Living Has a Price, But You Can Negotiate It

Written by: William Garriell
06/25/2019

cost-of-living-debates

In modern society, regardless of what part of the world one resides in, living ultimately comes with a price. In contrast to the idea of peaceful cohabitation, our lives revolve around our economy and simply speaking, money. Basic necessities such as a home, food, and clothing have a cost as well as our own existence. Based on recent statistics, raising a child can cost anywhere from over a hundred thousand dollars to nearly four hundred thousand. With this amount of money spent only from birth to early adulthood, human lives are valuable not only in the emotional sense but economical as well. Nevertheless, the cost of living varies depending on the country and lifestyle the family is comfortable with.

The cost of living is directly correlated with lifestyle. The three basic social classes: lower, middle, and upper classes all are dependent upon their average incomes. There are numerous factors to consider when determining the incomes of households. In patriarchal households, it is more likely to have only one working parent whereas the others have two. Some households may even have situations where both parents are disabled or retired and receive help from the government for their expenses. The number of working individuals in the household increases the total income, however, that still may not be enough to cover the total expenses caused by each individual. Every household is distinct in its size and way of living. Larger families obviously incur more expenses as compared with those of a smaller scale. There are more mouths to feed, and hence, more money is needed. This claim may also be countered by buying goods in bulk, which often saves more money than individual purchases.

Needs and wants are two clear distinctive ideas that we learn about in our early childhood. In households where wants tower over needs, the cost of living is higher. These families are often prone to owning more cars than necessary or eating out more than cooking food at home. Other types of families are satisfied with the necessities and live comfortable lifestyles with persay, only two pairs of shoes at max per person, or maybe they complete chores by themselves rather than paying for an extra hand. The country in which they reside factor into this as well. Residents of developing countries often do not have the opportunities that developed countries have. The families are larger and there is a lesser need for unnecessary purchases such as the newest tablets, phones, or laptops. Clothing is passed down through the generations and in a way, the main expense that families in developing countries face is medicine due to the diseases faced.

The rising cost of living has caused debate across the nation concerning the minimum wage allowed per employee. The minimum wage needed to be sufficient to guarantee a sustainable way of life for the employees. This concern was met with the enactment of Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLAs) in 1973 that decided that the minimum wage would stay current with inflation. One instance of this is that in December 2018, the COLA was approximately 2.8%. Beginning in January 2019, the increased wages were put into effect. However, not all employees are paid in accordance with the minimum wage and this can place strains on their budgets. Their incomes will not be enough to manage a household. However, there are several ways to live a wealthy lifestyle without having a “wealthy income.”

Two Tips for Living Inexpensively

  • Make a budget for food or meal preppingWhile food is a necessity, sometimes we let our wants get the best of us. Going out for dinner twice a week is not necessary when there is a kitchen readily available. By cooking, we not only can make extra to consume on days where it becomes too hectic to cook or go out for food, and it is one less expense for our pockets. Also, it is wise to set a specific day each week where you go out shopping, and one for when your family goes out to an establishment to eat. With this method, you will be eating sustainably. On the other hand, in order to avoid spending unnecessary money on food, it would be wise to prep meals ahead of time. By doing this, you aren’t overspending cash on extra food as it is already prepared and ready to go. You can incorporate many healthy options into your meal prep as well which can further stretch your money. By planting small fruits and vegetables, you lower the likelihood of having to go to the store for those items and in that way, you are spending less.
  • Choose reliable and cost-efficient modes of transportationWhen choosing between various modes of transportation, one decision can greatly affect your budget. The most cost-efficient choice would be riding a bike. Depending on the location that you’re living in, it can also help you save time. On the other hand, depending on what kind of car you decide to purchase, the miles that you can drive per gallon of gas is very important. For those families with some extra cash, another way to save would be to buy an electric car. Electric cars or hybrid vehicles can help save money on gas. If there are no funds to purchase a car, you could use public transportation such as the train, bus, or taxi. If all else fails, you can certainly carpool with friends and family or even do ride shares with companies such as Uber or Lyft. Some people can afford to live their lives extravagantly and have the ability to purchase very high-end cars, but most people must purchase cars of lesser value. A smart way to pay for a new car would be to have it pay for itself. With that being said, you could drive for a taxi company on your spare time as they allow you to drive on your own time, which is both convenient and financially smart.

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Living Has a Price, But You Can Negotiate It

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