Weekly Thoughts 05 April 2013

The crowd is usually wrong. (Dave Foord)

I often get the response, when helping someone work out how much income they need or when I tell them how much income they should only have, that “I must get X amount per month”. This figure is sometimes more than what is sensible or possible from the funds available. These thoughts came to mind when I read an article in our daily newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

It was about how a couple of pensioners in a retirement village were surviving on their money – one of those places where the residents pay a percentage of their income to stay. One resident lived on only her state pension of R1200 pm. She pays rent of R400pm, transport supplied by the home is R60pm and electricity was R300 to R400 per month. She was left with about R400pm for food. With this she buys fruit and vegetables for R30pm, three sachets of milk per week, one chicken a month and only when they’re on special. This chicken is then rationed over many days. Many meals she said were simply noodles and cups of soup and she can’t remember what coffee tastes like anymore.

To reduce electricity consumption, she watches TV for only an hour a day, boils the kettle only twice a day for two cups of tea using the same tea bag and then many residents also take turns to cook and share food, again reducing electricity.
Just thoughts, that there are often ways that we could all survive on less. Many others have to. This lady matches her living to her income, she cannot dictate to have her income match her desired standard of living. And so many of us can’t either. At whatever level it is we’re living.