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Inflation: What inflation means for Hartz IV recipients


Silvana van Baaren kept a receipt from summer 2021 and is now buying exactly the same products again. The result of their inflation experiment is surprising.

AreaRead the video transcript expand here

Silvana van Baaren has always had to pay close attention to money.

But since prices have risen noticeably, shopping for the Hartz four recipient and mother of two daughters means more and more difficult decisions.

Silvana van Baaren, Hartz IV recipient

»Sweets for the children or something, everything has gotten more expensive, but you still don't want to give up being able to afford something for the children.

It is not easy."

The so-called standard requirement for food for Hartz Four recipients is around €5 per day and person.

So Van Baaren has to calculate carefully for herself and her family.

In order to keep track, the 35-year-old keeps every receipt.

Silvana van Baaren, Hartz IV recipient

»I now have a receipt here, it is from August 31, 2021.

I would now simply dare the experiment that I buy exactly the same thing and see how the prices have changed.«

Basically, life in Germany has become noticeably more expensive in recent months.

In June, inflation was an estimated 7.6%, mainly driven by energy prices.

But food prices also went up: 12.7% more than in the same month last year.

A consequence of sharply increased producer prices due to the Ukraine war and the pandemic.

The price increases for certain basic foods such as pasta, cooking oil or butter are even more drastic.

So much for the statistics - but how does inflation affect Silvana van Baaren's comparison purchase with the receipt from a year ago?

We weren't allowed to accompany her to the supermarket with the camera.

We'll meet her again afterwards.

Silvana van Baaren, Hartz IV recipient

»I didn't get all the things that were on my other receipt.

I didn't get seven things and still paid €2.84 more.

I find it amazing.

I just think it's incredible.

Especially since it wasn't anything extravagant or anything, it was just what you normally need.

I think it's phenomenal.

I have to see what I can still save there.«

There probably won't be much room for maneuver since the standard rate for single people was increased by just 0.76% earlier in the year.

Prices, on the other hand, are rising much faster, as van Baaren's shopping comparison shows.

Discount campaigns or packaging quantities that have meanwhile changed can distort the result somewhat.

However, the trend is clear: prices have gone up even for some cheaper products from discounters.

There are only a few exceptions, such as cat food or ayran, which still cost the same as last summer.

Other foods, on the other hand, have become enormously expensive, especially meat.

Silvana van Baaren, Hartz IV recipient

»At the time I bought minced meat twice and paid 6.98 for both together.

Now I've bought two, paid 9.98, so 3 € more expensive, which is really awesome.

Turkey breast fillet the same way, I always get it in one piece, then all the nasty stuff is cut away and then it's good.

I paid €10 for it now.

At that time it cost 7.79.

So the cheese cost 1.89 back then and now it just costs 2.59.

That's a huge price hike, I think."

In July, Hartz four recipients will receive a one-off payment of €200, but they need it for the additional electricity payment, says van Baaren.

So far, only the 9 € ticket has relieved her noticeably.

The worries of the mother of two remain.

Silvana van Baaren, Hartz IV recipient

»If inflation continues like this, then I can already see that pocket money will have to be reduced a bit and I will have to limit myself even more.

And I don't know where this will end.

I think at some point it's no longer a decent life if you have to pay attention to everything and if you have to worry every day that you won't be able to make ends meet for your family or make ends meet for the month.

Mentally it kills you.«

Almost 40% of Germans state that they want to save on food in the future.

Silvana van Baaren also plans to pay more attention to special offers.

In an emergency, as was the case last April, she would also have to resort to food donations from social organizations.

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-07-04

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