How are rising prices affecting you?
There is definitely a lot of pressure on my salary to the point where I’m now regularly forced to withdraw money from my savings just to get by. I have fixed costs like nursery fees, loan installments and money I give my wife for personal spending, because she doesn’t work. However, the budget for outings and household needs has increased quite a lot—about a third compared to a year ago. Right now, I’m trying to do a lot of trimming to reduce spending, but it’s not easy. One month we need to pay for car maintenance, the next there are license renewal fees, then my kid’s birthday after that, and so on.
Rafik Abdel Gabbar, 41, business owner
I am paying much more attention to what I buy. Our biggest monthly bill is for our baby’s needs. We switched to a cheaper diaper brand, which saves us around LE 200 month. We are also using cheaper formula milk and introducing regular milk earlier than we would have liked. These changes are saving us around LE 500. We’re rationing cleaning products, eating more chicken and less meat, and toward the end of the month, we don’t eat either. I’m anticipating even higher costs next year, when we’ll be sending our son off to nursery. I’m not sure what we’ll do then.
Shorouk Darwish, 27, human resources administrator
I live in a very poor, isolated community of around 100 people on the outskirts of Rashid governorate, where every household actually makes or does something the rest need, be it food or other day-to-day consumables. We all work informally, and realizing how bad things have become, we’ve decided not to increase prices of locally made products and that all of us would pool our money to buy things from the outside world and pay for electricity. It’s actually been working quite well for a month now, with those of us working in the city being the main bread-winners for the village.
Mark Gergis, 36, office boy
I am retired. My bills are definitely going up noticeably, but I still can afford day-to-day items. Granted, I am saving less, but I really don’t need to save, because all my kids are grown and financially independent. The main things I’ve noticed has gone up dramatically lately are warm clothes and presents for the holidays. They have increased several-fold since last year.
Maryan Tadros, 70, retired journalist
My biggest worry in 2017 is school fees. They were already high before, and we had to stretch. I’m not really sure what we’re going to do next year, when fees increase with the devalued pound. The only solution is to use some of my wife’s salary to close the gap, or I could look for a second job. These are the only ways I see us affording a decent life.
Rashad Gammal, 45, accountant
I am barely getting by. I had to call off my wedding in November after seeing how much prices have gone up. It’s too much. I can’t afford anything beyond the basics, living one day at a time, and hoping and praying that something better comes along.
Yassin el Wady, 26, security guard.