Thursday 18 January 2018

The cost of Living.



In July 2001, a very good friend from my college days, T, quit Dubai, where he'd been designing some of those iconic buildings, and came to live here in France.

Not long after his arrival, he asked me a searching question "How much are your weekly outgoings?".

Well, the answer was very simple. At the time I spent on average €50 per week, which included wine and petrol; but not house taxes, water, or electricity (those were paid by direct debit, and still are). He seemed quite surprised that it was so little.

We ate well, drank well, and travelled about quite a lot. We didn't deprive ourselves of anything, and ate out quite often.

T is sadly no longer living here, but if he asked me that same question again today, the answer would be very different.

I now find myself robbing the ATM machine of €300, at least three times a month.

I use the car as little as possible, only frequent restaurants in the summer, and we eat a lot less expensive meats than we used to. There is no question that since 2001, the cost of living has more than quadrupled.

Of course, in those 16 years there was bound to have been inflation, but it does seem to have been excessively high over the past 5 years or so.

Those Euro notes don't seem to be worth very much these days, and putting €20 into the Compact Royce's petrol tank just about gets me home. I suppose I should be grateful that I still have a few of them left.




48 comments:

  1. I am laying in bed listening to a gale blowing outside fit to take the roof off. The keyring arrived. It is lovely. Yesterday I put £30 of petrol in to get me as far as £20 did a few months ago. Everything is more and more expensive here too. However much I try I can't cut my spending it seems. x

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    1. I know you didn't want the key ring, but sent it anyway; you can use it for the bike shed.

      Not bad weather here. A bit dampish and cool, but I can live with that! I'm really noticing the rise in the cost of living this year, luckily I'm OK, but I image a lot of people are suffering.

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    2. The gale is getting worse. Funny it is the worst storm we have had for years but this one hasn't been given a name. I love the key ring. I am glad you sent it! My blog is now up and running. I just couldn't stop writing.

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    3. Good. I'd miss you otherwise!

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  2. Inflation seems to have become much worse since the advent of the Euro.

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  3. We spend about 150 euros a week but also do a large shop at the beginning of each month. That includes wine and raki and petrol for bikes. Our rations are always supplemented by gifts from neighbours and friends. Trips off the island always cost us over a hundred. We keep those down now and usually only go for medical reasons.
    We could live on less but I dont see that happening!!

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    Replies
    1. There's no reason to deprive ourselves (as long as we have the dosh). I still never look at prices, but am always shocked by the total.

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  4. A simple margarita pizza in the restaurant pre euro was around 4,000 lire, then they just put the € in front and it doubled overnight. Salaries were calculated to the exact amount.
    My medical care is draining us.
    Greetings Maria x

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    Replies
    1. Medical care is exorbitant everywhere (other than in the UK, where it's free); we all pray not to become ill. My very best wishes Maria. Cro x

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  5. Figures newly released - annual inflation here is 2.5%, but includes 'essentials' which are up 7%.

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    Replies
    1. I never believe official figures, real life spending seems to totally different.

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  6. I still have to help from time to time to my 3 grown up children so i try not to think about money when i don't have to.I hope for better times.

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    Replies
    1. We only help the children with BIG numbers, day to day living they have to cope with by themselves.

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    2. Good! That's what we parents are for.

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  7. We might have to give up drinking wine - our daughters have drunk all our French supply.

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    Replies
    1. At €1.10 per litre (St Martin le Redon) it is more expensive to drink water. Give up water instead!

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    2. Sue's and your comment Cro, both made me laugh!
      x

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  8. Agree with Rachel's take on expenses going up. I still eat out a lot because as long as we don't choose the expensive places it is almost as cheap to eat a meal out as it is to buy food to cook for one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should continue to eat out as often as possible. You obviously love it, and it keeps you in contact with your friends. Eating together on 'mutual ground', is also often preferable to home visits.

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  9. I used to measure it by the price of Lurpak but after that reached £1 a packet I realised it was pointless looking any more. It's way above that now.

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    1. In England it used to be measured by Mars Bars, but that's a bit old hat these days.

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    2. It is now £2 for Lurpak. I watch it creep along upwards. I still buy it.

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    3. Even that is scarily now out of date. Just paid £2.29 in the co op for a tub!.

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    4. It was still £2 in Waitrose this morning.

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    5. Stash it ha ha. Guess co op has always been expensive, but closer!.

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    6. I though the whole point of a 'co-op' was that it was CHEAPER.

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  10. From one of the world's most expensive cities to live in, an English old age pension should sustain you. Many things here seem to get cheaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I don't receive a pension. I'm more of an 'Independent'.

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  11. Food is more expensive than petrol, and petrol is more expensive than wine. It's shocking.

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    Replies
    1. What isn't expensive? Even 'spending a penny' probably costs 50p these days.

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    2. 30p at Waverley station, unless nimble n dodge under barrier๐Ÿ˜‚

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    3. Dodging over the barrier could cause problems...

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    4. Why I dodge under not over alledgedly!.

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  12. To rad the above, i advise none of you to move to Canada, where a pat of decent butter (500g, just over a pound) costs anywhere between GBP 3.25 and GBP 6.00. We spend $500 a week on petrol, groceries and sundries. Not starving or complaining, but this country is rapidly becoming Swizterland, in both good and bad ways...

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    1. That sounds shocking, but where isn't expensive these days; try renting a broom-cupboard in central London! I suppose we just have to live to our means; what else can one do!

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    2. Yep Edinburgh prices are crazy now!. Does not mean anything as no intention of selling!. May rent it out in the festival for £2000 a week!. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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    3. Going rate bed breakfast, snacks, packed lunch that no one wants!. One bedroom!. Festival lasts 4 weeks not a room to be had in the City. I do make it beautiful!. Lodger back to Australia middle of April so do able.

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    4. My son has a couple of houses in Oz where they're having The Commonwealth Games. He will let both houses at a huge premium!

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  13. Sorry, "To add to the above"

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  14. Fixed incomes make life harder as prices go up, up, up.

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    Replies
    1. And people demanding huge salary increases doesn't help.

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    2. There's an interesting - if highly controversial - piece of research by a female Prof of Economics at Harvard demonstrating how & why the advent of two-income households has caused the price of certain services to rocket. While she (correctly) says the advent of women to the workplace is a moral good, she also notes that the cost of childcare and related items - as well as ready meals - has caused two incomes to become a necessity for most families. We lived off one low to middle income last year.

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    3. It is, of course, a vicious circle. The cost of living is high so you ask for a pay rise. The boss raises his prices to absorb the higher salaries. The employee then has to pay more for his weekly shop. So he asks for another rise. It never stops.

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  15. In the last year, I have really noticed an increase in food and gas. I do help my daughter out with the big purchases and really don't mind at all.

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    Replies
    1. It's been very noticeable here in France; everything has gone up in price. I keep waiting for my wine to rise above €1.10 per litre, but that's remained steady; thank goodness.

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