When you have aging parents and when both or either one is in poor health, the financial consequences arising from their medical needs can be devastating.
In particular if your parents (in my case, my dad since he was the breadwinner) did not make adequate financial provisions to meet with their future medical expenses.
It is imperative that we be aware of the importance of being prepared for contingent liabilities when we age.
My siblings and I now have to chip in to help pay for dad's medical/nursing home bills. Every month each of us has to contribute a sum that is equivalent to twice my gross salary.
So technically I contribute my monthly salary (which is net after deducting EPF, Socso/EIS and income tax) plus I have to dip into my own savings for the other half.
And then I dip into my savings some more for my own expenses. I don't earn nearly as much as my two brothers but even they feel the pinch as they also have their own financial commitments.
It is our collective duty to take care of our parents, hence this necessary financial sacrifice.
When my savings run out, I would have to dip into my EPF which is meant to be "simpanan hari tua anda" (savings for your old age) but in my case it may turn out to be "simpanan hari tua orang tua anda" (savings for your parents' old age). Well, what can I do? It is what it is.
This is what is left of my steak stash in the freezer. Very sorry, no more top up. My (precious) tomahawk is still there. I haven't found the time to cook it. Maybe I will give myself a nice Christmas treat.
Beef trimmings (commonly labelled as soup meat) are no less nutritious and can be rather tasty (though a bit tough on the teeth).
I also lean on chicken which is more affordable than beef.
The best Kopi C Ais Kosong is from Yit Cha Kaw Kaw Kopitiam and that would set me back RM5.10. I have evolved from someone who doesn't bat an eyelid at paying RM42.00 for lunch (that's half a duck at Twins) to someone who is trying to save RM5.10 by bringing her own coffee.
I still eat out though not as often, and I make sure it costs within RM20.00. I mean what can you eat at less than RM20.00 especially when you are a meat eater like me? It is either chap fan or those snacky stuff like kueh or karipap which I don't eat.
Anything below RM20.00 is even better. Like this Chicken Mimpi Kari from Rollti that cost me RM13.00. No drinks because I brought my own plain water.
I take this personal austerity drive positively, perhaps this is an opportunity for me to experience what it is like to be poor and having to live within a very limited budget. It is also an opportunity for me to get creative and think of ways to cut costs and to become more creative in the kitchen.
My recent eats at home.
Minced beef omelette and leftover capsicums. The bacon were the last 3 strips left in the fridge. I won't be buying anymore anytime soon.
I was thinking of satay (via Grabfood) one Sunday (to eat in front of the TV) but no lah. Too expensive. So I air fried beef trimmings instead.
For my lunch today I went a little over budget.