Okay, let’s be honest: which one of us hasn’t stood at the cash register with our butts tightened and hoped that the debit card didn’t die? Right, the Dutch and their bank accounts, sometimes it’s like a soap opera. Because although we live in a country where the quality of life is excellent, a surprising number of us encounter financial hurdles.
The Dutch are massively in the red
from a current one Research of the NIBUD shows that no less than 14% of Dutch people (aged 18-75) are actually permanently in the red. That is more than every tenth adult who systematically spends more than he earns. It’s not just Piet two houses away; Even those with higher incomes are feeling the effects of the crisis.
And let’s talk about youth. Our young adults under 35 seem to be bearing the brunt, especially with those pesky rising fixed costs. And yes, fortunately there are hotlines. Companies can bring in a NIBUD coach if they notice an employee is struggling to make ends meet. The existence of these helplines is of course positive, but ideally they are not necessary at all!
Financial problems are all around us
Now comes the most shocking number: 42% of households will have had financial problems by 2022. This means that almost half of the Netherlands is struggling in one way or another with financial difficulties. That does not actually correspond to the statement that the quality of life is high, one would say.
With numbers like this, it’s no wonder organizations like CBS and SCP are looking into it what “poverty” actually means in the Netherlands. Where do we draw this line? They are working hard to adjust this definition and provide a clearer picture of the financial challenges facing our country. Perhaps not many more people live in poverty in the Netherlands than we all currently think based on an outdated definition?
In short, the Netherlands may have a high quality of life, but that doesn’t mean we’re all sitting on roses. Whether you earn a lot or a little, the financial struggle is real and affects many of us. Vigilance and support are needed now more than ever.