When it’s payday and you remember all the fees, expenses and installments that you have to deal with, you know that residing in Lebanon makes you an endured survivor and an invincible warrior.
Whether it’s the electricity bill or the loans and credit cards you have to account for, there’s nothing that can kill your will to live, love and laugh as a Lebanese.
If, however, someone from your family or friends has ever asked you on what you are spending your salary or why you haven’t till now saved any money and bought your own apartment, you can definitely have the below list as your best argumentative savior.
#1. House rent
If you’re lucky enough to own a house, you can skip this. If on the other hand, you’re committed to a monthly house rent or a house loan, then you surely can relate to this! Many Lebanese people do actually account for this kind of rents, which happen to be in most of the cases REALLY HIGH!
#2. Public electricity/electric generator's bills
Paying the public electricity and electric generator bills is something you cannot escape from whatsoever. In Lebanon, and for those who may not be familiar enough with our context, we usually pay double bills. Given the daily electricity cut, it’s really hard for any Lebanese to manage without an electric generator, which imposes another bill to calculate for. This does also apply to public and bottled water.
#3. Maintenance fees
This consists of the money you pay on a monthly basis for the building's maintenance work. On a sarcastic note, I haven’t personally seen any maintenance work being done in our building. Yet, you like I have to pay those fees, and, if we don’t, we become one of those bullied and expelled neighbors, and tagged as "cheap".
While it’s true that we have low-cost foods such as Hummus and Man2oushe, it doesn’t necessarily mean we eat them daily or eat only that. Therefore, and since we Lebanese love food, love to enjoy food, and love to pamper our stomach with food, it is unthinkably outrageous for us to relinquish that joy of ours. Call it an investment in our happiness, even if it is a big one!
#5. Car loan
Again, if you’re fortunate enough to have inherited a car or to have had enough money to “tiko tak” pay for your car (Lebanese slang indicating a cash payment), you can move to number 4. Otherwise, you can relate how burdening it is to eliminate a considerable sum of money from your salary to pay the car loan installments.
#6. Gasoline/Cab Fares
As we all know, “benzine” or gasoline in Lebanon is so expensive and keeps on having its price increased. So if you don’t have to deal with your car loan installments, you will certainly have to fuel your car every 4-5 days as an average.
If, on the other hand, you are not a car owner, you will need to make sure you’re wisely calculating your monthly cab fares. Of course, exceptions may happen because since we don’t have a cab fare estimator in Lebanon, drivers may charge you a little bit more or less depending on their mood and relationship status of the day.
#7. Education tuition fees
This does actually apply to almost everyone! If you’re not married and have kids, you may be working so hard still to pay your tuition fees. Good thing is that the quality of education in Lebanon is really good and reputable, which makes you cope emotionally, morally, and psychologically - to a certain extent, of course - with these burdening fees!
In case you haven’t been prescribed any meds, your parents or grandparents may have been. Given the fact that not everybody in Lebanon is insured and that the reimbursement of the national social security may take forever, paying for meds and accounting for potential hospital entry fees is something you can’t disregard when living in Lebanon.
#9. Family assistance
Whether you are working abroad or living in Lebanon, there’s that sum of money that you need to allocate for your family. It’s actually one of those genuine and classic traits of Lebanese people to reimburse their parents or grandparents some of the efforts they have put into raising and educating them.
Summing up the above, it can really get draining for someone to work an average of 48 hours per week and accommodate for all what’s above of mentioned expenses. One needs in fact to feel alive and to spend some money on themselves. It could be a new watch, a new trendy perfume, or a pair of shoes or any similar that can make them feel good about themselves.
#11. Cigarettes, cigars, shisha, etc.
Knowing how stressful life can be in Lebanon, you will find that a huge proportion of the Lebanese people do actually smoke to blow that stress away. Getting your daily dose of nicotine can, therefore, be averagely expensive and costly!
#12. Beauty Expenses
If you're about to close that article because of your gender or because you think that this doesn't concern or involve you as a man, then don't. Beauty expenses can be very common among both males and females in Lebanon. Whether it's a manicure, pedicure, haircut, hairdo or even beard trimming, we do invest in our self-care weekly.