We’re cutting back on nightlife, food and electricity, a new VG survey shows. But a family of three in Vestfossen has taken a step that promises more.
The interest rate was set from zero to 4.25 percent over two years. Food prices rose by nine percent in the past year alone.
Many do not have more savings to spend.
The analysis of responses asked VG what measures people have taken with their personal finances in the past six months. This is how they answered:
- 39 percent cut back on nightlife and entertainment
- And 38% reduced their electricity consumption
- 34 percent reduced their food budget
When VG asked the same question in December 2022, 67% answered that they refused to have electricity connected. For food and nightlife, the numbers were about the same.
Sarah and Chris Opdahl from Vestfossen, between Drammen and Kongsberg, went the extra mile when they had to cut back on household expenses.
– We sold the Mercedes. “We now drive an affordable Ford,” says the father of three.
It is estimated that they save NOK 8,000 per month on car exchanges.
“We got rid of unnecessary and unhealthy debt and collected mortgage interest rate increases, and that’s it, just on that car,” says the 32-year-old.
Here are more numbers from the survey conducted by Respons Analyze for VG:
- Eight percent received financial help from friends and family
- Seven percent took out consumer loans or increased their use of credit cards
- Five percent were requested for interest-free loans
- Five percent requested postponement of bill payments
In the under 35 age group, 16% received financial help from friends and family. Nine percent of those aged 35 to 54 requested interest-free installments.
The Vestvosen family noticed that they were getting less money in everyday life.
-Maybe we spend more on food, because prices have gone up. But I get less advice about things than before. Sarah Opdal (33 years old) says: Instead of beef, there will be something else.
Rarely in town
The couple believes they have always been good at saving electricity.
-What about nightlife?
– minimum. But it was before that too.
– Holidays then?
-I think we rarely stand on the big drum. Kids don’t need expensive trips to the south. “We travel to visit family,” says Sarah Opdahl.
Norges Bank announced another interest rate increase in December.
– Many people are already suffering. Chris Opdahl says interest rates are still on the way up.
-The screw is tightened
According to the central bank, housing interest rates will be at their highest levels until the spring of 2026.
– Households will see further tightening of the screw, chief economist at Akershus Eindom Karin Dew Andriessen told VG after the recent increase in interest rates.
She believes reserve accounts with savings are about to be emptied:
-Interest rates were raised too quickly. Many did not breathe a sigh of relief until the bills piled up. Now they are starting to worry about their finances.
Chris Opdahl believes it is healthy for many to reduce their consumption, but he feels sorry for those at the other end of the scale who can’t afford it.
According to a new report by the Norwegian Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), 150,000 families are in poor condition. Many people skip meals because they cannot afford them.
Hungry all day
25,000 households reported that a household member had not been able to eat for an entire day – and that this had happened three or more times in the past four weeks.
– Living conditions have become very difficult for many families at the bottom of the security scale, says SIFO researcher Christian Pope.
According to SIFO, the number of people in poor condition is three times what it was before the animal era came in the summer of 2021. But the “vulnerable” and “distressed” groups are also increasing dramatically.
According to the SIFO report, only 51% of them are financially secure.
The purpose of increasing interest rates is to reduce price inflation. It will especially benefit those who have the least to deal with, Norges Bank says.
We shop less
One in three in the survey conducted by Responds for VG said they had not taken any special measures in their personal finances in the past six months.
Especially those 55 or older who haven’t had to take any action.
But more than half of households have stressed in the past six months on at least one area of consumption, such as electricity or food, according to SIFO.
Merchandise trade is also declining Low card usage. Norges Bank states that the economy is going through a cooling process.
But there is light on the horizon, the central bank believes and writes:
– Starting next year, we expect wages to rise again more than prices.
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