one toy each...and that was it.
'They're already all wearing hand-me-downs - but even the cheapest tracksuit from Best and Less is $50 a time.
'I was the one who chose to have five children, so that's on me - at the time we thought we could make it work. And then everything