Interest rates are down, redundancies are up and the mineral boom underpinning growth in our economy is stalling.
While we fondly refer to our 'lucky country' Australia has developed an international reputation as an expensive country.
According to Matt Levy, Head of Campaigns at consumer group Choice, "the strong Aussie dollar makes it completely transparent that we are getting ripped off, looking at a dollar that is siting above parity. So if you see a US price that is 50 per cent cheaper it is not because the Aussie dollar is worth less, it is because you are getting ripped off."More stories from Today Tonight
- What do tourists really think of Australia?
- Australia: World's second-best place to be born
- Australia's pricey prices
If you're feeling like the family budget isn't stretching as far as it did, you're right. The Australian Productivity Commission's most recent report into retail price differences confirms what most of us have been thinking. We're paying more.
Everything from cameras to books, music to beer, is more expensive Down Under, but why is that?
"It is something called 'international price discrimination'. This isn't about the retailer here marking it up when it hits our shelves; it is actually about the international businesses, the copyright holders, deciding they can charge more because they think Australians are willing to cop it," Levy said.
Choice compared a range of IT products, purchased here and in the US. "We found Australians are paying more than 55 per cent on average than US consumers for identical products," Levy said.
"If you wanted to buy the complete ACDC collection as an Australian it's $229.99, in the US $149.99 – an $80 difference for the exact same ACDC songs. Australian music fans have a right not to be happy."
Price differences are maintained online through what's called geoblocking, and it means an Amazon Kindle which would retail for $79 for US residents costs $109 here.
"Geoblocking is this idea that when you log onto a website as an Australian it figures out where you live and sends you to a more expensive part of the website," Levy said.
But the gouging is not restricted to tech goods. "We see this across a lot of products, so there is a lot of talk about it in clothing, in cosmetics, in home electronics."
Take Levi 501 jeans: in Canada you'll part with $53; the US $62.18 and in the land girt by sea it's $109.95.
A pack of Gillette Pro Glide razors in the US will cost $19.29, over here it's a whopping $32.24.
Nike Air Runners in the US and Canada will set you back just under $175 - here $240, that 37 per cent more.
As for booze - if you don't want the bad news look away now. You can pick up a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey for just under $16, but for the same bottle here, it's $43.
"It is not about local retailers, it is not about the higher cost of doing business in Australia, which is often what is said. There's a decision to charge us more because they think we are willing to pay it," Levy said.
Data from the International Monetary Fund shows services and goods that cost $100 to produce in the United States cost $161 in Australia. Compare that to India at $41; $67 in China and $105 in Germany and Britain.
And the list goes on - we pay more for cars, food, music, take away, even Australian beer – and the reason is because we are prepared to pay more.
"We think they are breaking up the market into different zones and they say in Australia we reckon Aussie consumers are willing to stump up an extra $80 dollars for that product," Levy said.
Ross McDonald from Google Australia says for Australian retailers to be able to compete with offshore retailers they need to go mobile.
"Online shopping cannot be ignored by retailers in Australia. We know that Australian shoppers want to work with Aussie brands, search for them, they want to transact with them."
According to McDonald, "only one out in three Australian retailers have a website that can be functional on a mobile phone, on that small screen."
In the big online retail picture, Australian businesses are missing out. So where else is our money going?
According to Robert Drake from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission "now we are spending more on the internet, more online and becoming smarter shoppers, doing the comparison shopping and looking around to see if we can get a better deal."
He says "most other countries are feeling pretty tight at the moment, things are gloomy with the economy, so compared to other countries Australians are relatively better off. It might not feel that way, but compared to other companies we're doing pretty well."
International companies think so and that's exactly why we've become the number one target for global price discrimination.
This reporter is on Twitter at @DamienHansen7