Half a tank to keep a memory alive

How a widow cuts costs to afford to keep the car her husband left behind.

A drawing of a woman and her car
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

What's your money worth? A series from the front line of the cost of living crisis, where people who have been hit hard share their monthly expenses.

Name: Ayesha Firdaus*

Age: 45

Occupation: Teaching assistant at a secondary school

Lives with: Her two sons, Zak* (9) and Danyal* (7)

Lives in: A three-bedroom semi-detached house in a northwest London suburb. Ayesha bought the house with her late husband, James*, in 2013 for 525,000 British pounds ($666,566) with an outstanding mortgage at the time of 120,000 pounds ($152,358).

Monthly household income: 1,200 pounds ($1,523). This includes Ayesha’s salary of 800 pounds ($1,015), a government child benefit of 159.60 pounds ($202.63) (24 pounds a week for one child and 15.90 pounds a week for any more children, paid monthly), plus a monthly bereavement benefit of 240 pounds ($305). The median national income in the UK is 2,230 pounds ($2,831).

Total expenses for the month: 1,100 pounds ($1,397). Ayesha is frugal with her spending. “I don’t have a huge savings pot, the 100 pounds [$127] I get at the end of some months is put away for when I may need it. I need to make sure we live within our means, that’s a message I drill into my kids.”

*Names are pseudonyms to maintain the family’s privacy.

Source: Al Jazeera