Groceries are becoming more expensive, as are energy and petrol. It is difficult for first-time buyers to find a home. And students sometimes build up sky-high student debt. In this section young people tell how they get by and Nibud gives tips. This is how Kevin (28) manages his money affairs.By Kelly van Zuijdam
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Student debt: none
“I’m in my third year of the Built Environment bachelor. After this I have another year to go and then I’ll be working on a master’s in Architecture for another three or four years. Because I’m following the program part-time, I’m not entitled to student finance. The government then assumes that you work in addition to your studies and that you can pay those costs yourself.”
“At the moment I live on benefits, because I can’t work due to psychological and physical complaints. But that benefit is not much. If I could get a student loan, I certainly would have wanted that.”
I think I’ll keep this up for up to a year. After that, my piggy bank is also used up.
No nice things
“I eat with my father about two or three times a week. The rest of the week I cook for myself. Then I immediately make large quantities, so that I can eat two or three times.”
“I don’t like going out or getting new clothes. That’s really annoying. When I meet up with friends, they can come over for a drink, but it’s not that I go to the cafe. It’s too expensive for me to order a few beers. My furniture is from the thrift or was given to me. When I buy clothes, I buy them second-hand.”
Home situation not so good
“Before I went on my own, I knew it would be difficult to make ends meet. I had put my income and expenses in an Excel sheet in advance. But my home situation was not so good. That’s why I eventually got a housing urgency. If I had refused the house, that would have expired. Then it would have taken even longer before I could get a house and I would still be in the same situation.”
“I am looking for other solutions together with the municipality. For example, I am now looking at whether the regional mobility team (RMT) can help me. That is a company that reimburses costs for training or travel costs. It is not yet certain whether I qualify for it.”
Money box is running out
“I’m concerned that this may take a long time and I may struggle to find a permanent job. How are things going then? How long will I have to live like this? And how are my savings goals going? I have quite a few goals and ambitions, but they are all now being postponed or shut down.”
“I can’t actually pay for my studies. I now do that from my savings account, otherwise I’ll be in the minus. But I think I can keep this up for a maximum of a year, then my savings will also be used up. My dean told me that I also have my study full-time or temporarily stop for a year. I actually don’t want the latter, because I’m a bit older. I also don’t want to be left behind and I really want to graduate together with my fellow students.”
Marion Weijers from Nibud: “It is almost impossible for Kevin to make ends meet every month in this situation. This is due to the high travel costs and tuition fees. If you study part-time, you will not receive a student grant and therefore no student public transport.”
“In order to pay the tuition fees, he could apply for a lifelong learning credit. This is a loan that you must repay. For the travel costs, Kevin could inquire with the municipality whether special assistance is possible. He can also ask for an additional 500 euros in energy surcharge, because he is entitled to 1,300 euros.”
“Next year the basic grant will be reintroduced. If Kevin can then study full-time, this offers more room in his budget financially.”
“And if you are unable to work in addition to your studies due to a medical limitation, you can apply for a study allowance from your municipality. This is an amount of approximately 300 euros per month. The study allowance is not a loan and you do not have to repay it. you are only eligible if you have student finance.”
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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