From $2,600 a month to just $700

With rising costs and increased learning needs, financing our children's education is no longer a simple walk in the park. Discuss with other parents about how they are managing their finances to cope with their expenses.

From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby Zhuge » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:00 pm

From $2,600 a month to just $700
Published on Dec 16, 2011
The Straits Times


COME rain or shine, Mr Eugene Wong has the same thing for lunch every day: two slices of bread, slathered with margarine.


He skips breakfast and relies on donations for dinner.


'If there are generous people and friends who will pass me rice to cook, I'll use that. The temple will also give us oranges.'


The 44-year-old was retrenched in September, when the recruitment firm he was working for collapsed after the boss embezzled money.


As a recruitment consultant, he took home $2,600 a month. But now Mr Wong earns less than $700 a month working as a telemarketer, at a $6.50 an hour rate.


Slowing growth is a major worry for Mr Wong, who says he is already having a hard time making ends meet.


'I'm already struggling... If the cost of living continues to go up, I'd be very concerned. I don't know how I will pay for basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. I would need to earn at least $2,000 a month just to get by.'


He belongs to the group of PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) over 40 who are at higher risk of losing their jobs.


They also find it more difficult to secure new jobs - especially those which pay salaries close to what they were earning previously.


PMETs now make up 52 per cent of the near two-million-strong local workforce. Six in 10 workers retrenched between March and June this year held PMET positions. Only around half of laid-off PMETs managed to find jobs within six months.


Mr Wong's fear is that slowing economic growth could plunge him into joblessness, from which it will be hard to escape.


He is actively searching for a better and more stable job, but his age is an obstacle. 'People don't want to hire those above the age of 35.'


'My other options are to become a taxi driver or a cook - but I don't have enough money to go for the taxi exam and a cook's hours are very, very long. I have family commitments; I've got elderly parents to look after,' he adds.


Rising prices have hit him 'very, very hard'.


'Transport has gone up, food has gone up; I'm already cutting down as much as I can,' he says.


He walks home from work every Friday evening. The journey from his Tampines office to his Joo Chiat home takes at least four hours on foot. He collects paper, cardboard and cans to sell to rag-and-bone men.


Mr Wong even asks friends for the complimentary soap and toothpaste from hotels they stay in.


'If I have anything to pawn, I'll pawn it,' he adds.


MELISSA TAN

Zhuge
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby elderflowertea » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:27 pm

OMG! That's bad. Sad to say, the cost of living keeps rising in Singapore due to inflation.

elderflowertea
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby auntieM » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:07 pm

elderflowertea wrote:OMG! That's bad. Sad to say, the cost of living keeps rising in Singapore due to inflation.

:sad: Really pity these people.. ..and just wonder why some 'better' jobs can't be kept for our people..

auntieM
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby sobasogood » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:15 pm

but since he has experience, can't he join another recruitment firm?

sobasogood
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby Ed1975 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:02 pm

The cost of living is getting from bad to worst!! Very stress nowadays. everything is so expansive. Worry for the future generation.

Ed1975
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby cherrygal » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:30 pm

Can't he drive a taxi... some taxi drivers can take home $3K a month.

cherrygal
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby leongmichael » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:59 am

Bus driver's min pay has gone up ...... this is something he can consider.

leongmichael
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby MrsSeah » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:05 am

With his experience, I feel it shouldn't be difficult to get a HR or Admin Job with a pay of $1500. mmmm..............

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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby mommypoon21 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:15 am

Someone must do something on the rate of cost of living! I am worried for my kids 20 yrs down the road

mommypoon21
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Re: From $2,600 a month to just $700

Postby osim » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:15 pm

What goes up must come down but will prices of stuff ever come down?

Government wants us to spend to keep the economy vibrant. Increased the population by 1 million (foreign intake) to get more people to spend, more business running. Everything looks good, people enjoying food and shopping and travel. It feels kind of scary somehow, I feel like we are living in a bubble.

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