‘Living on the aged pension is a depressing balancing act’

Living on the Australian age pension is a real balancing act. Source: Shutterstock

Welcome to the aged pension, where life is all about balance. Ensuring your bank account is balanced is always a priority. However, with the cost of living on a rapid incline keeping the bank balance in a healthy situation is becoming increasingly difficult.

I have noticed the same items I buy from the same supermarket are going up in price every week and it’s not just by one or two cents. It is getting depressing. The little packs of My Dog went up by 35 cents in one week, crackers increased by 29 cents, the humble can of baked beans went up 20 cents. The supermarket isn’t the only place I’ve noticed this happening either. The op shop is another good example — no longer selling their donated items for a couple of dollars, prices now start at $4 and $5. It’s like money rules everybody’s thinking.

I find myself making more soup (store bought gluten free soup is just awful), I do a lot of cooking with mince, and fried rice is a staple. I am cooking these types of dinners more than ever before, mainly because they are filling and cheap. Vegetables are good but God Almighty I get sick of them. We have an excellent butcher here with beautiful meat, but… it is not cheap.

Maybe I should write a book and call it ‘Living Off The Smell Of An Oily Rag’.

I tend to make two meals a week of lamb’s fry and onion gravy for the iron intake and the vitamin B factor. If you have intolerances, like I do, money can get incredibly tight. On the odd occasion I go out and want a coffee and a slice of cake I have to pay $3 to $4 more than people with no intolerances. I don’t think that is fair at all. Manufacturers take advantage, but it easier now that gluten free has become ‘fashionable’ for a lot of people.

I have an iPad, but the reality of my situation being as it is, I cannot always afford to buy charge for it. I certainly cannot afford Wi-Fi, so I walk to the library to print stuff and use their free service.

I don’t have a car, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I have not had a holiday in more than 30 years. I, like so many others getting by on the age pension, cannot afford it!

Are you on the pension? Do you find it a struggle?/h3>

Do you have a story to share with Starts at 60? We welcome personal stories from our community of over-60s.Simply sign up as a contributor and submit your stories here. You’ll also go into the draw to win some great prizes if your story is published on the site. Why notjoin the Starts at 60 Bloggers Club on Facebook to talk to other writers in the Starts at 60 community and learn more about how to write for Starts at 60?

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up