This is one of the videos we produced with the Central Bank of Malta

 in our budgeting series.

Let me introduce the ĠEMMA family.  I am Tony.  I am Maria’s husband.  I work as a manager in a large business in the services industry.  My wife, Maria is 40 years old and works in her father’s family business.  We have two kids:  Matthias, our son who is 11 years old, and is now in secondary school, and Angele, our daughter who is 17 years old and is finishing upper secondary school this scholastic year.

I banned Tony from coming with me when I do the weekly family shopping at our supermarket.  I am very organised and plan the weekly family spending to the closest cent.  Tony on the other hand, tends to wander off on his own happily selecting anything that attracts his attention.  I get a shock when we meet up at the cashiers.  Every time he falls for every selling trick used by the supermarket:  from the so-called €n.99 to the attractive but expensive branded products.

No doubt, this weekly trip to the supermarket is one of largest dent on our family’s income and budget planning.  I shop from week to week so that I make sure that with the fast shelf-life such as vegetables, salads, hams, etc. I buy only what I need, and hence avoid unnecessary waste.

I am not driven by brand buying.  Today I have enough experience of non-branded food stuff and products which are of excellent quality.  I also keep a sharp eye out for one off deals and sales.  When these are sufficiently attractive and are not constrained by an expiry date and are part of the ‘core’ family shopping profile I go for them – even though I may not have factored this cost in the planned shopping list.

In drawing up my planned shopping list I work on the following rule of thumb:  80% of the expenditure is on food and household stuff that are a ‘need’ – essential items and healthy stuff.  I budget a 20% for treats – ice-cream mainly, which is this family’s sweet tooth addiction

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