“You keep working, but it’s almost like running after a carrot. It hangs in front of you and you try to grab it, but each time it gets further and further away.
These are the words of Jassu Randhawa, a 34-year-old full-time worker from Southampton who has tackled the cost of living crisis.
After losing her business to Covid, she now works as a sales manager at Le Grand Café, in Terminus Terrace.
But like millions of other people, she too is struggling to make ends meet despite the security of a full-time job.
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“The amount of money I’m making doesn’t reflect how quickly prices continue to rise,” she said.
“The cost of living has gone up so much, but that doesn’t reflect salaries. How can you expect people to pay for all this?
“They say minimum wage is good enough, but the point is you’re not supposed to do more than just survive?”
The price of food, fuel and bills has increased exponentially over the past few months.
The financial fallout from the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have contributed to rising costs and record inflation levels – the highest since the 1980s.
The Daily Echo yesterday launched a new campaign – Your Money Matters – to raise awareness of the impact of the crisis on Southampton and offer practical help to readers through giveaways, competitions and offers.
Jassu, who ran a cafe and cocktail party on East Street, said it was increasingly difficult to balance work and private life.
“I wish I had more free time, but that’s impossible when you’re constantly fighting with the idea of ’if I don’t work that many hours, I can’t pay my rent, my car, etc’.
“So all of these things that you’ve worked for so far can quite easily be taken away from you if you can’t keep up with the price. There is no longer a balance between work and private life.
The company itself is also feeling the effects.
“Although everything is sort of reopened or starting to reopen properly, without any social restrictions, there are still a lot of people who are not going out,” she said.
“They may have gotten used to the fact that they’re just going to stay at home because we’ve been locked up for so long. And along with things being so expensive now, which people anticipated before, they don’t have that to play with anymore.
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