This article is me writing from my perspective. I don’t know much about anybody else’s current financial situation but one thing I do know, is that I worry! I worry about the future… but I guess we have to stay optimistic.
Sadly, I have noticed that cost of living in our beautiful country has started to increase; and has been on an increase since early 2021. “The annual rate of inflation reached 11.1% in October 2022, a 41-year high”. This bit of information in itself speaks volumes, as we receive information from various media outlets regarding the increase in the inflation rate. I can definitely see the effects of this in my everyday life because inevitably it affects me, especially in relation to the way I spend money day to day i.e., being able to afford groceries or being able to afford things we enjoy as a family i.e., trips to the cinema, going for food at the local eatery once a fortnight/month or just in the way that we now shop at our local supermarket. Recently we have resorted to buying frozen produce instead of fresh in a bid to save money, I have even gone as far as swapping one veg for another due to the price difference or just having peas instead of peas and carrots with dinner.
I remember way back, after I left home in the year 2000 and was working 3 jobs; I worked as a cleaner, railway staff via agencies and a sales man for a karate club based in East London. I was doing all of this while studying computers (Hardware A+) but the luck I had was that my tutor who happened to be my very good friend, was also my flatmate. We lived together in a flat at Woodbury Down Estate, Manor House, in Finsbury Park and Finsbury Park Station was the closest underground station, or bus 253 which came through. Like I said, i lived with a good friend of mine called Neil, who was slightly older but we got on very well. We shared a passion for films and always talked about upcoming movies and classics. I admit, I am what one would call a film buff. We used to go shopping once a month for supplies, which lasted the whole month, excluding the odd top up here and there but mainly if we spent around £160.00 it would last us the month.
I also remember living in Ashford for a period of 5 years with my then partner after moving from Finsbury Park to Kent, mid 2001. We used to shop at ADSA’s by the outlet, and we would do the shopping for the week, enough to feed two people and it only came to £25.00 total and I mean everything that we needed was included in that shop.
We both worked full time, she worked for Stena line and I worked on the Railway as a Grinder across the south-east region of the country. We could afford treats like trips up to London to visit family at least once every month. We could also afford hotel stays overnight, even a 4 star.
Around the same time, I could afford to go clothes shopping on the weekends at the Mc-Arthur Glen Designer Outlet. Then go over to the food court, where there were lots of options in terms of what you wanted to have for lunch. I particularly enjoyed patronising the jacket potato stall, which never disappointed in terms of quality… its was absolutely delicious. The following week we would go clubbing at NV’s nightclub, get a taxi back and still could afford to have breakfast at the local greasy cafe.
Fast forward to 2022...
More recently, I have been working as a NEBOSH Certified, Health & Safety Manager in construction via agencies and it is now costing over a hundred and sixty pounds a week in petrol. By the time I pay for sandwiches, a packet of crisps and a can of Red Bull, I’ve got nothing left. All I think about day to day is… am I going to be able to afford the heating this month or the shopping next month, as a result of the fuel prices and energy bills continuing to rise. I have also increased the visits to Poundland as it seems to be extremely relevant in todays Britain.
I read about the war between Russia and Ukraine and the fact that they happen to be exporters of large agricultural produce such as; wheat, and some metals. These products will inevitably become more expensive on international markets, which will only lead to a further increase in prices of food and materials. My wages have not increased in the last 10 years, so clearly earnings are not inline with inflation. A percentage of the population are now reliant on Foodbanks, whilst another percentage are living off credit cards and pay day loans. New research released yesterday 16.1.2023 also confirms that the richest 1% in England are now richer than 70% of our population combined. It definitely is getting harder to stay optimistic.
Thank you for reading...