I’ve been living with the parents and a younger brother since the pandemic and it’s been a mess. I thought I would be able to save money but I’m spending even more than I normally would.
Since both me and my brother are working from home, our electricity bills have gone over the roof. Home internet is patchy even though 4G connections are good enough, it’s not enough to be able to run back to back Zoom calls which are required by my role. And no companies are not really reimbursing the amount. You’d think they would at least make sure that their employees are well placed when they are saving so much money. I have just come to accept it.
But more than that I want to discuss about how our parents were able to save so much on such minuscule salaries. I mean, my parents were almost lower middle class when they started working and are still lower middle class.
Being confined in small space, one has no other option than to listen to their stories. How they struggled through. How they saved money. One drastic difference in their stories is that they never had the expenses and distractions that our generations face.
Our parents never had to spend on upgrading to new phones, laptops, tablets, kindles every few years. They didn’t have cars and hence no car insurance and maintenance to spend on. Of course there were no subscription from Netflix, Prime, Swiggy, Zomato, Themorningcontext, among others. They didn’t have to spend on cable bills and mobile bills. They of course didn’t have to spend on a backup mobile connection because a network can go down any time. How could one forget internet subscription bills and a back up internet subscription bill? My mom doesn’t remember spending tons on beauty products including hair conditioner, deodorants, perfumes, and other stuff I won’t list. Neither of my parents have ever stepped a foot into the gym. Like ever. Did I mention, they could buy a house with just 2.5x of their annual salary?
To be very honest, these are not something one would need. I mean, god forbid if tomorrow I were to lose my job, I could literally cut down on everything and live frugally. However, you do that it would be difficult to assimilate in a social circle. What do you talk with people if not for some Netflix series? Would people accept you if you were to live around them in your natural fragrance (rather stink)? I doubt that.
And to be honest, our wages have not increased as per our expenses. It hasn’t for me or my friends. This makes me really mad! To top it all instead of showing empathy, the older generation will just complaint about how us millennial are spoilt. I don’t spend money Starbucks and would rather brew my own coffee. I personally dislike Starbucks coffee anyway. I travel in public transport whenever I can because I cannot afford a car nor can I afford to commute in Ubers. If I have to save more than 30% of my income, I need to give up on all the above listed things and still I’ll barely reach the sweet, sweet target of 30% savings rate.
Things are tough. Forget early retirement. Even normal retirement looks difficult.