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Can You Survive On S$36 A Month?

It seems like every weekend when I open the newspaper, there would invariably be articles of how some families here are cutting back on their spending given such challenging times. And most recently, it ran an article of how some big spenders are paring down their bills after they came to realise that their hopes for a fat 10-month bonuses are nothing but a figment of their dreams.

I mean it is really interesting to read how folks here are cutting back and saving for rainy days. But isn't it enough already?

I once read from somewhere a saying that goes "the shoeless should look at the footless". By the way, my sister completely hates it whenever I say this.

So if the middle class income families are complaining how hard life can be these days, perhaps we should all look at the those who are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Our Public Assistance scheme hands out S$330 for living expenses and S$36 in meal vouchers per month to our needy folks here. So what is it like to live under such conditions?

What do you get with S$36 meal vouchers? I bet that 40 year old banker from the newspaper interview, who finally scraped his plan to replace his Audi with a new BMW 7, wouldn't be the best person to ask. My best guess is that he would probably reply: "2 bowls of Laksa Udon (S$13/bowl) at Canteen followed by 2 Goreng Pisang Katsu (S$5/serving), of course."

If my family is on the scheme, we probably get S$108 worth of meal vouchers per month. I wonder what will we be feeding on?

Do you think you can pare down your food bill to S$36 a month?


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