For a couple of years now the price of petrol has been rising. I know it’s not a NZ thing – it’s international. What is a NZ thing however, is the abysmal standard of our public transport system. The majority of people (in Auckland especially) have no choice but to take their own car to work. If you live on the North Shore, riding a bike isn’t feasible – you can’t ride over the bridge. If you live on the city side you could ride, but only if you have showers at work. I tried it for a while when I wasn’t driving. It sucked in winter.
I am someone that doesn’t really notice the rising price of things. I only know they’re rising because I hear other people moan about them. When I pay for something I don’t look at the price of it. When I sign my Amex slip at the gas station I don’t pay attention to how much it was. Last time I figured I would. It was $95 to fill my tank. That’s insane. I guess I only fill up once every two weeks. We live 10km from the city and the times that I travel mean that I don’t sit in traffic for long periods of time. I do have a thirsty car and a heavy foot though.
Lately I’ve heard people start complaining not so much about the price of petrol, but about the price of food. Milk, cheese and butter have risen phenomenally in the last few months. It has been suggested that the government remove GST (goods and services tax – 12.5% in NZ) from staple items to try and help out families that are struggling to put food on the table. (Unfortunately, the family that was interviewed on the news had a packet of cigarettes on the table in front of them. It’s kinda hard to feel sorry for someone that says they can’t afford milk when they spend $12 on a pack of smokes.) I suppose it has something to do with the price of petrol. Again, I don’t so much notice. But yesterday I looked back over our Amex bill for the last couple of months and our grocery bill has gone up around $80 on average in the last year. We certainly haven’t been buying more.
I guess I’ve always been in the fortunate position to not have ever had to worry about money. I buy what we need. But that will change in the future when we have kids and are living on one income. Interest rates are rising, food prices are rising, petrol prices are rising, the housing market has fallen through the floor.
It’s scary times.