How inflation ruined my New Year’s

Image of a balloon shaped like a dollar sign being blown up. CREDIT: EONEREN
The rising cost of living has left many needing to rethink their festive plans, heading into the new year feeling uneasy.

As we bid farewell to 2023 and its vast variety of events, many will recall how the issue of inflation loomed large, casting a shadow over New Year’s celebrations across the world. The soaring costs of housing and groceries put a budget cut on all of our holiday shopping and festivities.

The effects of inflation were keenly felt as families and individuals prepared to welcome the new year with traditional gatherings and parties. The rising costs of essential goods from groceries to fuel have left us feeling the pinch, forcing us to reconsider our holiday traditions, and that includes me and my family.

Every year since I was little, we always had family travel in from Brazil and Portugal to spend the holidays with us. We would merge our Canadian traditions with our families who came to visit and bake different sorts of foods and desserts. As a gift to our family travelling in, we would pay for their flights. Unfortunately, with the prices of everything, it was near impossible to book their flights, which left our family disappointed.

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Not only was it an issue for my family, but one of the most noticeable impacts was just hosting a Christmas dinner and New Year’s Eve party alone. The prices when looking at everything were racked up by only needing the essentials like food, beverages, utensils and decorations, which is what we always looked forward to, decorating the house.

Moreover, the travel industry experienced a downturn as the cost of transportation and accommodation also soared. When overhearing some of my classmates who are international students speak about how thankful they were to finally get a flight home, it left me in shock. One of them hadn’t seen his family since the summer of 2022 and he finally was able to make it home for a few weeks. I asked another classmate of mine if he was heading home to India for the holidays and his words to me were, “No, I can’t afford a flight. Neither can my parents. It’s an unbelievable price just for a flight there.”

The government’s response to inflation became a focal point of public discourse, with citizens expressing their concerns about the long-term effects on their financial stability.

As Canadians reflect on the challenges that inflation has posed to their New Year’s celebrations, we’ve been left with a new sense of economic awareness. The hope of a brighter future in 2024 and a change remains, but the spectre of inflation serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance in managing the country’s economic landscape.

In conclusion, we shouldn’t let this issue affect our hopes and happiness during the start of a new year. As much as it’s supposed to be a delightful time, we should focus on spending time with our families and friends.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.