Christmas is over and it’s left you with sweet memories, plans for the new year and… a hole in your pocket. Living in one of the more expensive countries in the world at this time has Meredith Moss thinking…
According to every single article I’ve read regarding New Year’s resolutions, about half of the population of the world looks at what they’ve screwed up on in the previous year and attempts to do a bit better. I especially like the articles that don’t mention anything about saving money…..which by the way, I’ve personally found is impossible to do while living in the Duchy. Look, I’ve never been good with money, but, if you are like me and lacking in personal finance skills, Luxembourg doesn’t throw you many bones. So I’ve compiled a list of things to help similarly financially-skilled people to cope.
First thing to remember: it’s all relative
I think it is safe to assume that no one is on the bread line if you are living in Luxembourg and reading City Savvy. We are living in a place which has one of the highest GDPs per capita, lowest unemployment and is one of the richest countries in the world. I think it is for this reason that while we are all comfortable, it is easy to feel seriously broke. When strolling Rue Phillippe II, I often spot something gorgeous in a window, glance at the price and then swiftly retreat to Zara.
Tip #2: Maybe best to look at the prices
Tip #3: Don’t compare to other places you’ve been.
I used to have a little place that I took my car to get washed at in London. Run by one of the nicest Polish family in the world, they went to great efforts to buff out whatever I’d hit in the previous week and didn’t judge me for the dismal state of my car. They would shake their heads and laugh but made my car look brand new inside and out all for a total of £10.
Upon the recommendation from a friend, I took my car to Auchan. After laughing at me for not having a reservation the attendant told me it would be 60 euros but that he didn’t have an appointment for two weeks. He then looked at the inside of my car and changed the price to €75.
And then there was the Turtle incident
My four year old has difficulty staying in bed at night. I researched and found out that a daily sticker chart was the way forward. In a sleep-deprived haze, a turtle was promised as a reward. How much maintenance would a turtle be? A month went by, the chart was completed and like any decent parent, I went to the Cactus Hobby to pick out a turtle. A turtle the size of a Happy Meal hamburger in Luxembourg will cost you €140 euros. HOLY HELL. The sticker chart mysteriously disappeared and whenever the turtle comes up in conversation, I have a coughing fit.