What else can we afford?: Single parents (57) with children in college: I’m in the red this year

What else can we afford?
Single parents (57) with children studying: I’m in the red this year

Energy and food in particular have become significantly more expensive. bei ntv.de People from all income groups regularly reveal what this means for their everyday lives how high their income iswhat they spend how much money on and what is left over at the end of the month. Today:

Surname: Catherine

Age: 57

Place of residence: Hamburg

Education: Business Administration Studies

Recent Activity: Controller

Working hours per week: 39 hours

Monthly gross salary: 4931 euros

Christmas bonus: 4931 euros per year

Marital status: divorced, three children (17, 20 and 26 years old)

Household net income per month: around 4,700 euros

  • almost 3100 euros monthly salary
  • 500 euros in child benefit for my two younger children (since the eldest is already over 25, there is no longer any child benefit for him)
  • 50 euros rental income after taxes (according to tax return 2022)
  • 310 euros dividends after taxes (2023 was a good year)
  • 760 euros maintenance
  • On top of that, I get around 2200 once a year Euros net Christmas bonus and often a tax refund, sometimes several hundred euros per year

Costs for my terraced house with 112 square meters: A total of 533 euros from 165 euros in loans (bank and private), 325 euros in operating costs without heating and hot water and 43 euros in property tax

Monthly costs for heating and hot water with gas: My deduction remains unchanged at 254 euros, but for the past year I had to pay 2,326 euros, which is the equivalent of 193 euros per month. In this case, we have an unfavorable tariff that is always based on current prices. Since the prices have now fallen again, my additional payment for this year should no longer be as high.

How much these have increased during the energy crisis: Heating and hot water were three quarters more expensive last year.

Monthly electricity costs: 91 euros

How much these have increased during the energy crisis: 16 percent

Further fixed costs per month:

  • Riester contract: 110 euros
  • Internet, landline and cell phone contracts for me and my youngest child: just under 60 euros
  • Broadcasting fee: 18 euros
  • Insurance: 147 euros for vehicle, liability, household contents and additional health insurance
  • Mobility: 300 euros for gas, taxes and reserves for a new car, which I will need for the foreseeable future, as well as the local transport ticket for my youngest child
  • Union: 50 euros
  • Sports: 70 euros for my gym and my youngest child’s two sports clubs
  • Newspaper subscription: 25 euros
  • Account management fee: 10 Euro

Additional expenses for the two children studying abroad (I pay more than I have to because her father doesn’t pay as much as he should):

  • Child 1: Housing 535 + 120 euros to live on = 655 euros per month
  • Child 2: Housing 456 + 120 euros to live on = 576 euros per month
    (Child 3 is included in the fixed costs listed above)

The bottom line is discretionary household income for food, hygiene, leisure time, clothing, vacation, etc.: around 1,800 euros

How much more I spend on groceries today than I did a year and a half ago: About 30 percent more, in total I spend at least 500 euros in the supermarket for myself and my youngest son, who still lives with me.

What I spend the most money on:

  • Food and leisure: I go to the theater, cinema and concerts about once a month. This is what I give on average every month in total 70 euros. My partner often invites me over.
  • Travel: I travel not only with my partner and my youngest child, but also once a year with one of my two older children.

Special editions this year:

  • 5000 euros special repayment on my mortgage for the house
  • 450 euros special payment to our homeowners association
  • 370 euros for my youngest child’s graduation trip plus pocket money
  • 200 euros because of my eldest child’s move

How much I spend on vacation: I used to enjoy taking short trips, but less so this year. Trips that had already been planned in the previous year took place, I paid for all trips from reserves:

  • Eight days in Egypt with my partner: 1200 euros for me
  • Eight days in Germany with my partner: 1200 euros for me
  • Four days in Copenhagen with my daughter: 1200 euros for both of us
  • My youngest son’s seven-day ski trip with friends: 1000 euros for him
  • My youngest son’s eight-day summer trip with his friends: 300 euros for him
  • Two weekend trips with my partner for 250 euros each for me (all inclusive)
  • Six days of educational leave: 400 euros for me

Where do I save money due to high inflation: I now buy even more food when it’s on sale and cook cheaper, for example less meat. I didn’t heat much all winter and took shorter showers. I also cut back on leisure activities. Only trips that were already confirmed at the beginning of the year will take place. I go to the hairdresser less often and have been doing the coloring myself for a while now. I have cut my clothing budget. I’m always generous towards the children; I don’t want them to suffer because everything has become so expensive.

I only worked 34 hours a week until summer 2022, when my employer finally increased it to 39 hours. However, what I now earn more will be eaten up by the increased cost of living.

Inflation at your fingertips

The information on these most important income and expenses is based on self-reports and does not claim to be complete.

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How much is left at the end of the month: This year I’m in the red because I had a lot of special editions. I had to pay almost 2,800 euros for housing alone.

How much of it I put back: I save 200 euros every month in a current account. This year, however, I transferred 2,000 euros from this reserve account to my checking account.

Wishes for politics: Middle-income people shouldn’t have to pay such high taxes and fees. And it should be easier to force non-paying fathers to pay maintenance.

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