- Overview of high cost of living- High Cost of living is related to increase in overall basics expense of living such as in housing, rent, food, education and transport. The cost of living varies according to nature of employment, housing demand, rise in fuel prices and many other factors. High cost of living is attributed to inflation or continuous increase in average price level. The main issue is that cost of living is increasing, but income is not increasing at the same rate leading to problem in managing expense (Jacobs, Perera, & Williams, 2014). All this factors eventually affects the average monthly expense or cost of living of an individual.
- Purpose of the essay- The purpose of this essay is to explore the challenges of high cost of living for families and suggest ways to deal with the problem.
- Scope of the essay- This paper contributes to the knowledge regarding the level of difficulties associated with high cost of living and recommends judicious ways to efficiently manage expense despite high cost of living.
2.1 1st challenges and ways to reduce it
The rise in price of basic goods and services required for standard living has become a concern for many households. The growth of urban amenities and certain desirable places takes away disproportionate share of countries income. People with fixed resource and status face challenges in maintaining average standard of living and balancing the monthly expenditure according to income or salary level. Many people have fallen below decent livings standard and are struggling to make end meets (Engels, 2017). In Malaysia, the cost of living has increased due to rise in price of fuel, public transport, toll-ways and introduction of Goods and Service Tax (Rising cost of living a major concern for Malaysians, 2017). Hence, the major challenge faced by families is to manage a decent standard of living. The struggle is more for the sole financial provider of the family.
To reduce this problem and efficiently lead a decent standard of living, people need to smartly manage the everyday cost of living. They need to save money regularly. Certain basic changes everyday may contribute to big savings in the long run. For example, one can save electricity by turning lights off and avoid unnecessary using an electronic device. Similar type of saving can also be done for grocery items and by buying them in sale period. A solid budget should be made every month and people should stick to that budget. People need to learn money management skills to manage personal or household budget. This skill will also help to prevent frustration and guilt associated with meeting end meets. Such people will be able to keep debts at manageable level and make life more enjoyable (Coelho, 2014).
2.2 2nd challenges and ways to reduce it- High cost of living will also challenge people in housing and accommodation. They will faced problem in affording housing and properties. The rise in properties will upset people desire to buy properties at desired price. A survey has also showed that 57% of participants were worried about affordability of housing (Cai & Lu, 2015).
National level action is needed to manage this problem. Government need to develop budget plans to make housing schemes more affordable for general population. The supply of material should be increased so that prices can slide down. Several property cooling measures is also needed to ensure that people in need of space can easily afford them. This will help people to successfully relocate to other location despite high cost of living. Housing affordability can also be solved by making certain changes in policy area. This includes providing better provisions for affordable housing for low and middle income group families. Government can intervene to offer incentive and make these changes feasible for property developers. Other effective steps include scrapping stamp duty for properties, decentralizing business and household departments. The eventual impact of this regionalization process is that it will boost the economy of local region and provide people access to affordable housing (Three ways to solve the housing affordability crisis | Elite Agent, 2017).
2.3 3rd challenges and ways to reduce it- High cost of living is also creating problem for people in accessing health care services and seeking timely treatment for chronic disease. Although other daily expense like grocery and personal cost can be managed, however health care priorities cannot be ignored. Even if people pay attention to heath issues, their other life priorities will be compromised. For example, the inability to manage expense will lead to nutritional imbalance, stress and psychological distress. Middle class families are struggling to manage high health insurance premium and additional out-of-pocket expense during illness. These problems will have adverse implication not just for the families, it will also create burden on the health care system (Frank, 2013).
To solve this problem and reduce health risk of people due to rising health care cost, it is necessary to think of strategies to reduce health care cost and make it affordable for all section of society. The goal is to reduce the high burden of people experienced due to health care expenses. Health care system of developed countries needs reformation so that special attention is given to reduce cost as improve access to health care. The value of the health care system needs to be increased by lowering cost, but not compromising the patient outcome. Policies like the Affordable Care Act has been influential in making health care affordable for Americans. Other ways to provide affordable care to patients include providing protection for continuous medical coverage and providing targeted subsidies to people (Porter & Lee, 2013).
- The essay summarized the factors leading to high cost of living and the challenges faced by people due to rise in cost of living. The three challenges experienced by people due to high cost of living include problem in decent standard of living, housing affordability issues and issue in accessing health care service. Several possible steps were proposed to address these challenges.
- Considering the views given above on challenges on managing high cost of living, it can be said that all this problem has impact on basic necessities of people. Housing, health and daily expense is important for all groups and crisis for people in all this area means adverse outcome for people. The different solutions to address the problem mainly reflects personal and governmental role in mitigating this social crisis in society.
Cai, W., & Lu, X. (2015). Housing affordability: Beyond the income and price terms, using China as a case study. Habitat International, 47, 169-175.
Coelho, L. (2014). My money, your money, our money: Contributions to the study of couples’ financial management in Portugal. RCCS Annual Review. A selection from the Portuguese journal Revista Cr?tica de Ci?ncias Sociais, (6).
Frank, R. (2013). Falling behind: How rising inequality harms the middle class (Vol. 4). Univ of California Press.
Jacobs, D., Perera, D., & Williams, T. (2014). Inflation and the Cost of Living. RBA Bulletin, March, 33-46.
Porter, M. E., & Lee, T. H. (2013). The strategy that will fix health care. Harv Bus Rev, 91(12), 24.
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