I don’t deserve to live in Amsterdam

Well, Karst: you’re really on it with the dramatic titles, aren’t you? Well, yeah. But they’re not fully *clickbait*. Like this one, as you’ll notice once you read on. Me and my Amsterdam based friends a lot of times complaint about the insane prices of housing in Amsterdam. This made me do some research, which resulted in the answer that I basically don’t deserve to live here. How? And how I managed to live here nonetheless? I’ll spill all the tea in this #Blogvember post!

Let’s get schooled y’all

As I’ve said before, I studied urban planning. This included everything from designing streets to theories about mixing land use and income groups. While at university (and still), the most important trend we had to keep our eye on was the urbanization combined with the population decline in rural areas. As of a few years ago, more than 50% of the world population lives in a city. Just twenty years ago, this was around 30% and in 2050 this will be close to 70%. So long story short: every-fucking-body wants to live in a city.

Urbanization is a thing of the present and the future (Image via: https://morphocode.com/global-trends-urbanisation/)

The basics of economics

If there is a lot of demand for something, this will increase in value. If possible, the production will try to meet the demand. If not possible, we’re talking about luxury products. Amsterdam has become a luxury product. The demand is high, and the land use is allready dense and efficient. There are no big opportunities to increase the supply in (affordable) housing.

Guidelines for a healthy spending pattern

Talking money in The Netherlands, means talking about Nibud. This institute has some nifty tips and tricks for saving money and handling your finances and taxes. It also has a tool to calculate how your rent compares to your income. When I answer the questions in this questionnaire, I get a massive red flag from them. I pay way too high of a rent in relation to my monthly income. Remember, this is while living in a tiny 25 sqm studio apartment. So back to the title, I basically don’t deserve to live here. Or better: I don’t earn enough to pay for the luxury product that is living in Amsterdam.

My current home, circa 50% of my whole apartment is pictured here.

So why don’t you and your broke ass just move?

First of all: for someone my age and with my education, I earn a relatively high income. [Not meant to boast ofcourse] Second to that, this is where my friends live, where my social live is, where my work is, where I feel at home. It’s not easy for me to just leave this place. But I do sometimes think about it.  When I lived in Deventer, I paid about 30% less in rent for three times the space I have right now.

My living room in Deventer (circa 2016)

What the hell is my point with this blogpost?

Basically, I just needed to vent my feelings and frustrations. Which I have done now. And I feel better now. Maybe someday I’ll get into a blogpost more about solutions to fix this problem that not only I, but a LOT of other people struggle with. For now, thanks for reading! Let me know on Instagram what your thoughts are on this blogpost, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another #Blogvember post! I’ll promise it’ll be way less whiny!

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