Household spending on the increase

Australian households are spending more and more each year on goods and services, according to new research.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its household expenditure review - the first published since 2004.

Monthly costs are the focus of the survey, which show that everyday Australians are spending 38 per cent more in 2009-10 than they did six years prior.

The results show that houses in lower income brackets spend a greater percentage of their income on food compared to wealthier families.

This trend continued when looking at energy spending - houses with lower earnings end up paying relatively more on electricity, gas and petrol.

Recorded expenditure is a key indicator of how much Australians spend on essentials.

As it measures only what they spend money on, it doesn't include items that families are sacrificing in order to pay for necessary costs - such as food, housing and energy.

A number of the key statistics reveal the financial strain being felt by families, with mortgage interest payments up $35 a week compared to 2004 levels.

Household energy costs - including electricity and gas prices - have jumped around 38 per cent.