Families finding it hard to save due to higher expenses

Trying to make ends meet: With household expenses rising, families in Johor Baru are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a consistent monthly savings. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: With household expenses going up, families here are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain consistent monthly savings.

Father-of-two Muhammad Khairusy Syakirin, 31, said the rising cost of living has led him to prioritise the needs of his wife and kids before his own.

“We have to list down and plan our grocery list each month and we spend about RM300 per trip.

“I set aside about RM800 for my son and daughter each month, and another RM600 for their childcare fees.

“With the price of rice and other basic items going up again, it is getting more and more difficult for me to save up each month.

“There are times when the amount of money I save is not sufficient for emergencies.

“To be honest, saving to have adequate cash in hand is tough these days,” he said.

The marketing executive said he is glad his wife works and helps contribute to their household expenses.

“We also find ourselves sacrificing our interests and hobbies to cope with the rising cost of living.

“The last holiday I had was our honeymoon, before the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Auditor Rachel Tan said she used to be able to save at least 30% of her monthly salary but that was a few years ago before she got married.

“Now that I have moved in with my husband, I am still supplementing my parents’ expenses on top of my own.

“With the cost of groceries getting more expensive, I have to increase the amount of money I give my ageing parents to help them cope.

“Although I cannot maintain saving 30% of my salary, I still insist on setting aside an amount as savings each month for vacations and emergencies,” she said.

The 35-year-old said it is important to be disciplined and save up for old age as the Employees Provident Fund alone might not be enough due to inflation.

S. Raga, who works as a security guard in Singapore, also makes it a point to save up by cooking simple meals at home.

“I leave at 5am daily to cross the border and return home at around 9pm. I usually cook a simple meal of fried rice or instant noodles to keep my spending minimal.

“Other than supporting my parents who are staying in Pahang, I help my brother who is still studying.

“Their expenses have gone up by RM400 a month compared to last year.

“I do not spend much on leisurely activities as most of my time is spent at work.

“My plan is to work hard and save up to get married in future,” said the 27-year-old.

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