They are concerned about the decline in purchasing power: ‘I am already very tight’

Lotte cannot look far ahead. “I have to see how I manage every month. Because of covid I made a payment arrangement with the landlord, which was very nice. But you also have to pay that off in the end. I borrowed money for this because I became nervous about debts. I get from my situation is pretty tough. It feels like I’m poor, while I have a job.”

‘I get by, but with difficulty’

Hans van de Burg (78) lived abroad for decades. As a result, he has built up little AOW. He receives around 1500 euros per month, including health care and housing allowance. “I get by with this, with difficulty,” says Van de Burg. “If nothing unexpected happens, it will be difficult. I’m already very tight.”

Van de Burg remains positive. “Because I think about it easily, it’s not that bad. I also have a good view of it. Before corona I could often be found in the community center. You can drink coffee, play billiards and talk to people. I especially hope that soon again.”

The resident of Drenthe does the shopping at the shop in the village. “That’s not the cheapest supermarket. So I often buy things that are just past the expiration date. They are cheaper. Then I freeze them, or eat them after all.”

To save money, Van de Burg canceled his mobile phone subscription. He also does not buy new clothes. “I have an old pair of jeans with a few holes in them, but that’s modern these days.” Before the prices rose, Van de Burg could still “spend a little bit of money” on something fun. “A beer, for example, or a piece of cake or something. Something extra, that’s no longer possible.”

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