Baby steps towards affordable living style

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Coffee, detergent, fresh fruit, toilet paper. Everything is rapidly becoming more expensive. We are paying considerably more for food and energy than we did a year ago. Maybe people should pay attention to the actions of their little ones. But will that work? In our series, More Expensive Life, 46-year-old Britt Steenveld came up with a solution. She said: “I notice that I often unplug the children’s chargers and the television. I never did that before.”

Britt lives with her husband and two daughters (13 and 15) in Tilburg. The couple has their own courier company together.

What do you notice about the higher prices?

“Life is expensive, we are a family with two adolescent girls. You notice that you could have saved something previously, now this is almost impossible. We have to explain to our daughters more and more that some things are no longer possible. They see on social media all kinds of expensive designer clothes that they want, but that is not always possible. Designer clothing doesn’t interest me, I think it’s a waste of money.”

What about your energy consumption?

“We are connected to district heating and we also use a little bit of energy from an energy supplier. That consumption is not too bad. But I do notice that I often unplug the children’s chargers and the television. I never did that before, now I pay much more attention to that. A few years ago, we had an inflatable hot tub outside. When that was on, we used double the energy. The hot tub is now broken, but I really don’t buy things like that anymore.”

Are you worried about the future?

“Not so much for myself, but for our children. It remains to be seen what they will encounter in the future. I was able to live on my own when I was nineteen. I had listed all the costs and could afford it. But the high rents and fixed costs of today are not affordable for many young people. That doesn’t make it easy for them.”

Are there items now that are just too expensive to buy when you go shopping?

“You notice that a full bag of groceries is much more expensive than a year ago. Sometimes that’s why I go to another supermarket. But I haven’t really stopped buying anything. We think it is very important to eat healthy and I do not want to drop that as long as it is not necessary. We eat a lot of vegetables, chicken and beef and as little ready-made as possible, but that is more expensive than unhealthy things.”

Nice outings and holidays, is that still possible?

“We used to eat out almost weekly, but now we do that much less. I also like to go to the cinema for an evening and then have a drink afterwards. As for holidays: I do everything I can to go on holiday. In corona times, we did not go away but last summer we finally went to the Costa Brava in Spain for 2.5 weeks. I put money aside for that, I have to go on holiday.”

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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