Money Saving Tips for the Struggling Middle Class
There’s always a new food bandwagon for the middle class to jump upon – paleo, keto, gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan, just to name a few – but the latest trend to hit the middle class streets is way more bizarre than chickenless nuggets. The latest trend is ‘food insecurity’.
Food insecurity, defined by the United Nations as “an unreliable access to food” is a serious issue that I would not normally satirise. Food insecurity among the homeless, the aged, Centrelink recipients and Indigenous communities is something I care about. Food insecurity among the affluent middle class? Not so much.
When I’m hearing that the issue of putting food on the table is increasingly becoming a middle class problem, I’m feeling that it’s more of a lifestyle choice – pay the $2 million mortgage and maintain the lease on the Porsche Macan or put food on the table? I’m hedging the middle class will opt for the former every time.
However, I do care enough about middle class food insecurity to offer some advice. If you are middle class and suffer from food insecurity then you are living beyond your substantial income, and this is where semi-retired accountant Pearl is here to help with her money saving tips (or ‘minimalist living tips’, for those sensitive to their social position in life).
1. Let’s begin by clearly defining ‘food insecurity’. No longer being able to afford a café breakfast or Uber-delivered gourmet meals does not constitute food insecurity. Food insecurity means that you cannot afford to prepare a meal of beans on toast or a mushroom omelette. It does not mean being unable to afford to eat your way through the Good Food Guide.
2. Ditch the $150,000 Range Rover and purchase a smaller car. With the food deprivation you claim, your once overfed kiddies will slip easily into the rear of a Corolla now that they are no longer tucking into a takeaway hot chocolate and croissant purchased during the harried school run. Replacing the soy macchiato with a jar of Moccona means no more double parking and therefore no more parking tickets!
3. Speaking of kiddies, maybe reconsider the size of your family. Do you really need that third or fourth child? If you cannot afford to feed your existing children, who require organic food, designer clothing, private schooling, tutoring, sports training and transportation in a Mercedes van, perhaps one should consider the snip.
4. Downgrade your iPhone to a $19 prepaid Telstra Lite, a tiny phone with an extra bonus – it’s too small to balance on one’s shoulder to talk or FaceTime while driving, saving Sydney’s roads from yet another self-absorbed yummy mummy accident waiting to happen.
5. Injectables, renovations, skiing holidays, yoga/pilates, private schools… ditch all those luxury ‘things’ that working-class people can’t afford.
Finally, think about reassessing your bourgeois status. If you are truly food insecure on a combined income of $200,000, perhaps you are truly working-class and belong to a world of cheaper mortgages, Kmart, Nescafé Blend 43, Hyundais and Central Coast holidays.