TESTIMONIALS. Purchasing power: “For shopping, it’s not 10 euros, but 1 euro near that I am!”

TESTIMONIALS.  Purchasing power: "For shopping, it's not 10 euros, but 1 euro near that I am!"

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According to a recent study, more than one in two French people is within 10 euros when shopping. A rising figure which shows that, due to inflation, the end of the month is difficult. Alain, Corinne and Sophie tell us about their daily lives, made up of little tricks and big calculations.

“With us, the end of the month is around the 20th. Once we have paid everything: rent, insurance, mutual insurance, credit for my car, water, electricity, internet and phone plans… On this date, we are often in the red, we have nothing left.” Alain and his partner live in a village about twenty kilometers east of Albi. Former delivery driver, retired for almost a year, the man can no longer make ends meet: “These last few months, it’s been a hassle, a hassle!” Confides the sixty-year-old.

“It’s madness the prices displayed!”

With a pension amounting to €1,004 and €916 received by his companion for her disability, the couple says “juggling every month to get by”: “We made the choice to leave Albi two years ago. years because it became too expensive. But, with inflation, life is not much sweeter in the countryside.” Alain did the math, the cheapest supermarket is in the suburbs of Albi: “For shopping, it’s not 10 euros, but 1 euro close to me! We look at everything and we take what that is cheaper.”

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Since the explosion in prices, the Tarnais now admits to favoring pork: “It’s the cheapest. I’ll tell you, beef, today, I eat it maximum once every three months. The prices displayed are crazy!” Fortunately, to console himself and fill the plate at a lower cost, Alain was lent by his neighbor a small piece of land: “A garden of about 20m2 in which I cultivate a vegetable garden. Something to help a little and give me the pride of eating what I myself have sown.”

“I can no longer afford any expenses”

Françoise, retired from Lot-et-Garonne, describes a similar daily life: “Between the increase in electricity, fuel and the drop in my APL, I can no longer make ends meet. I can no longer allow me no expense. Clothes, shoes, restaurants, vacations no matter how small, cinema, swimming pool, all those little simple pleasures that keep you alive…”

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At almost 60 years old, Corinne is not yet retired. Divorced and unemployed, she lives on RSA. A little over 500 euros per month which just allows him to survive: “It’s simple, if I didn’t have the Secours populaire every fortnight, I wouldn’t eat.” Tirelessly, this former cash manager submits CVs to the major brands in the region. But nothing helps: “Several times the same argument came up: my CV is too extensive. I did some cleaning, especially for a year in a school, but my back no longer allows me.”

“For several months my budget has taken a hit”

Corinne, like Françoise, can count on the financial help of her children when times are too hard to raise the bar alone “even if it is not their role”. “Today, for the rare shopping that I allow myself, I can only go to hard-discount stores. I find myself thinking that by saving 1 euro on such a product, I could to please me by buying me another. That’s where I am, that’s what my life is.”

The situation is not only tense among the most precarious. Sophie, 32, from Toulouse, also testifies to a daily life made of calculations: “I earn my living pretty well, I am part of what many call the middle class, but for several months my budget has taken a hit.” Young mother, she can no longer put aside: “Since the birth of my boy, I put 50, even 100 euros, on a booklet for him. But, now, it is no longer possible.”

A territorial civil servant, she spends an average of 90 to 100 euros every two weeks to be able to travel with her city car “who is less than 5 years old”. She no longer goes to the neighboring market gardener to buy organic vegetables and fruit – “too expensive” -, establishes a budget not to be exceeded each time she goes to the supermarket, has given up on the butcher and postponed her loan projects. “I am not testifying to complain, I know that many earn less than me, but I want to show that inflation has an impact on everyone.”

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