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Old 15.12.2006, 01:04
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I just graduated from college recently and I've been eyeing the idea of moving to Europe for atleast a couple years before i settle, not sure where though. Right now I'm researching where I should move to.

I'm self employed and work online/telecommute so finding a job isn't a problem for me.

For an average person living in good neighbhorhood, how much am I going to have to spend monthly or how much annual income do I need to be able to live comfortably in Geneva or Zurich? This includes everything, food, insurance, rent, and other necessary spendings. I want to have my place, so I guess the rent will be higher.

Right now, my other choice is Brighton over in Britain, but I've been hearing a lot of good things about Swizterland.

Do you think $48k USD or 57,768 CHF is enough and have some money for savings and retirement?

btw, I ways reading in a guide book last night, do the police dislike (maybe the word is too strong) non-white ppl? I'm asian.

thanks!

I also want to add that I live a pretty cheaply. I'd rather cook than eat out.

Last edited by Lob; 15.12.2006 at 06:03. Reason: merged because you don't have an edit button :)
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Old 15.12.2006, 06:02
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

the police dislike criminals. Stay out of that category and you should not get beaten by them too regularly....

You'll live pretty cheaply and survive on that as a single person. Would I? Nope. But in theory you'll move upwards, earn more and spend more.

You'll soon start to want to do "stuff" and spend all of your money. And why not? Surely you don't want to work, come home, eat - then stare at your walls for the rest of your life? What about student debts to clear?

How did you come about that figure btw?
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Old 15.12.2006, 06:40
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

From what I know from speaking with people that live in Zurich city and Geneva (that means right in the city and not in the suburbs) you can expect to spend around 3,000 - 3500 CHF per month if you live (as you say) very cheaply. That is provided you get a one bedroom place for around 1800 CHF per month. Rent will most likely be your highest monthly payment. The rest will be utilities, mandatory health insurance, taxes, food, and the rest of the basics. This figure does not include money for any form of entertainment or extra funds for retirement. Both Zurich and Geneva are expensive as far as going out. Switzerland is nice but certainly not cheap.

Plus you mention that you are self-employed. Since you mention that you are planning on moving to Europe - might that indicate you are a non-EU citizen? Swiss have restrictions against self-employment by non-EU citizens. Check this forum for sections referring to work permits for further into.

As far as the police disliking non-whites, I am non-white and in over 5 years living here I have never had any encounters with the police. And I have not seen them hassling any asians either.
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Old 15.12.2006, 07:02
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

You're speaking in terms of dollars and coming to Europe - I'm assuming you're American?

If so, you're going to have a very difficult time getting a visa to live here or in the UK unless you've also got EU citizenship. Without a visa, you won't be able to rent an apartment, open a bank account, get a phone contract, etc.

What's your visa strategy?
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Old 16.12.2006, 02:16
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

Ooooh, reading some earlier threads on this forum, I've been sort of holding this in:

I wouldn't take advice from most people here about living cheaply.... Too many are rolling in the dough it seems to have any perspective.


Anyways. I did an internship in Geneva for 15 months and I survived on approximately CHF 1700 a month. CHF 950 of that went for sharing a 2 bedroom apartment and the rest, CHF 750 was my stipend for living expenses. On this I was able to:

-eat
-pay for internet
-travel (all over Switzerland, Barcelona, Poland, Edinburgh, Lyon twice, Cinque Terre and Florence, Turin for the Olympics)
-go out/eat out (this was not as often as I would have liked due to expense but still was decent)

Now, I am a calculating sort of dude but if you are smart about it, you be able to live on CHF 2000 a month with no problems. The extra CHF 300 I figure should cover your health insurance. The catch is you want your own place, you can find studios for CHF 1200-1400 but it will be a pain in the ass. I found my apartment in Eaux-Vives and it was great but that took a couple of months of looking.
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Old 16.12.2006, 07:49
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

Quote:
Ooooh, reading some earlier threads on this forum, I've been sort of holding this in:

I wouldn't take advice from most people here about living cheaply.... Too many are rolling in the dough it seems to have any perspective.

Anyways. I did an internship in Geneva for 15 months and I survived on approximately CHF 1700 a month. CHF 950 of that went for sharing a 2 bedroom apartment and the rest, CHF 750 was my stipend for living expenses. On this I was able to:

-eat
-pay for internet
-travel (all over Switzerland, Barcelona, Poland, Edinburgh, Lyon twice, Cinque Terre and Florence, Turin for the Olympics)
-go out/eat out (this was not as often as I would have liked due to expense but still was decent)

Now, I am a calculating sort of dude but if you are smart about it, you be able to live on CHF 2000 a month with no problems. The extra CHF 300 I figure should cover your health insurance. The catch is you want your own place, you can find studios for CHF 1200-1400 but it will be a pain in the ass. I found my apartment in Eaux-Vives and it was great but that took a couple of months of looking.
You might be interested to know that according to Swiss Info:

The bread line is defined by a net monhtly income of SFr2,480 ($2,053) for a single person and SFr4,600 for a family with two children.

Article about poverty and welfare where I got the info

It is not a cheap place to live. I know, I'm not nor have ever been "rolling in it". My husband and I lived just above the povery line for a single person - and we were two - for over a year. We would not have survived if it wasn't for the generosity of his family.
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Old 16.12.2006, 15:13
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

I was well aware of the fact that I was living beneath the poverty line. I had to compete with all the old ladies sniping up the 50% meat at Co-Op.
.
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Old 16.12.2006, 21:59
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

Good luck Andrzej

PM if you want to chat in Polish

J
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Old 28.04.2007, 13:13
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

can anyone tell me what is utilities cost in zurich,
water, elec, gas, hmmm whats left :S

im single so should be not too high

thnx

chahine
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Old 28.04.2007, 13:43
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

often some of this is included in the monthly rent. Heating usually is. Water usually is. Electricity usually is not.

I believe your electricity will cost less than 100 francs per month. It costs the same to turn on a light if you're alone, btw
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Old 14.07.2008, 08:30
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

Hi, We are currently relocating to Zurich (wife and I, no kids) from Australia and looking to move at the beginning of August.

How long does it take to find a 2 bedroom apartment in Zurich at this time of year?
What is the neccesary bond on rental apartments?
Is there large price differences between rental prices in Zurich central verse the suburbs?
What is the travel time between Lusanne and Zurich and Geneva and Zurich? Could you do this as a daily commute?

We appreciate your comments/suggestions?
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Old 14.07.2008, 08:38
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

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What is the travel time between Lusanne and Zurich and Geneva and Zurich? Could you do this as a daily commute?

We appreciate your comments/suggestions?
Switzerland might look small on the map, especially compared to Australia, but it's no that small! You'd be mad to make this commute on a daily basis, why not move to Geneva or Lausanne?

To answer the question, about 2 hours Zurich -> Lausanne
2:45ish Zurich -> Geneva
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Old 14.07.2008, 20:17
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

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From what I know from speaking with people that live in Zurich city and Geneva (that means right in the city and not in the suburbs) you can expect to spend around 3,000 - 3500 CHF per month if you live (as you say) very cheaply. That is provided you get a one bedroom place for around 1800 CHF per month. Rent will most likely be your highest monthly payment. The rest will be utilities, mandatory health insurance, taxes, food, and the rest of the basics. This figure does not include money for any form of entertainment or extra funds for retirement. Both Zurich and Geneva are expensive as far as going out. Switzerland is nice but certainly not cheap.
.
Some areas in Zurich is not that expensive at all. I am finding a flat. A single room in Area 2 or 3,4 costs 850-1000 CHF per month, including extra charges. My friend lives in Area(Kreis) 1 and his 1.5 flat costs only slightly more than CHF 1100. Supermarket food in Zurich is only a little more expensive than in London. Eating out is expensive though.
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Old 14.07.2008, 21:03
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

As far as cost of living in Switzerland is concerend, the greatest expense will always be apartment rent which will set you back about 25%-30% of your net income (I calculated it relative to engineering salary working e.g. for Alsom or ABB), but it obviously might differ depending on your preferences. Then you usually get an apartment refurnished with main appliances i.e. fridge, dishwasher, stove and oven and sometimes even washing machine. Having all that stuff, all you need to get is kitchen utensils and off you are ready to cook.

When I stayed by myself for the first few months my shoping from MIGROS cost me only CHF60-CHF75 per week. It included diaries, pastries light meat, soda, chocolate and sometimes bottle of wine or beer. Breakfast very simple cereals or yougurt and cup of cofee add some vitamins which cost peanuts. Supper would consist of pastas, rice or potatoes with salads and veggies, fish fingers you name it. There are lots of affordable chow that you need to shop around for. Additional to that is cost of lunch in the company at about CHF10 per day but you can make your lunchbox and cut on the cost...

After my girfriend joined me, the cost of food only raised to CHF100 per week so as a single person you can easily survive on CHF400 per month food wise.

I have to point out that my meals are usually healthy and tasty. I would refute my previous statements that Switzerland is so expensive as far as food, yet meat is costly but in general given indexes and relative to your income it is surprisingly all reasonable.

Just one needs to shop around and discover delicious goods which often are on sale!!!
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Old 13.05.2010, 11:38
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

Personally I think you need at least CHF120,000 to live comfortably in Zurich as it is a very expensive city..!
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Old 13.05.2010, 11:40
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

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Personally I think you need at least CHF120,000 to live comfortably in Zurich as it is a very expensive city..!
..

Congratulations on your tenth post, btw.
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Old 13.05.2010, 11:48
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Re: Average cost of living in Zurich or Geneva for single person?

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Personally I think you need at least CHF120,000 to live comfortably in Zurich as it is a very expensive city..!
I find that you need at least 200k to live in Zürich - it starts with the atrocious price of Marmite, plane flights to GB for brown sugar and constant begging letters from EF posters before launching into serious expenditure - any idea how much it costs for dry cleaning a smoking jacket in this city? The jag drinks more than Uncle Max on a Friday night and a lunchtime sauasage at the Kronenhalle .. oh never mind .. a peasant on 120k wouldn't understand anyway
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