• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

December 16, 2010

What It Costs to Be Me

Share
woman standing on a bridge over a river

Photo Credit: Sarah Elliot

Special Offer

Audrey O'Connor, 31, Brussels, Belgium

Occupation: Event planner

Annual income: $60,000 (converted from euro), plus perks, including a daily meal stipend

Average income for a woman in Belgium: $20,683

Home, sweet home: "For $900 a month, I rent a spacious one-bedroom apartment in the lively African quarter. I once had a party here that was so crowded, the floorboards started to creak!"

Bills, bills, bills: "My mobile phone costs me about $50, plus I pay about $200 a month, in total, for water, gas, electricity, and Internet access. I don't own a TV, so no cable bill. Whatever I want to see I download from the Internet."

Meal plan: "I usually pack my lunch, but now and again I'll go to an all-you-can-eat Lebanese restaurant for 25 euro ($34), which is cheap. There's a very high standard for restaurants here. We don't go to buffets to stuff ourselves."

The weekender: "Salsa dancing is huge. My friends and I dance at the clubs till 6 in the morning. I'll spend about $85, which includes the cover charge, champagne, and the 50-cent fee to use the public bathrooms."

Only in Belgium: "Most companies provide employees with food checks for about $10 per working day. You can use them in restaurants or at supermarkets. I use mine for groceries."

Shoe index: "I bought $220 sandals in Ireland. They have bright-pink-and-purple straps and a gold wedge heel. They go with everything."

The road to recovery: "Belgians are very conservative when it comes to money. Our recession was nothing like in the U.S. I never really knew what all the fuss was about."

Checks and balances: "All my savings goes toward traveling. And when I go, I do it well. I don't travel on a shoestring anymore!"


Share
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Career Tips
How to Score a Job at Nasty Gal

When the hiring manager gives you advice, you listen.

10 Things Arianna Huffington Wished She Knew In Her Twenties

The influential The Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington discusses the importance of talking kindly to ourselves, occasionally disconnecting, and handling the harshest criticism.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue