Ha Thuong has cut expenses

Hang Nga, 24, an office worker and a postgraduate at the Hanoi Law University, lives in a rented house near the office and goes to work by motorbike. Previously, she spent VND200,000 a month on petrol, which has now rocketed to VND380,000-450,000. As the prices of essential goods have escalated while her income remains unchanged, she has had to change her spending habits.

“I don’t eat out anymore, but buy food and cook at home. I also don’t have my hair shampooed, but wash my hair myself,” she said, adding that it costs VND50,000-80,000 for every meal out and VND50,000 for hair washing service.

Ha Thuong, 26, in Ha Tinh province, doesn’t spend money on accommodations as she lives with parents. In the countryside, the prices of goods and services are lower than in the cities. She also doesn’t have to spend money on study like Nga but she still has cut expenses.

“Before buying something, I ask myself if this is something I need, or want,” she said.

The distance between her home and her office is 10 kilometers. Because the petrol price has been rising, she rarely goes out these days and chooses the shortest way to reach destinations. Previously, she chose roundabout routes to enjoy beautiful landscapes. One of Thuong’s hobbies is drinking fruit juice every day. Previously, she drank one liter a day, but now 500ml.

The petrol price hike has also affected her business as an online trader. The profit has decreased as she has to spend more on shipping. She has also decided not to travel too far this summer, but go to nearby places. Thuong is happy as she can live with her parents in the countryside.

“Young people in Hanoi have to spend more money than ones in rural areas,” she explained. 

Thanh Nga, 23, said that she has to think carefully about every expense because things are more expensive in Hanoi. Previously, she returned home, 30km from her rented room, once every two weeks. But now, to save money, she returns home less often and chooses to go by bus instead of motorbike or taxi.

Nguyen Thao