Interestingly enough, the Latvian prices have not changed in actual fact for the year, but the level of demands has grown notably. Whereas the aforementioned 483 euro were derived by the statisticians by population survey, as well as that in constant prices wages during the year grew by 7-8%, one may conclude that the growth of demands is entailed by subjective factors. The concepts of a normal life have grown rather than life in Latvia has gone up in prices, thereby entailing also the money minimum to support such normal life. Thus, the more we have the more we need.
How much do you need to be really happy is a relative question. Residents of Kyrgyzstan with their $100 wages would decide that the Latvians are too well off, demanding monthly 483 euro per one member of the family. Again, citizens of Luxemburg with their subsistence wage of 1 700 euro would be horrified at minimalism of the Latvians.
Another matter exciting envy (in the Kirghiz) and pity (in the Luxembourgers) is that 483 euro is a speculative amount. This is how much is needed rather than how much the Latvian residents have in their pockets or on the cards. And an average Latvian, according to the official data, has got 387 euro a month. In all, the Latvian disparity between the needs and abilities makes up 96 euro a month. Even with allowances made for shadow income, which are not reflected by the official statistics, one may establish the lack of harmony in family finances.
However, there is a reason to be optimistic. A social stratum, which at that or another level of easiness manages routine expenditures, is growing quickly enough. And, accordingly, the number of people, to whom such costs remain unaffordable, decreases.
The aforesaid, anyway, follows from a corresponding survey. In 2013 85.2 percent of the Latvian residents staggered to manage routine expenditures, but in 2015 – 77.7 percent. Moreover, the proportion of the Latvians, who ‘struggle’ to manage expenditures, has decreased notably – from 27 to 16.9 percent.
Conversely, those, who easily find money for daily needs, are increasing in number. Their number has grown from 14.8 percent in 2013 to 22.2 percent in 2015.
As to happier – one could argue, but as to the fact that life is getting better – that’s for sure.
Candidate of Economic and Legal Sciences Eresko Artur (Ересько Артур).