Some retirees resort to desperate measures to pay their bills, with only a few dollars a day left after covering their living expenses.
Some rely on quick cash loans to get by – a system the federal government is now looking to overhaul.
Perth retiree Robyne Anderson lives on just $ 40 a fortnight.
This comes down to less than $ 3 a day.
Once she pays her bills, that’s all she has left.
Life turns out to be hard.
“If something does come up you will just have to wait until you can budget for it,” she told 7NEWS.
She faces unexpected costs – like her pet’s vet bills – by borrowing money from Cash Converters.
Over the past decade, she has approached them 82 times for cash advances and personal loans.
According to Cash Converters, more than three million Australians use the services of small lenders, often referred to as “payday loans”.
Often these people turn to these lenders because they are unable to obtain credit cards or bank loans.
But the way we borrow money is about to change, making it harder for people like Robyne to access money when they need it.
Cash Converters says the proposed changes to consumer credit laws will be disastrous for people like Robyne.
“If something comes up, you just have to wait until you can budget for it. “
The federal government says it wants to protect the vulnerable and crack down on cash lenders who charge exorbitant fees.
Small cash loans can be deposited into bank accounts quickly – often on the same day – but they can get expensive.
There is no interest, but there are often high fees.
Borrowing $ 300 from Cash Converters costs $ 60, then $ 12 per month.
For larger loans, the interest can reach 48 percent per year.
Financial advisor Sarah Patterson says the number of people needing help is skyrocketing, but there are better ways to get out of this mess.
Patterson said all people need to do is ask for help.
“Financial advice is free and you can come and talk to people to look at other options,” she says.