As the economic decline gets harsher, people are doing whatever they can to keep the household running by giving up on so many things.
As the cost of living continues to increase with changing economic conditions, it has become difficult for countless families to live a financially comfortable life. Even if both spouses are making a decent income, they still struggle to run the household and purchase basic necessities. As a result, many families have decided to sacrifice certain things from their typical family routine in order to cut costs. One such mom, Alex—@alex.ishere1 on TikTok—outlined the things she had to sacrifice to make ends meet, which shockingly includes quitting her job too.
She stitched her video with another creator, @eboniie, who was also talking about the list of things she has given up in order to keep up with the increasing cost of living. Alex starts off her video by showing the audience a list she had jotted down on a piece of colored paper. The major sacrifice that Alex had to make was giving up her job. She reveals that working part-time meant losing the food bank benefits as well as the $300 monthly grocery voucher provided by SNAP. After she quit her job, she was able to get the weekly food bank benefits back.
Hence, middle-class families in the United States are facing the dilemma of choosing between their jobs and minimal benefits from the government. Alex continued about how she can't afford to buy new clothes either and has continued to wear pregnancy clothes for almost a year. Then she discloses how the first thing she gave up was her family's subscription services. Online streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, subscription boxes and grocery deliveries are something Alex is not spending a dime on anymore.
The next two things this mom has given up on are monthly trips to Target and dining out at restaurants. This mom admitted that she only goes out to Target as an excuse to get out of the house but not to buy anything. She managed to get herself a coffee and a small treat for under $25 instead of splurging hundreds of dollars on Target hauls. Also, due to the rising cost of food and services, Alex has decided to opt for quick drive-through dinners instead of sit-down restaurants to make sure they have enough money to last the month.
Simple luxuries like going out to watch movies in the theater with her family are out of the question as well as weekend trips with her loved ones. “Now we can’t afford that anymore,” the mom confessed in her video, “With gas being expensive, we just can’t afford it.” The last thing she mentioned which has become a hardship for her is going out of town for doctor's appointments. "If you have to go see any type of specialty doctor, then you have to drive at least an hour away from your town," the mom revealed, "With $3.58 per gallon of fuel, we can't afford to drive an hour away to go to a doctor's appointment."
Many people left their thoughts and views in the comment section. @wilderness1964 commented, "This is the most real 'what we gave up list' ever. I keep seeing, getting my hair done, getting fake nails and coffee like what was expensive before as well." @cathcliff mentioned, "I know the rest of the world is making lists to save money because the cost of living is horrible, but American health insurance! Try to move abroad." @julestheeclecticwitch wrote, "I hate that you guys can’t enjoy eating out, but can really appreciate the self-awareness that if you don’t have the money to tip, you don’t eat out."
@fg_sn added, "It's crazy how poverty is such a trap. My mom couldn't work my entire childhood because we would lose more in benefits than she was making." This mom's harsh decisions for herself and her family remind us that financial crisis is on the doorstep of so many of us and perhaps we are not even aware of it.