September 28, 2022

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Laura (21 years old) makes a good salary, but she can't make ends meet

Laura (21 years old) makes a good salary, but she can’t make ends meet

Laura works full time caring for the disabled and says she gets an excellent salary. She earns €1,700 net, excluding the allowance for irregular shifts. “This salary is appropriate for my position, age and experience. Until recently I could have lived on it quite well, and I had no problems making ends meet.”

Energy price up to 470 euros

But that has completely changed now. “From September 1, the price of my energy will increase from 145 euros per month to 620. I have called to reduce this amount, so now it is 470 euros. But I cannot pay that either, so I will fall into debt. “

Laura is very disappointed: “It’s really terrible. I’ve finally got my own place, my financial life is on the right track, is this happening. Should I now think about going back to my parents? I really don’t want to, there’s no one waiting.” But if you have to, you have to wait.”

No spontaneous outings

Now Laura tries to cut back as much as possible. “I don’t use the car at all anymore, and now I do everything with the bike. I think I’ll have to sell my car soon. I don’t shop in Albert Heijn anymore, I just go to Aldi or Lidl,” she says.

Spontaneous outings are no longer possible. “I don’t do fun things anymore. I have to save it now, if it ever works out. I had the financial freedom, now I’ve lost it.”

Laura is not eligible for benefits, she says. “I don’t get a housing allowance, I don’t get an energy allowance, I earn a lot for that. People on welfare get all of this. Sometimes it frustrates me: I work full time and get nothing.”

The future feels “too uncertain” for Laura. She hopes the government will take action.

budget plan

These measures will be taken, because last night the budget plans were agreed upon. For example, the minimum wage will rise by 10 percent, and the fuel sales tax will remain low for the time being. All kinds of allowances are also increased and income tax reduced.

It is not yet clear how exactly that will work for Laura. But in the short term, it won’t have any benefit anyway, as most of the measures won’t go into effect until next year.