With prices set to rise further as a repercussion of the recently implemented petrol price hike, MiD DAY visited single-income, double-income and pensioners' households to find out how they are tackling the escalating costs

The Rs 3 hike in petrol that kicked in from Friday fuelled political outrage and made a mockery of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's bold claim that the worst is over, with inflation having peaked, and all set to gradually moderate.

Even petrol pumps are finding it hard to keep up with recurrent price hikes. Some of them, such as this one at Mulund, are still showing the old price of Rs 68 instead of the Rs 71 that the common man, such as this one, will have to shell out. What is he to do but scratch his head?

Inflation touched a 13-month high of 9.78 per cent last August, and with the petrol price hike having kicked in, the situation is sure to exacerbate.
However, while the political debates and cabinet meetings continue, it is the common man in every home that has to ceaselessly struggle and labour under the crushing weight of price rise.

Mumbaikars from all walks of life are gearing up to make significant changes to their life style, to deal with the price hike. MiD DAY visited several households to get a clear picture.

Budgeting nightmare for single-income households
Bearing the brunt of the ever-escalating prices are single-income households.

For Nanda Mathur, a housewife from South Mumbai, price rise means more complicated calculations and a recurrent budgeting nightmare. She said, "We are a family of five my three sons, my husband and me.
Nanda Mathur and Nilesh Gite

My husband is the only bread earner of the family, and I am given Rs 25,000 every month, with which I have to manage every single expense, including electricity bills, my kids' daily expenses and fees.

As the petrol prices have increased again, it is just a matter of days before the price of vegetables and commodities also goes up.
The money that my husband offers me will still be the same, so obviously we have to cut back on the quality of commodities, and give up all the luxuries that we are accustomed to." 

Another housewife, Khetwadi resident Lalita S Mathur said, "Our standard of living is deteriorating by the day, as expenses are increasing, while salaries are not.
My husband gives me just Rs 10,000 every month, and I have to provide for all my family's needs with this."

Nilesh Gite (34), who works for a private company said, "I am in the marketing field, and I used to ride a bike to reach work. But now I commute by trains and buses to visit corporate houses."