With fuel and energy prices going through the roof, Belgians are living differently and making significant lifestyle changes as they fear that the tough situation will continue.
According to a poll carried out by several Belgian news outlets (Het Laatste Nieuws, VTM Nieuws, RTL and Le Soir), almost half (48%) of those living in the country find it difficult to make ends meet at the end of the month. In Wallonia, 55% are struggling.
The unprecedented rise in energy prices is a great concern to the Belgian population. In Wallonia, 58% fear that they won't be able to pay their energy bill. In Flanders, 35% are uncertain. Amid the uncertainty and rising bills, much of the Belgian population has decided to change their way of living; six in ten heat their house less frequently.
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As the fuel prices rise above €2 per litre, one in two are using their car less or not at all. If they do use it, six in ten Walloons tend to drive more slowly. In Flanders, this figure is 48%, all in the bid to reduce fuel consumption.
More drastic alternatives
The rising energy and fuel prices also have an impact on how people spend their free time. Half of the respondents indicate they will spend less money on hobbies.
Some people are planning to drastically change their way of living: 22% are looking for alternative ways to heat up their house, 17% will go for home insulation. To avoid the huge bills each time they fill up at the service station, 16% of the Belgian population are considering buying a car with lower fuel consumption.