Every month, an average Serbian family has to pay around 30,000 on the account of regular living costs. Out of a total 55,000 Dinars, which is an average family budget in Serbia according to the relevant statistical data, 2/3 are spent on paying bills and the rest – around 25,000 Dinars – on food and on living from paycheck to paycheck.
The statistical data confirms this. According to the latest data, 34% of the average family budget is spent on paying utility bills, electricity, fuel and phone bills. Heating, electricity and home maintenance take up around 21% of the income. 8% is spent on transportation while 5% on the Internet, cable TV and phone bills.
“Heating, water, building maintenance and several other utility services cost 8,000 Dinars a month”, says Milica Jovanović (age 38) from Belgrade who lives in a 50-square-metre flat. “On average, I spend 3,500 Dinars on electricity, 500 Dinars for TV subscription, 2.700 Dinars on the Internet and cable TV. Also, I have one ground telephony line and two mobile phones which is another 3,000 dinars. I also pay almost 10,000 for my child’s nursery”, she says. Although it seems that most of the family budget is spent on food, it is the bills that are the most expensive. Food takes up the biggest chunk of the monthly budget, up to 40%. Still, the bills that have to paid every month like costs of living in a flat, fuel, transportation and nursery are becoming increasingly difficult to bear. If we add to this paying a mortgage or a rent, than the living costs double. It is much more difficult for those families who are renting or have a mortgage to pay.
“You can say that we work only to pay our bills. Although, given the time that we live in, lucky are those people that can pay them all. They are in minority”, Petar Bogosavljević, President of the Consumers Movement says. Less than 30% of people in Serbia can pay all of their monthly bills while 70% is unable to pay for the basic living costs.
The research has show that very little money is left for other things. For instance, an average family can set aside only 365 Dinar for education a month, 1.167 Dinars for dining or drinking out and just over 2,000 Dinars for footware and clothes.
(B92, 21.10. 2014)
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