The burning cost of living in Sydney

In Western Sydney the cost-of-living crisis is all too real. Families are increasingly reaching out to services for support. So here are some ways can you get support and some saving tips.

School Fees

Across public and private schools, parents are being asked to contribute more money. But what happens when you can’t pay the fees? In the first instance approach the school directly. Private schools may be able to offer a payment plan, scholarships, sibling discounts and in special circumstances reduction of fees.

Public school fees are not compulsory, however subject fees and excursions can often add up. No child will be excluded for a parent’s inability to pay fees.

Breakfast Clubs

Most schools have a breakfast club, not only are they free but children can socialise and get a healthy start to the day. If your school doesn’t have a club, look to your local community or neighbourhood centre..

Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Centre runs a Brekky Club, Monday to Friday from 7.30am – 8.45am during the school term at Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre, 17 Hosking Street, Cranebrook, NSW 2749

Grocery Shopping

Look for specials either online, on apps or using the catalogues. Try to buy fruit and vegetables that is in season and if possible, go to the markets, farms or consider joining a food co-op. Check social media for businesses that sell imperfect fruit and vegetables that that would otherwise go to waste.

Consider joining budget cooking groups on social media as this can help spread the budget further.

Food bank also has a list of community pantries and food donations, and you can search by suburb. For more information

Utility Bills

For bill stress try contacting your provider directly, they may be able to arrange a payment plan or bill extension. Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) helps people having trouble paying their electricity or gas bill because of a short-term financial hardship, crisis or emergency.

For more information see

Service NSW

Service NSW has a comprehensive list of savings that can help with the cost of living. There is a range of savings and concessions that can found on their website.

Financial Counselling

Financial counselling is a free service, available through several organisations. Financial counsellors consolidate and manage debt and control your finances. Call The National Debt Hotline or visit their website

Article Written by Sussan Omar
NCNS Parenting Facilitator

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