‘A forced re­turn to the sim­ple life’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - YOURSPACE -

The ru­pee cross­ing 72 against the US dol­lar has badly af­fected all sec­tions of so­ci­ety, par­tic­u­larly the mid­dle-class. The gov­ern­ment has con­sis­tently failed to rein in the fluc­tu­at­ing prices of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties like food­grains, veg­eta­bles, fruits and fuel.

I have dra­mat­i­cally al­tered my lifestyle so that I can have some form of sav­ings to fall back on, when times turn rough. Among some of the aus­ter­ity mea­sures I have taken are re­duc­ing my use of my pri­vate ve­hi­cle.

I walk to places that are close by and use pub­lic trans­port to avoid hav­ing to re­fuel.

I’ve also dras­ti­cally cut down on my eat­ing out and I’ve post­poned some of my travel plans be­cause the ex­pen­di­ture was af­fect­ing my an­nual bud­get, es­pe­cially in the cur­rent cur­rency sce­nario.

It is high time the gov­ern­ment woke up to our griev­ances and of­fered us some respite from this high in­fla­tion.

Mustafa Masalawala car­pool­ing. Five em­ploy­ees travel to­gether, so we can save on fuel, a move that can also help re­duce ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion. As a fam­ily, we have started bud­get­ing more care­fully, al­lo­cat­ing sums to en­ter­tain­ment, travel and sav­ing.

I would sug­gest the gov­ern­ment con­sider bring­ing petrol and diesel un­der the purview of the Goods and Ser­vice Tax (GST), to bring prices down.

Vivek Tosh­ni­wal re­al­ity check for me, and I guess many in our city. The gov­ern­ment will take time to work out a for­mula, but my fam­ily has no choice but to act in the mean­while to im­prove our fi­nances.

I have de­cided to start my day early to use the BEST and lo­cal train. As for hol­i­days, all I have planned is lo­cal sites. Let’s see all that’s around us be­fore go­ing to in­ter­na­tional lo­ca­tions.

Com­mut­ing for work and ed­u­ca­tion are a pri­or­ity, so we are cut­ting down on un­nec­es­sary, long drives and nar­row­ing such drives to planned trips.

A few fam­i­lies in our neigh­bour­hood have been dis­cussing get­ting to­gether and buy­ing gro­ceries on­line in bulk, to save on money and time.

We as a fam­ily have also de­cided to avoid go­ing to mul­ti­plexes and will be opt­ing for the old-school fun of watch­ing movies at sin­gle-screen the­atres.

Aarti Chawla ex­penses in a time of ris­ing prices. I en­sure that the air-con­di­tioner is used as lit­tle as pos­si­ble at home, and that we switch off lights, fans and TV when we’re not in the room.

Good time man­age­ment can help one save too — leave early and take pub­lic trans­port, or car­pool. I make it a point to take the bus to work ev­ery day.

We don’t waste food, and I grow my own leafy veg­eta­bles, co­rian­der and curry leaves in my bal­cony and on the ter­race. This en­sures they are fresh, or­ganic — and free.

When prices of pulses soar, I look for al­ter­na­tives. Eggs and soy­bean are also rich sources of pro­tein.

On a pos­i­tive note, I con­sider soar­ing prices a chance to teach our chil­dren how to value the ru­pee, be thrifty, bud­get, and cut down on waste.

Veena Shenoy


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