Inflation reaches 40-years high in US, Vietnamese struggle to survive

Christine Nguyen is a Virginian who has stopped eating at restaurants nearby with her coworkers and instead eats home.

This 33-year-old graphic had to change designers because inflation has driven up the prices of basic goods such as food and transport.

“Times are tough right now,”According to her,

Sandwiches with small beverages that cost $7 were once $9.

“I’ve been carpooling with my husband on his way to work to save money on gas”.

Additionally, she has cut down on unnecessary spending and stopped eating out as much. Instead of going out every week, she and her husband go out only once a month.

Many Vietnamese are forced to work side-jobs.

According to U.S. Labor Department (US Labor Department), inflation last month was 7.5% higher than anticipated, marking the highest rate in over 40 years.

It stated that food, shelter, and electricity were the most important contributors to the rise, which was caused by rising demand and a shortage due to Covid-19’s global trade impact.

A food market was held in Virginia in February 2022. Christine

“Grocery prices are sky-high, and I cannot buy as many things as I used to,”Trang Nguyen, a student at George Washington University, made this comment while looking through food shelves at a Washington, D.C. supermarket.

“Previously with $100 I could buy chicken, beef, milk, vegetables, and fruits for more than a week. Now I have to spend up to $150”.

She says she needs to reduce her meat intake “because its prices have been soaring for months”.

EconoFact, an independent economic publication, reports that prices for chicken, pork and beef have increased by 26 percent, 19 percent, respectively, since the Pandemic of early 2020.

Gallup is an American advisory and analytics firm. It claims that nearly half of American households will report experiencing hardship due to inflation by December 2021.

The results showed that 45% of the respondents had suffered severe or moderate hardship.

Trang replies with a sigh “My rent went up last year, so I had to find a cheaper place. My current landlord told me last week she will hike the rent starting this summer”.

Many people are forced to make changes in their shopping patterns due to increasing grocery costs.

Nguyen Thi Van (43), works at a nail salon in Orange County, California. Her family is feeling the pinch due to higher food costs.

Beef was taken out of her shopping basket to make it easier for her to shop for essentials. Her children are the only ones who buy fresh fruit and her milk purchases have been reduced.

“I have to substitute meat for less expensive proteins like eggs, nuts and beans,”According to her,

She also visits corner stores, supermarkets, and open-air markets to search for the best deals, something she wasn’t used to doing. Dollar shops offer wide selections of goods at a fair price.

According to NBC News, many Americans have switched to Dollar Stores even though they earn more.

Christine asserts that she was “walking away”Switched to lower-cost alternatives after switching from name brand brands

“Now I favor going to discount stores, and avoid buying fresh fruits and vegetables”.

Nhat Anh claims to be an accountant at a shipping company in Irvine, California. “shocked”You can see gasoline for as low as $5 per gallon

“It used to cost me just $45 to fill up my tank. Now I have to spend around $60. If the gas price keeps climbing, I might have to switch to electric cars eventually”.

An aircraft flies over a sign displaying current gas prices as it approaches to land in San Diego, California, U.S., February 28, 2022. Photo by Reuters

A sign indicates current prices as an airplane approaches San Diego (California), U.S.A., Feb 28, 2022. Photo by Reuters

In an effort to compensate for the rising gas prices, the 31 year old also cut back on her dining out and other leisure activities.

She cancelled her Spotify ($9.99/month) and Disney Plus ($7.99) gym memberships.

“Now I only have Netflix to entertain myself at home”.

Van considers switching to a lower-priced phone service provider.

“I’m not going to buy anything luxurious. Everything is more expensive”.

While some families are able to manage with just a small reorganization of their household budgets and other people need side income, others will have to look for additional work.

Vu MinhQan is a cashier at a Washington D.C. supermarket and earns $18 per hour. He says that he struggled to survive after the rent increased from $1200 per month to $1500.

“After paying bills and rent, it is lucky that my family of four has enough money to buy food. The amount is becoming even less now as prices are going up”.

His spiraling debts are now a problem after he had a child. “no other choice”Credit cards can be a good way to keep your finances afloat.

In order to repay the credit card debts, and still provide food for their family members, the sole breadwinner took a second job in Virginia as a cleaner at an American Vietnamese Restaurant.

Because of rapid losses in savings, many people postpone plans to travel or buy a house/car.

Christine quit a plan she had to save money enough for a down payment of a Virginia townhouse.

“Saving money is now a challenge amid the inflation”.

Also, she said that the savings were running out so she cancelled a trip to Vietnam for this summer.

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Vietnamese As inflation reaches a 40-year peak in the US, Americans are struggling

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