- -  Day # 354  + +

EU > Denmark > Esbjerg

Spending money

Esbjerg, DK (View on map)

People from Jutland are seen by their compatriots as rather greedy. On average, they have less money to spend and they are also more careful about how they spend it, and what they spend it on. Today`s question therefore deals with money management. What do young Jutlanders like to spend money on, and which expenses do they see as nothing but nuisance?

Anne (20):

`I think the Danish tax money is mostly well-spent`
Beer seems to be one of the favourite investments for Esbjergians. Clothes and food are also popular, with a special note for organic food. Another surprising fact: Danes do not mind paying taxes. Anne (20, photo) explains that most Danes are only modestly unhappy about paying taxes. `I don`t think our money is wasted. Everybody is well taken care of by the government. Education is for free and so is health care.`

Like most of the girls I speak to, Anne enjoys spending money on clothes and most particularly on shoes. `I have about 40 pairs at home and nothing about that is keeping me from buying new ones. I also enjoy spending money on going to concerts or on buying nice food. What I hate spending money on is petrol for the car. Unbelievable how expensive that got over the next few years. And prices of public transportation increase just as quickly, even though this would be a good chance to get people to take the train instead of the car.`

Maria (33) also likes to spend money on shoes, but not on the remainder of her wardrobe collection. `I don`t like to go shopping for clothes and I don`t like to pay the hairdresser either. When I am after clothes, I go to the shop where my mum works because I can get lots for free there. To the hairdressers, I only go once every year. In the meantime, I buy magazines to read about what I could have looked like if I did go there every month. I also like to buy magazines about dogs, books about cooking or simply novels. I refuse to spend money on buying beer or wine for my husband.`

Maria further hates to spend money on her car insurance. Allan (26) finds car repairs the most annoying of all expenses. `I do like to buy myself home electronics. I just bought a 40-inch flat screen TV and I also have a Bose Multimedia system at home. I also have an I-pod. No more walkmans or Discmans for me.`

Astrid (19) is annoyed by the high fuel prices, even though she hardly ever pays for them. `I don`t have one of my own, so I only use my parents` car. I usually don`t have to pay for the petrol, but hej, 11 DKK (1.50euro), that`s way too much.` Anna (22) hates to pay for car parks, especially if she gets a fine for not having done so. `I prefer to save my money for more fun occasions, like eating out in nice restaurants.`

Cigarettes and toilet paper
Rudi (27) likes to spend his money on eating, drinking and partying. Joergen (25) enjoys buying cigarettes and could easily live without anything else for a month, which according to his words first of all includes water, electricity.

Sophie (19) does not like to spend money on toilet paper. Neither is she willing to spend money on food because `you can`t listen to it, and you can`t wear it.` She prefers to save her money things for her apartment, clothes or to buy CDs. `I could also download music from the internet, but MP3s are nothing to look at.`

Sophie further explains that Danes are not likely to spend much money on each other. `Only for birthdays or special occasions, not just like that. In those cases, all friends of the person celebrating will collect money to buy one big present. I do give money to charity when people knock at the door. It`s a combined feeling of personal sympathy with the work the collectors are doing, as well as a way to get them to move on.`

Jems (22) also gives money to charity, but also on the condition that they knock his door when he is home. `It`s an easy way to feel good`, he says. `And it`s easy and without obligations. I hate having to sign for some kind of charity subscription that automatically takes money off my account.`

Jems also describes the prescribed drinking etiquette: `Everybody pays for him or herself and even if good friends share rounds, they will keep an internal accounting system to know whose turn it is and to make sure that everybody pays equal amounts.`

Beside spending money on charity and beer, Jems likes travelling and he is perfectly fine with paying for his travels abroad ? just like most of the Danes his age. `I recently went to Italy, I will go to the USA next week and to Czech Republic some other time soon. For trips inside Denmark, he is less happy. `Public transportation is way too expensive. I also dislike the compulsory television subscriptions and the fact that I have to pay my mobile phone bill every month.`

Water bills
Louise (29) is visiting Jutland with a group of friends. She is originally from Copenhagen. After telling me how much she likes shopping for organic food, to buy tickets for concerts and cinema, she also tells me how annoyed she is about the costs of public transportation, `which is mainly the reason I never use it anyway`. Louise thinks that Danish people would be a lot more outgoing if the prices of caf?s and restaurants were a bit more affordable. `Now, everybody stays inside and tries to make it cosy there. They could also go outside and meet new people.`

Louise`s biggest most recent annoyance over financial affair relates to the holiday she`s spending in Jutland. `I ordered tap water along with a meal in a restaurant and they charged me 10 DKK (1.40 euro). That really pissed me off. In Copenhagen, you get tap water for free.`

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