Rents, supermarkets, petrol – How young people (don’t) manage…

Do you live by yourself; Roommates? Do you have your family or your relationship? Are you still in the same house as your parents? Whatever the scenario may be, one thing is certain. The hoarseness about how you will make ends meet financially this month is big and worries young and old alike.

Especially the young people, who at this stage of their lives should be discussing their future and dreams, sit at large tables and analyze how another month will turn out.

Others are studying, while others are already working to make ends meet. In any case, what they have in common is the little money they have left to get them through the month without having to owe friends and relatives.

Ilias, Maria, Nikos and Irini sat at a table and discussed all the things that “burden” them every month and how they finally manage in the midst of constant increases.

“If it wasn’t for my parents I wouldn’t have made it”

Maria lives alone and studies in Thessaloniki. It is her third year in the city and as she typically says “every year gets better”

“I try to find where I’m wasteful to save money and every month I end up with the fact that the money I make from the cafe I work at is minimal compared to the increases that exist in all areas. In the rent, in the supermarket, in petrol. I feel like money is flowing like water…”

As she confesses, she is particularly lucky as her parents have taken over the rent part, so she has gone from her head a very basic expense that is a “hurt” for many people.

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“If I had to pay the rent of the house as well, logically I wouldn’t be able to rent in another city. I make about 300 euros because I work part-time, so you understand that the money is quite limited. If I could work full time I would but unfortunately I have a lot of compulsory courses to attend. So I end up asking my parents for extra money every time, or many times because I don’t like asking, I sit at home for the last 5 days and do nothing at all to make ends meet”

“There are months when we count the small things”

Nikos lives with his girlfriend and mentions that not all months are the same. There are months that pass easily and they have something left over and others when the money “disappears”.

“I don’t know how to explain it. We both work and again there are months when we count the last few days. Especially when extra costs arise. That’s where I think we completely lose it. For example, if the car breaks down or if I have to pay the gym membership, there is not even a euro left at the end of the month. We count the hours to get paid many times to go to the supermarket. This is not life, not being able to put something aside for an hour of need.”

As he states, the increase in rent by 80 euros in the last two years was something that affected them quite a bit because, as he emphasizes, “we are not talking about a pack of cigarettes or one less coffee”

“This is a reality experienced by most of us who live in rent. We have searched many times but nothing meets our needs. The prices are outrageous so we are staying in the house we are already renting”

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“The habit of paying a lot of money for gas…”

Irini works with her mother and as she states she does not have a stable income as it is a family business. 

“This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand I have the freedom to take as much money as I want at a time, but on the other hand the money in the bank can run out in record time without you even realizing it. There are many months when I set myself a limit on how much money I will spend, but dozens of times I eat more money so that my mom can’t put aside what she needs. If I had stayed alone and not with her, I really don’t know how I would have coped. It seems impossible to me that with a basic salary you have to pay rent, gas, fixed expenses and have something left over for personal entertainment, which should not be left aside as it is particularly important”

She explains that a large part of her “salary” goes to gasoline.

“When you’re on the road all day to go to work and to appointments, you often (unfortunately) have to stop at gas stations. The prices are unreal again, you can’t pay 2 euros per liter. For some time now, the price of gasoline has permanently climbed above 2 euros. The most disturbing thing is that everything becomes a habit and no one reacts for all that is happening. It is not possible for a small car like mine to pay 100-150 euros for gas and I imagine others like me and no one complains”

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“I rarely go out for coffee”

Elias is a man who, as he explains, was used to living very differently for the years he lived with their parents. For the last two years, while studying, he has been living together and has seen the real difficulties that exist. 

“Luckily my parents pay the rent, which is quite affordable as I share it with my fellow student. But the costs are still countless. I don’t have time to work at the same time as my studies as the courses are very demanding. So I live on my parents’ pocket money and try to be as frugal as possible. I don’t go out for coffee all the time. I try on the days when I have classes to drink coffee in houses and only on the weekends do I spend more money”

It may be small but Elias cut all the subscriptions to the platforms he had so he could save some money from his parents.

“Maybe some people think it’s very silly. But if you sit down and think about all the things we spend money on, you’d be surprised by the fact that there are many things that if we cut out we’d keep enough money aside for an hour of need. Unfortunately not paying your electricity bill is not possible, but you can stop Netflix for example to save money. What worries me, of course, is what will happen when my roommate leaves next year and I have to be alone. There I know my parents will strain and I’m already looking for what I should do to give them a breather”