No Internet, no refrigerator, and a Budget of 30 Euro: What it means to be poor in a rich city to his | Agnieszka Kankiewicz


Everyone has their problems with the 18: Maybe you have your last maths exam screwed up. Or your friend has any other making out. Or that stubborn pimple just won’t disappear. Mine was no different.

The main difference was that I lived as the only one from my circle of friends alone, and only Hartz IV, student grants for prop. Sometimes I had no more than 30 Euro per month and in one of the most expensive cities in Germany.

The letter from the job centre never came for me

Of course, neither Hartz IV are designed still Bafög that you should eat 30 euros. But sometimes errors creep in a social System, the need to pay for the needy. Mistakes happen, even at the Jobcenter or the Bafög-Amt. Organizations are not organized.

In my case it was a mistake.

My family lived in for a while Hartz IV. When my father died and my mother in another city moved, I applied for students-student loans, because I still had a year of school ahead of me. Since the processing dragged on and on, I was initially continue to Hartz IV.

Find out more: Over two million children live in Hartz-IV-families – is against the law

Now, the extension fell of my application in the father-dead-and-move-time, which was a bit turbulent. Normally, the job centre says you know when you need to extend your Hartz IV application.

And I don’t know why – but this Info never came to me. Maybe the letter is lost. Maybe he went out never. Maybe my mother has declared me the “How to do Hartz IV”.

I had Thirty euros for eat in month

Anyway, I was a little surprised, as the Jobcenter paid, seemingly without a word, only the rent of my fresh apartment. My salary from my part-time job, was gone for the move, with my children’s money I could pay the utilities, electricity, public transport ticket and a phone bill. Left 30 Euro remained:.

I reported immediately to the job centre, to investigate what could have happened. I have extended my application, but was told that the processing would take up to several weeks. The job centre found it more dramatically, that I should now live 30 Euro. So I decided not to make a Drama out of it.

Unfortunately, I had neither a refrigerator nor a stove. To buy such things list now slipped quite far down on my priority. My diet (which admittedly, at the time, anything other than was healthy) was so simple.

My shopping list consisted mostly of onion baguette and crackers.

A onion baguette makes for two days of fantastic food (and it’s vegetables in it – onion!) and the crackers give it a little PEP.

My Situation was embarrassing for me

Okay, my shopping list was a piece of crap. Before we skip to us now about my unhealthy and unbalanced diet – sure, you could’ve been anything very, very much more elegant.

Hartz IV, housing shortage, poverty: Many people in Germany are affected – here, their stories are

There are numerous cheap food, you can afford to have instead – a couple of bananas for example. Or Apples. But I would just zero with a healthy diet apart and didn’t know the from home. That is a different story.

The point is: in any case, it is also 30 euros, no fridge and no cooking facilities, kind of sick of it. It is not just Horny. And (although you can, do as already said, definitely better than I was) perfectly healthy it can’t be.

I had very dear friends that found my onion baguette-and-crackers diet, as well, and invited me a couple of Times at home, or granola bars, cereal, and Mandarin oranges over.

We have taken the time with a sense of Humor and laughed about it, I’m going to feed my surrogate family-but actually, it was a little sad. And a little embarrassing.

When I think back, I feel the time surreal

Than a month later, the whole story was repeated, I could not take it with Humor. Again, a lesson, a response to the job center let. And I know that the clerk can often have nothing to do with it, if a case is not processed cleanly and quickly.

But my appetite on onion baguette was passed and that’s why I rehearsed the revolt in the job centre (should read the then clerk of this article: I sincerely apologize for my loud voice, abusive choice of words and tears early in the Morning. I probably had eaten Breakfast properly).

Maybe they just took pity, maybe they wanted to get rid of me quickly – anyway, I got a cash card and allowed me to pull the ruleset from a vending machine. Problem solved, surprisingly easy.

When I think back to this time, it seems to me this is all surreal. 30 euros I’ll buy nowadays, sometimes in a single dinner. You learn that you can get by with less than you think (and I would do it is definitely wiser, and my invest 30 euros).

What remains is the insight

You learn but also how much time it eats up, to have no money – the constant Calculate, Ponder, compare prices. You learn how easy it is to be excluded from a social group, because you can no longer participate in many activities. One learns how quickly one becomes the victim.

But I think, most clearly remains in my memory of how helpless you feel. Understands, that is a small part in the System and is not always treated as a priority, even if it hurries. And that is exactly what hurts. Even if it means probably no clerk of this world personally: You will feel unimportant.

What remains is the insight: it Recognize the absurdity of your Situation and laugh. Take care of you so quickly it’s not about your Shit, especially when you realize that something goes according to Plan. Don’t take anything personally. And not shame on you, your Frustration.

So the Situation of Hartz IV recipients in Germany is:

► The sum of the sanctions imposed by the German job centres in the past ten years, and not paid, amounts to 1.9 billion euros.

► Sanctions are usually imposed for two violations: against the so-called obligations of Conduct and against the Reporting and cooperation obligations.

► in the year of 2016, there was an annual average of approximately 134,000 purchase of eligible beneficiaries who were affected by at least one sanction.

► It is criticized in this context that sanctions would violate the fundamental right to a decent minimum standard of living.


Worth a read:

  • To the woman at the cash register, which did not have enough money for your purchase – please forgive me
  • “The German pension system is a fraud”: This man is collecting 70,000 signatures, to say to Martin Schulz, the opinion

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