Monday, June 16, 2008

Housewife: We depend on God to help our family

PETALING JAYA: With three school-going children, housewife Joyce Tay is “depending on God” to make ends meet as her household income of RM3,000 is no longer sufficient.

Her children attend three different schools located distances apart in Penang, which adds to her burden.

The 47-year-old said her household expenses usually exceeded income, and her technician husband had to work extra hours to offset the rising cost of living.

“The last time petrol prices were increased we had to cut down on unnecessary items and be more thrifty. And with the latest increase in prices of fuel and foodstuff, there is nothing left for us to cut down on,” lamented Tay.

On average, Tay said she gave RM300 in monthly allowances to her children, with another RM500 or more spent on groceries and several hundred ringgit on utility bills.

As for petrol consumption, the family's previous usage amounted to RM500 per month, which has now increased drastically.

“We’ve cut down on usage of electricity and water, and even eating out now is rare.

“Sadly, I’m also forced to tell my children to cut down on their extra-curricular activities after school hours because we can’t afford to travel so often,” she added.

As for her eldest child who is in Upper Six, Tay expressed concern in not being able to finance her tertiary education.

“There is difficulty in managing the household income. My daughter will have to go to college or university soon.

“We truly have to depend on God to help us,” she said.

Inflation is also affecting insurance sales executive Nicholas Sage, who complained that there was “no quality of life” for his family.

“Whatever we earn, we are just spending it to run our lives. We are always in debt,” said the 37-year-old, adding that their monthly expenses worked out to almost RM9,000.

He and his bank executive wife, Tina Matthews, 35, who earn a combined income of RM6,000 per month, have three primary school-going children.

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