M40 folk feel the pinch, too


Petaling Jaya Old Town market has stalls selling vegetables, seafood and meat at affordable prices. — ART CHEN/The Star

A simple pleasure in life for me is cupcakes.

I love a particular cupcake brand in a neighbourhood mall in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

I would tell myself that if I work out, I could have one dark chocolate cupcake.

This RM7.90 cupcake is a treat I look forward to even though one can get a decent meal at a hawker centre for the same price.

However, a recent trip to treat myself to my favourite cupcake caught me off guard.

The same cupcake is now priced at RM10 and for someone like me, who falls in the M40 category, I am forced to rethink this, albeit a small indulgence.

I ended up buying one cupcake and told myself that this would be the last.

It no longer makes sense to buy the cupcake because I simply cannot afford to buy one for myself and two more for my children.

Spending RM30 on three cupcakes is excessive in my book.

So I console myself with the fact that I can still indulge in another favourite – Cantonese yee mee.

This dish used to cost RM7 at my neighbourhood hawker stall in Petaling Jaya.

But once again, I was in for a surprise – it was increased to RM9 a plate recently.

It was truly an eye-opening moment.

Although I had anticipated the increase in food prices, this time around, I felt the pinch.

It was easier to manage expenses when I was single as I could just cut out some expenses or look for a better-paying job.

But as a mother, there is a lot more at stake, especially in terms of expanding one’s income or embarking on a career change.

Those who cook at home also cannot help but be affected by the increase in prices of daily goods.

To keep expenses in check, I go to the Petaling Jaya Section 17 night market now for vegetables and fruits as it not only has variety but also good bargains.

My new strategy is to hunt for bargains so I can stretch my ringgit further.

Sometimes, I visit the Petaling Jaya Old Town market which has affordable vegetables, seafood and meat.

I have had to cut down on frills in my budget, including going easy on cupcakes.

Organisations making a decent profit should always have their employees’ interest at the forefront of their mind when it comes to salary increments and benefits.

Lower- and middle-income wage earners are likely to suffer the most when the prices of goods increase.

They usually have young families with school-going children and even basic expenses like buying food can be burdensome.

Families come in all forms, such as single-income and single-parent families, and times like these can be challenging for them.

Couples or divorced parents may get into painful arguments because of this sudden increase in cost of living.

Ultimately, putting aside differences and prioritising the needs of family members is important.

As for those in power and in charge of important goods and services, you have a duty to ensure that all is done to keep the goods of prices in check.

Conduct more inspections at food outlets to ensure goods are properly priced.

The low and average wage earners in this country should be able to live a decent life too.

When people have good buying power, families will be happy and the country prospers.

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price hikes , cost , bargain , citycism

   

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