Woes of budgeting for village family

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LIFE HAS BECOME A LITTLE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR SOME OF US: Amusia Laulu, 57, from the village of Vaitele-Fou with her grandchildren.

LIFE HAS BECOME A LITTLE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR SOME OF US: Amusia Laulu, 57, from the village of Vaitele-Fou with her grandchildren. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

There’s no greater feeling than to receive your pay after a week or two of hard work but that feeling is short lived when reality of how to budget it kicks in.

With piles of bills and many mouths to feed, the inflation in the prices of goods is making life a little harder to cope with; especially with Samoa’s minimum wage being below the $3 mark.

According to Amusia Laulu, 57, from the village of Vaitele-Fou, the high cost of living is a problem.

“The only issue I can think of in our everyday life is how expensive the cost of living is right now,” she told the Village Voice.

“The prices for all the things in the shop have been raised and the pay people receive is not enough to cover everyone’s basic needs.

“We need money for almost everything; the water bills, to pay electricity, and food for every day. People’s pay and the cost of living do not match.”

But with Samoa’s family values being very strong, fighting the high cost of living is made easier when the weight is shared with others.

“As you can see, our land has three small houses,” Amusia said.

“Each of my children owns a house with their own families. If one of the men in the different houses finds a good job then he will do his best to take care of the entire family.

Amusia says she is grateful for the help her children provide through their jobs.

“My son who lives over there works at the S.S.F.A,” she said.

“He has just started working there just a week ago. He was paid a little over $100 on his first week and my other son works at the bakery with a pay of a little over $200 if he works overtime.

“My other son is a bus driver and I don’t know how much his pay is. That’s the money we have to take care of the family with. “

© Samoa Observer 2016

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