The latest issue of Voices That Matter includes “Making ends meet for Polish immigrants,” translated into English from the Polish-language Nowy Dziennik.
The article delves into the question of "what do Polish immigrants spend their money on?" It paints a picture of careful consumers who strive to save as much money as possible.
Alcohol, nevertheless, remains a wide-spread luxury. “A Pole is not a camel, he has to drink,” Marek of Greenpoint told the paper. “I don’t even count how much I spend on beer because it upsets me, but I think it probably would be a lot. I have to be able to have some fun after work.”
Aside from alcohol, rent appears to be the biggest expense, followed by groceries. Education and medical expenses make up another big chunk of many Polish immigrants' budgets, though some in the article admitted to putting of medical care to save the money.
Not everyone is in such dire straights, however. Irena, a tax preparer whose clients are mostly Polish, told Nowy Dziennik that most of her clients declare about $30,000 per year, with more than a quarter making over $40,000 and about ten percent making over $100,000. The more wealthy Polish immigrant, she believes, are younger people with managerial positions and good educations working in US companies. Similarly, business owners and smaller contractors are doing quite well for themselves.
"So maybe Poles simply complain more than they have reason to, as it is a part of their nature. But, they are able to save. Or maybe only some don’t have real reasons to complain; the truth is somewhere in the middle," Nowy Dziennik concludes.