FOCUS online: Some time ago we spoke to two police commissioners who estimated how difficult it was for them to make ends meet month after month.

And I think that's exactly the point: you do have difficulties with that. So it's a subjective problem. I am also in a similar situation and I am not having a bad time. I see that I earn quite well and have a lot left over at the end of the month.

He has written to the editors to clarify this accordingly. What motivated you to take this step?

The two interviews with Meike and Linus bothered me a lot. Both sound like ingratitude to me. Some of the things that were said seem almost scandalous to me.

What do you mean?

For example with Linus. He says that for someone who is on the streets every day and sometimes has to deal with the deepest abysses of humanity, there should be more. He claims that he likes being a police officer, but after this statement I have a hard time believing him. It is true that our daily lives at work are sometimes hard.

“But you know that before you decide on this job.”

Maybe not in all the details? Perhaps certain events surprised Linus?

Sorry, that's the case with all jobs. There are always areas of responsibility that you did not expect and that you may not have learned about during your training. What's it called? You grow with your tasks. That's how I see it. In this context another saying also fits me: 'Love it, change it or leave it'. So: “Love what you do, get along, or find something else.” If professional reality differs so much from what Linus expected, if he is perhaps even traumatized by what he experienced, he should change jobs. For me I can say: There are always days when you can't pay me with money for what I have done. Once again, the stakes are high. Difficult destinies in which one is involved, deaths. But we are not alone in this!

Quite?

Even a doctor, a paramedic, or a kindergarten teacher probably has days when from time to time they say: What I did today cannot be compensated with money.

So much for the content expectations of a job. Are we talking about money?

Gladly. I can only emphasize again: I consider myself privileged with what I earn. Well, when I once read that my net income already puts me in the upper middle class, I was a little surprised. I don't consider myself exactly rich. But I'm fine, I get along very well and I can easily afford some luxuries. I'm living pretty much exactly the life I imagined. By the way: I don't understand why my colleagues are so surprised by their financial situation. After all, the numbers are public.

“Everyone can consult the salary table on the Internet”

I can't answer that for you. However, both point to the recent sharp rise in prices.

Inflation affects everyone in this country, not just us police officers. This is not a police problem. For me it is not logical to discuss work stress. The logical thing would be to say: Yes, everything has become more expensive. But as a police officer I still earn much more than the average in Germany.

Please, let's be specific. Is your financial situation comparable to that of Linus and Meike? Are you also 26 years old, a police commissioner in your second year of employment and have around 2,700 euros net, like these two?

I'm in my early 30s, in my ninth year of professional work, and now a police chief. For me it is currently 3150 euros net. However, I pay more rent, 1000 warm euros. Therefore, the amount Linus and Meike have available after deducting the apartment expenses should be comparable to what I have left.

Each of the colleagues described their spending situation in great detail.

If you want, I can do it too. I have been keeping meticulous records of all income and expenses for years. When it comes to insurance, I feel very similar to previous speakers. Every month about 400 euros are lost. In addition to health insurance and entitlements, this amount also includes private retirement provision: the Riester pension and two savings funds.

You've already mentioned your rental costs.

At this point I would also like to mention that I consider my living situation to be an absolute luxury. I have a nice, spacious three-bedroom apartment. Only for me. A family could live here just as easily. You have to keep that in mind. I have this entire apartment to myself. An apartment in the city of Cologne, yes. Craziness.

What else did you notice about expenses?

There is this collective amount, 550 euros. This category includes electricity, mobile phones, Internet, GEZ and some streaming providers. And also the luxury car.

We would now be at 1950 euros, which will be deducted from your account every month.

You can see it. More than €1,000 left.

His colleague Linus had budgeted 400 euros a month for the car. For him, it is an “honest calculation.”

For me, the mentioned amount includes a fixed amount of 200 euros. For financing. Gasoline and workshop costs are additional.

Well, that reduces your “advantage.” Can you explain why you still consider your financial framework to be relaxed or even generous overall? While your colleagues complain under comparable conditions?

Honestly no. When I read both interviews, I couldn't stop shaking my head.

“Have you never heard of Tupperware containers?

That?

For example, the additional 100 euros per meal on duty, with Linus. He justifies this with the rotating shift and the fact that, in certain circumstances, you often have to pick something up as you go. Have you never heard of Tupperware containers? For me, a sandwich does the job. Sometimes I cook something ahead of time, bring it in, and then heat it up in the microwave at work. If I spend 100 euros a month on snacks, it is 10 euros every two days for 20 working days. I don't know if it has to be like this. Speaking of which: the gym doesn't have to be there either. It's true, ideally a police officer should be reasonably fit. But I can also stay fit by running or doing free exercise.

Did the two colleagues calculate incorrectly?

The real issue is probably less mathematical and more psychological.

What do you mean?

“I don't want to give up”, that's what I mean. Especially tempting for people who do this kind of thing: small amounts like 2.99 or 5.99 euros. That doesn't seem like much at first. But as we all know, small animals make messes too. If you fail to discipline yourself to a certain extent, you quickly lose track of things.

And do you have that?

I think so. I can manage my resources well, simply because I am willing to do so.

What do you mean “I'm ready”?

I am a police commissioner, even a high-ranking police commissioner. But I don't secretly think it's better. And I certainly don't feel like a victim when I see that I have to control my spending, just like other people. I have no problem telling my friends that I prefer to skip the third beer of the night. And I don't stress about alcohol levels and things like that.

“Learn to appreciate what you have”

What helps you discipline yourself?

Learn to value what you have, I always say. So when you're having a beer, don't complain about the number three you might get, but instead tell yourself: Hey, I had two, that was good. I have always looked twice when it comes to claims. During your studies, for example. Of course, it's nice to have a 13-inch Apple laptop in front of you for the first half of the year. I didn't have that. I settled for a pen and a college notebook.

Then you were probably the exception.

There were a few others where it was similar. Okay, without Internet access it will be difficult to study. But nowadays everyone has a smartphone. And if you like working on a screen, you can also do it at the public library. No, a laptop is not a requirement to study. And it's certainly not your own four walls either.

What are you talking about?

Many people around me really wanted to move early and be free and independent. Some started looking for an apartment at 17 years old. I deliberately stayed with my parents while studying. It is true that sometimes I was jealous of friends who lived alone. But looking back, my decision was right.

“The real problem is expectations”

Concrete?

As a trainee police officer, you already receive money during your training. For me it was about 1,100 euros a month, but now it is much more. At that time I deposited 500 euros in a savings account. At the end of the three years he had 18,000 euros. This meant I could afford a lot when I started working. Beautiful home furnishings, for example, high-quality kitchen equipment…

Those starting from scratch, like Linus and Meike, of course, have a different starting situation. Maybe that's a little explanation?

I do not believe that. Especially when Meike talked about his shoes with holes, he made me prick up my ears. I'm left with this: the real problem is expectations. Nowadays, many apprentices or young professionals want a lot, very quickly. Too much for my taste.