Control your spending


Al-Yaum newspaper

In view of the panic that accompanied the announcement that Value Added Tax (VAT) and new energy prices would be introduced, it is hard to paint a rosy picture now that these decisions have been implemented.

It is necessary to stress that people will face difficulties until they adapt to the new situation regardless of how difficult it may be. This is because an alternative does not exist.

There are certain things that cannot be replaced, such as food, air conditioners, cars, clothes and school education for our children. There are also things that were at the beginning considered luxuries and are now, over time, considered staples, such as mobile phones, entertainment and travel.

It is clear that it would be difficult if not impossible to ask people to let go of most of these things. For example, we have a summer that lasts for many months and none of us can afford to live without air conditioning. In the absence of public transport, asking people not to use their cars would be considered a joke that no sane person could accept. The same applies to many other essential services.

What is the solution then? I do not have a magic formula to solve the problem. There are solutions that could ease the pain, but there are none that can resolve it. On the one hand, we have to change our consumer behavior, while on the other, it is necessary for Saudis to benefit from the Citizens Account as much as possible. Lastly, I advise people to practice moderation in the way that they consume goods and services.