STREET SENSE

Business monthly (Egypt) - - IN BRIEF - COM­PILED BY TAMER HAFEZ

What could you af­ford four years ago that you can’t now?

For one thing, travel abroad. My wife and I used to reg­u­larly go to Europe for our an­nual hol­i­day, and for shorter trips we’d fly to Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh. We can’t do that any­more be­cause of the ex­change rate and the high price of air­line tick­ets. Nor can we go out for a nice lunch or din­ner as fre­quently as we used to. In­stead of go­ing to high-end restau­rants, we or­der fast food. Ahmed Tamim, 35, banker

Buy­ing new clothes. For the past two years, I have been try­ing to make my old wardrobe last as long as pos­si­ble. When I ab­so­lutely have to buy shirts for work, I go to cheap shops. In the past, I used to buy de­cent qual­ity shirts that would last at least a year. Now I just get what I can af­ford.

Sameh Ab­del Tawab, 31, civil ser­vant

The one thing I can still af­ford to buy is food. My fam­ily and I are not eat­ing any less. Some places have raised their prices, but the in­creases are small enough that I still buy from them. The rest of the things we need I get from kind peo­ple, who do­nate their old clothes. We have never spent money on any­thing but the es­sen­tials, and I al­ways shop at the cheap­est pos­si­ble places.

Mo­hamed Ab­del Rah­man, 29, shoe-shine man

My bud­get is def­i­nitely more stretched than it has ever been, de­spite my clients pay­ing me more. I have never been able to af­ford any­thing more than the es­sen­tials, like food and cloth­ing, but at least I used to have op­tions. I could de­cide to eat meat four days a week rather than three, for ex­am­ple. Now I can only af­ford the ba­sics, and it’s been a month since I bought meat or chicken. Prices have just gone crazy.

Fatma Sobhy, 46, maid

I’ve cut back on things like jack­ets, new shoes and other nonessen­tials. In the past year, I’ve stopped buy­ing those kinds of things com­pletely be­cause they’ve be­come so ex­pen­sive. When I’m out with friends, I don’t or­der food—just a drink and maybe and ap­pe­tizer if I’m re­ally hun­gry. I could still af­ford these things, but I ask my­self why I’d pay so much for some­thing I don’t re­ally need.

As­maa Waleed, 25, mar­keter

What is re­ally stretch­ing us—and we don’t know how we can con­tinue to af­ford—is school fees. My daugh­ter goes to an in­ter­na­tional school. We have been mak­ing do by squeez­ing our bud­get in ev­ery other area in or­der to pay her tu­ition. How­ever, re­cent in­creases mean that I’ll be forced to look for a cheaper school for her, be­cause we sim­ply don’t make enough money to cover tu­ition next year and also af­ford ba­sics like rice, meat, bread and milk.

Maryan Adel, 35, house­wife

I have been re­tired for over a decade, so my spend­ing hasn’t re­ally changed. I re­al­ize prices have gone up, but I’m still buy­ing the same stuff. I still have a driver, and I had to raise his salary this year. My daily spend­ing is on food and drinks, with an oc­ca­sional out­ing at the club with old friends where I can just not or­der any­thing.

Mo­hamed Saleh, 71, re­tired busi­ness owner

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