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Money Talks: €1550,- p/m

Iris Smulders travels through all social levels of the Dutch society, and dives into money matters and people’s pattern of expenditure.

Name: Jacqueline
Age: 27
Lives in: The Hague
Is: single
Balance: € 4,867.72

Salary € 1,550 net per month
Healthcare benefit € 50

Fixed expenses
Rent € 750
Telephone € 50
Utilities € 140
Healthcare insurance € 103

What constitutes your income?
I work for an agency. I take on many kinds of jobs, from cashier to hostess to call center employee. I work between twenty and forty hours per week. Therefore, my income varies considerably; sometimes I do have a lot of work, sometimes I don’t. My parents support me, so I manage easily. They pay the rent. They stop once I have a steady job. They themselves have a pretty good income and they are glad they are able to do this for me and my brother. I realise that I’m spoiled. Nevertheless, it does put me at ease at the moment. I don’t have to work eighty hours a week to pay for a roof over my head. Many of my friends have been supported by their parents until they found a job, so this is not a weird situation for me.

Have you always worked for money?
No, I did not work during my studies in Management, Economics and Law. I know now that this was a stupid choice, because I’m not hired anywhere due to lack of experience. I have graduated now, but I’m working for an employment agency for months already. The experience I gain does not help me much. I experience what it is like to work in an office, but it is not related to my studies. For example, you don’t learn how to manage a large project as a cashier. Employers take this in consideration. They don’t see my experience as a temp as “real” experience.

How would you rate your changes on the labour market?
It is difficult for me, because of my lack of experience. I studied Management, Economics and law and the competition is really tough. My knowledge is so broad that I am not specialised in anything.

Are you often rejected after a job interview?
Yes. I have applied for jobs about twenty times the last three months. I was invited for an interview for half of those, there was no response from the other half. I find this quite rude. They could have sent an e-mail, right? After a job interview, I am always told that they have found a better candidate with more experience.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to earn enough to be able to live and to be able to plan a sabbatical every year. Unpaid leave in order to travel for three months. I would have to find a good employer or employ myself.

Can you get by with your current income?
My income alone is not enough. I can get by due to the support of my parents. I go out often and spend at least a hundred euro every weekend. This would not be possible without my parents. My rent is quite high, so, without them, I would have to move. But I would become unhappy then. I have a very nice place for myself at a great location. I don’t want to give that up.

How many months can you get by without an income?
I received a nice sum from my grandfather the other day. I think I’ll be able to support myself with it for three months.

For what are you saving money?
To travel. I would like to have seen as much of the world as possible. I’ve seen a lot of Asia already. My next trip will be to New Zealand.

Do you have a financial motto?
Spend you money on experiences, not on things. Then you will become a very happy person.

This article first appeared in Dutchtranslation by Jamili Wetzels.

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