Cost Of Living

Cost Of Living
Taraki’s Punjabi Women’s Forum returned this October with a session on the Cost of Living.

In a time of uncertainty and stress, the forum wanted to offer space to discuss the effects on our community openly. Between bills, rent, mortgage payments, grocery shopping, commutes and more, the cost of living is impacting people whatever their circumstances.

One forum attendee shared that during the COVID lockdown, they had decided take a lower-salary for more job satisfaction. Living in a more affordable city away from the capital meant that they were able to manage finances comfortably. However, since the rise in costs, they are now feeling the impact of commuting into the office on a more regular basis, financially, physically and mentally. It was also brought to light that in the post-lockdown world, there has been an increase in pressure to work from the office more often. The costs associated with this are further items to factor into budgeting, one attendee quipped, when it’s already a struggle.

This opened discussion on racial and gender inequity in the workplace. Pay disparity continues to be a key issue, as forum attendees noted that their white counterparts are making more than them (see April 2022 forum summary). As a result, there is a notion of ‘hustle’ culture, in order to reach goals faster and become financially independent sooner.

A key takeaway was understanding that this isn’t personal - it’s brought to light systemic issues, and how the wider structure of society is failing us.

On a lighter note, the forum acknowledged that, while this is a difficult time to be living in, it’s important to recognise the privileges of our positions, and being grateful for what do have. There was also discussion surrounding our mothers, and their experience in establishing their lives and independence in a new place. There was a shared sense of appreciating the lessons we were taught by our elders when we were younger around mindfulness in our recreational spending habits. Be it on fashion or food, focus is shifting to being more resourceful and less wasteful.

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