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How much money do you need to earn to live properly in Belgium today?

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Whether it’s the price of electricity, gas or soaring prices on everyday consumer goods due to inflation, are you increasingly worried about whether you will manage to finish your month? You are obviously far from alone in this situation: purchasing power has decreased for everyone and even if your salary seemed decent to you until now, it may perhaps seem derisory to you now.

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To find out where we are on the scale of average salaries in Belgium, the RTBF has reported on its site the median salary of Belgians based on the latest statistics dating from 2019 from Statbel, the Belgian statistical office. . It shows that a full-time worker earns an average of 3,758 euros gross per month. Do you have the impression of being completely taken in by reading this amount, which is very different from your salary? Rest assured, the average seems high, because 9% of Belgians earn more than 6,000 euros gross per month, which therefore increases the average.

To get an idea closer to reality, it is therefore better to look at the median salary, that is to say the threshold which divides the population in two, one earning more and the other less. Here, it would be 3,486 euros gross per month, or a net of around 2,250 euros per month. Here again, this amount remains to be qualified, because half of Belgians would earn less than this amount. According to this report, the two extremes of the population earn less than €2,295 gross monthly for the poorest and more than €5,886 for the richest.

Read also: At what income is one considered “rich”?

Do you earn enough to live with dignity?

Reading these numbers, you may unconsciously classify yourself as “rich”, “poor” or “average”. Only here, the salary is not the only indicator to know if you earn enough to live with dignity. As pointed out in a study entitled “Poverty, Housing and Energy” conducted by the economist Phillipe Defeyt and the Institute for Sustainable Development (IDD), it will above all depend on each person’s living situation. Depending on whether you are a single-parent family, whether you benefit from social charges, whether you heat yourself with gas or oil, the same income does not provide the same standard of living. Income is therefore not the only indicator to take into account to know where one is in the average.

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How to calculate your standard of living?

To know where you really stand, it will therefore be necessary to analyze your situation in a global way. To do this, review all your expenses and classify them by category, on the one hand the necessary and essential expenses, on the other, the secondary expenses, related to activities, leisure, outings, etc. In the first category, remember to indicate the amount of your loan or rental, your various bills (water, gas, electricity, food, transport, insurance, etc.) and add to this amount unforeseen expenses related to repairs, failures or others. You can then calculate the monthly average. You will then have a clear idea of ​​the amount you can devote to your secondary expenses. You can then plan your next getaways, the budget you can spend on dining out, going to the movies, the monthly gift budget, etc. A good way to find out if you are leading a lifestyle that is adequate for your financial situation.

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