The 'cost of living' crisis simply explained for children. - Malta Baby & Kids

The 'cost of living' crisis simply explained for children.

Your kids had probably heard people talking about a 'cost of living' crisis and the problems it is causing.

But what does it actually mean?

Well, it's basically about the price of things around the world and how much money people have to spend on the things that they need – like food, fuel and family life.

For a variety of reasons prices are going up and, although governments say they are trying to take action to make things easier, for many people it means that tough choices are having to be made about how to spend their money.

Why are prices going up?

The rising cost of things is known as inflation.

That's when, over time, prices rise and how much you can buy with your money falls, so people demand to be paid more in wages, which means it costs companies more to pay people to make things, which then pushes up how much they cost to make and the prices rise… and so on.

The effects can be seen in lots of things including rising energy prices, rising food prices and even problems at airports.

It's not just happening in Malta, it's happening all around the world.

Energy prices are a good example of this.

Energy prices have an impact on pretty much everything – from heating homes, to transporting goods and keeping factories in production. When they rise, the costs of everything rises and those costs have been passed down to ordinary people's bills.

The local administration is warning that the Ukraine conflict is making the situation even worse.

There have also been other shortages of goods like building materials and computer chips, which has created problems.

Businesses are are passing on these extra costs – higher energy, petrol and transport bills – to customers.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, some companies have struggled to recruit people for certain jobs and they have offered higher wages to attract them – however, the cost of these increased wages has been passed down to the customer too.

All of these factors play into the same result – prices going up.


People struggling with the soaring cost of living are cutting back on food, car journeys and travel to save money.

Many people have cut spending on clothes and socialising too.

So what's the problem?

Well, as prices go up, not everyone's pay or benefits are going up at the same time or by the same amount.

If someone's pay or benefits aren't going up at the same time as prices, then the money in their pocket doesn't go as far and buying things gets harder.

The same also goes for places like schools who find the money they have to spend doesn't buy them as much stuff as it used to.

The worry for governments and charities is that it means more people not being able to turn the fan or the heating on as much as they'd like, eat as healthily as they might, and having to go to charities or foodbanks for help.

What can we do to help?

 Using sweet as treats and not as a daily snack.

When going to the beach, taking your own snacks with you to picnic to avoid buying unnecessary snacks such as ice-cream.

Make your own ice lollies at home from freshly squeezed orange juice.

Visit the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning in Ta' Qali to buy local, seasonal food direct while cutting out the middle man.

Ice-cream only on special days like weekends.

Switching the light and A/C off when leaving the room & using a fan as the weather is cooling down.

Buying second hand uniforms and school books direct from the school or specialised Facebook groups.

Buying the weekly shop from discount supermarkets.

Setting the example by going through your regular subscriptions to discuss what is not essential and stopping those.