Students feeling the pinch

PETALING JAYA: Besides being prudent with their spending, some students have had to strive harder to cope with the rising cost of living.

Iman Qistina, 23, said she had to work more than 10 extra hours a month at her part-time job to buy her family’s necessities.

Iman, who is both her family’s breadwinner and a full-time student, said her RM10 per hour retail job was barely enough.

“Now, I cut dining out because it’s getting expensive – even when you eat a budget meal. It was previously RM5, now it is up to RM7,” she said.

Iman said she was paying as much as RM100 more for groceries every week.

“Usually our basic groceries, including eggs and chicken, cost RM120 but now we have to fork out RM220.

“I also have to work more for emergencies, servicing the car and other needs,” she said.

Although cooking is not allowed, Nurul Atikah Ramli, 23, who lives on-campus has started cooking simple meals using a rice cooker.

“I’m able to cut RM10 of my daily spending as I only need to buy wet ingredients. Dry ingredients are only bought at the start of the month.

“One meal cooked in our room consisting of rice, omelette and sardine only costs around RM10 and it is enough to feed my three friends and me,” she said, adding that the expenses are divided equally.

Nurul said prices at the university’s cafeteria had increased in March and her usual meals went up from RM6 to RM8.

She now works part-time at the convenience store of her dormitory in order to buy basic necessities.

Instant noodles are now a dinner-time staple for Nor Nadwisa Abdul Nadir Nurijil, 23.

After paying her semester fees, she said her student loan was barely enough for anything else.

“It used to be just enough. But my budget has since increased so I have to reduce my spending,” she said, adding she sometimes abstains from food or fasts.

To get by, Nor Nadwisa also stocks up on RM2 snacks from wholesale stores.

Meanwhile, her brother Mohammad Adilnadar Abdul Nadir Nurijil, 21, makes full use of the food coupon given by the university’s welfare department.

He said the RM60 or RM30 food coupons last him no more than a week, compared with last year when such coupons lasted two weeks.

“I’m also eligible for food from the food bank so I take some dry food and snacks there such as biscuits. That keeps me full while waiting for my next meal,” he said.

Yesterday, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said the Food@Campus Keluarga Malaysia free food voucher initiative for B40 students will be continued to soften the impact of rising food costs on students.

She said Yayasan Kebajikan Siswa Keluarga Malaysia had agreed to contribute RM1mil for the Food@Campus Keluarga Malaysia 2.0 programme

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students , cost of living , university


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