The Luxury Trap, Personal Finance | The Luxury Trap sees a new trend: – I’ve never seen so much of it before

The Luxury Trap, Personal Finance |  The Luxury Trap sees a new trend: – I’ve never seen so much of it before

STORTORVET, OSLO (Nettavisen): – I was about to die, says consumer economist Cecilie Tvetenstrand, referring to the price of coffee in Norwegian cafes.

– Don’t we have a record for coffee consumption this season, fellow “Luxusfallen” Magne Gundersen chimes in.

For 24 seasons, the “Luxusfallen” gang has pointed its fingers at overconsumption, trying to find a golden mean for Norwegians in financial trouble.

The reason may be the electric bill

New applicants pour in every year. In 2023, it’s not just Norwegians with fancy cars, expensive clothes, and extravagant vacations who need help. The “Luxusfallen” gang sees many of their daily expenses as debt collection.

– It may be the electric bill that caused the load to overturn. We see that more people are struggling, and the problems are bigger for more people. For many, Tvetenstrand adds, the situation has become dangerous.

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Gundersen also sees the trend among the participants he met:

– What I can say is that there are young people. There is an overspending and consumer loans on consumer loans. It’s more than we’ve seen before. We also have a number of people who have electric bills piling up. We haven’t seen that much before, says Magne Gundersen.

At the same time, there are also positive trends. Norwegians are applying earlier than before, and they’ve realized that you don’t need to have millions in debt to be a current participant in the program.

– Not everything went into salary deductions and not everything was breached. There are no 15 payment notes. People connect before things go wrong, and that’s probably a good thing, says Hallger Quadsheim.

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Skeptical of Klarna

Hallgeir Kvadsheim, one of the profiles with the longest driving time in the program, told the newspaper earlier this year: Transformers That the goal is to destroy his role as presenter. After a winter of inflation, soaring interest rates, soaring food prices and exorbitant electricity bills, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be pushed off the screen anytime soon.

– You have been giving advice for so many years, what do people not understand now?

– that Klarna is as dangerous as he is. People think Klarna is just a “smudge” and cute, but she’s like a credit card. There is no difference. It’s just a nice package, Hallgeir Kvadsheim tells Nettavisen.

Klarna is a digital payment solution.

The well-known economist believes that many people have a healthy relationship with the credit card, but at the same time he believes that it is not so dangerous with Klarna. In fact, credit cards and Klarna offer the same service, he believes.

Klarna disagrees with the plan:

– That Klarna and credit cards are the same simply isn’t true. On the contrary, a large part of our success depends on how we differentiate ourselves from the credit card companies. We want our customers to pay the full amount on time, and today 98 percent of all purchases in Norway are paid for either directly or through an interest-free invoice for 30 days. We also run a credit check on every individual purchase, even if you’ve used Klarna before, Klarna’s Nordic Communications Director Hanna Alexandersson tells Nettavisen.

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Economists also criticize Norwegians for ordering takeaway food on credit.

– Young people demand a lot of food – especially single families, and maybe even couples. They cook very little at home, says Magne Gundersen.

Gundersen believes that many “takeaway” fans don’t have an overview of how much money they spend ordering food to the door.

— the moment you find out, it gets downright sick. Especially if they should use the money to pay down debt or save for housing, Gundersen says.

One problem is that many people think they’ll “get it” next month.

– It’s always possible to patch the first 30 days, but there’s a reason there are so many providers out there. Tvetenstrand says they see it as a profitable venture.

Economists believe that such expenditures spoil the outlook.

– is confused with putting this kind of spending on credit. It becomes harder to gauge whether you can handle it, and the bigger the explosion later. If it’s charged directly to the debit card, you’ll notice there’ll be less money left at the end of the month, says Kvadsheim.

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We want people to think for themselves

Another expense that can take a huge chunk out of the budget is snuff. in Norway 22 percent of young adults ages 16 to 24 reported using the spray daily. This corresponds to about 130,000 Norwegians, reports the Directorate of Health.

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What do consumer economists think about the discussion about a Is it possible to impose a complete ban on tobacco for new generations?

– All this prohibition creates a market that we cannot control. People are drawn to forbidden things too, says the latest addition to the “Luxusfellen” gang, Ahmed Osman.

Magne Gundersen believes that the ban would have reduced tobacco consumption.

Fewer people will use them, and less over time too, says Gundersen, adding that he’s almost certain of that.

Kvadsheim is generally against bans, but he thinks it would be too easy to have a ban.

– We want people to think for themselves and think about what they can afford, not for the state to say “You’re allowed to buy this and not that,” Quadsheim says.

Nor would he endorse bans on credit cards or credit card marketing.

– It will be very easy. Then it becomes another thing to spend your money on, and then learn nothing, Quadsheim says.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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