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  #61  
Old 27.09.2016, 15:16
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Re: Supporting your wife

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No wonder you got no money left if student loans eat up almost 20% of your monthly income. You may not be able to freeze it, but I'd consider alternative solutions until your financial situation is better i.e. your wife finds a job. Can't your or her parents loan you the money and you repay at a later time?

If not - or at any rate for that matter: how much is your rent? Looks like you need to find a cheaper accommodation or cut costs elsewhere. 200.- for food for two people, plus leisure, clothing and whatnot, is absolutely nothing.
Her parents have no money (hence the student loans!) and mine say it's good life experience.

Cheaper housing may be the only cut we can make, but nothing will make a significant difference, also there's the moving expenses which we can't afford, and we have to give 3 months notice, another reason why we chose the place we did was because it was one of the few that didn't require any downpayment like most others do. We didn't have much of a choice.

Why did we move to Switzerland? If we didn't have the cash? Well, that goes without saying that one is way better off here no matter what. If we were both working full time, we still wouldn't make nearly as much as I'm making right now here with us both in junior positions. And once she does start working, the strong Swiss franc will help a lot with paying off the debt which is in Canadian dollars. But yes, there, the debt payments would be eating over 50% of my salary after taxes.
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:24
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Re: Supporting your wife

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Rent is a bit higher than some places, but we're set there....so can't change that at least need to give 3 months notice to move and that's just more expenses.
Swisscom is way too much for somebody on a tight budget. You can easily be spending less then half of what you are now. There are options like Mbudget, Coop Mobile or even cheaper ones such as Lebara. Having to face living on 200 CHF a month, TV-subscribtion and Billag would be also far away on my priorities list.

You also mentioned your wife only just gets rejections, which implies she's not moving around much. Wouldn't a halbtax and an occasional ticket come out much cheaper than a GA?

Swisscaution is a solution for people who have no budget for down payments. Most renters seem to accept that nowadays.

The way I see it, you could squeeze several hundreds of savings per month with a better budget, start paying off the student load as soon as possible and live with progressively less financial burden every month.
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:30
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Re: Supporting your wife

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Why did we move to Switzerland? If we didn't have the cash? Well, that goes without saying that one is way better off here no matter what. If we were both working full time, we still wouldn't make nearly as much as I'm making right now here with us both in junior positions. And once she does start working, the strong Swiss franc will help a lot with paying off the debt which is in Canadian dollars. But yes, there, the debt payments would be eating over 50% of my salary after taxes.
Well that might be true, but as you see yourself now, scraping by on essentially 200.- for two people does not exactly make for a "better life". While I'm certainly not one of those who say you can't live on that salary - you absolutely can, even with two people, if it weren't for the loans as you say yourself - even I would say essentially 25.- for each of your per week is a really really shitty existence. And it's only been a few weeks now, not sure how you'll feel about this a few months down the line.

What's done is done though, you're here, now you need to find a way to deal.

Agree moving won't do it or rather just be a drop in the ocean. So I don't really have any useful advice. Unless you want to move in with your parents for a while. Or you could look into subletting a room in a flatshare for the both of you (not easy to find, but they exist - there are e.g. people who rent houses and share them among 4 or 5 people, sometimes one or two couples etc). Or get your parents to at least cover half of the loans (life experience is good and all, but well...). I don't really see where else you could save money other than a few bucks maybe with your cell phone subscriptions, which you should be able to cut down to 100.- between the two of you. You could also cut at least one GA, especially as your wife doesn't seem to need to move around as much as you thought and if she eventually does, you can still go back to buying one (or buy a GA just for the days she indeed needs it). Would at least give you a bit more money. But eventually, the living situation is really the only bit where you could save a significant amount of money.

Since you need to prepare for her to not find a job for several months (yes, it is better to think of the realistic or - if you will - worst-case scenario), you may really need to look into some, well, creative options here.
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:33
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Re: Supporting your wife

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-4% for my military compensation tax.
When did they double it, it used to be 2%.

Tom
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:37
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In Canada it was worse, we were going in the hole each month, about $350 in the minus every month, and there we were considered to be in "good standing" compared to others. Most our age decided to go to school again just to get another student loan to cover them for another 3-5 years, but then they will have to pay back 6 figures....the economy is ruined there. I was told by Randstad in Kitchener/Waterloo that getting $16/h was a very good salary!

Those in their 30s and 40s seemed to be the ones in the last good standing in Ontario, now for the new young adults, finding a job is a nightmare, there it took me 5 months to land 1 job where here it took me a week to get 4 contracts! People are fighting to get jobs at Timmies and McDonalds, which pays $11.20/h

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When did they double it, it used to be 2%.

Tom
True, my Dad thought so as well. But it's 4% for a shorter period of time. Used to be you had to pay well into your 50s, now it's stops at 34 I believe.
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:40
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Re: Supporting your wife

If she can't find anything else, she could work as an au-pair or nanny for a while?

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Those in their 30s and 40s seemed to be the ones in the last good standing in Ontario, now for the new young adults, finding a job is a nightmare, there it took me 5 months to land 1 job where here it took me a week to get 4 contracts! People are fighting to get jobs at Timmies and McDonalds, which pays $11.20/h
Yes for you maybe. Maybe you just got lucky. It's not exactly roses and rainbows here either, though, especially for young people. Better than elsewhere, sure. But the bar's not exactly set very high.
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:45
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Re: Supporting your wife

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When did they double it, it used to be 2%.

Tom
This says 3% (4th question)
https://www.estv.admin.ch/estv/de/ho...antworten.html
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Old 27.09.2016, 15:49
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If she can't find anything else, she could work as an au-pair or nanny for a while?



Yes for you maybe. Maybe you just got lucky. It's not exactly roses and rainbows here either, though, especially for young people. Better than elsewhere, sure. But the bar's not exactly set very high.
It's an option.

Yes, maybe I did get lucky, I did my apprenticeship here as an elektroniker in the aviation business, they seem to be of short supply these days as few want to go through 4 years of grinding your head against the math cheese grater (it really was 4 years of calculations). I remember my Lehrmeister complaining that nobody wanted to do a 4 year apprenticeship anymore and at RUAG all the 4 year apprenticeships still had vacancies yet the 3 year ones were always full.

That's the benefit of the apprenticeship program here, you develop contacts on the road while working and learning. So for me finding something was easy once I got here (from abroad they nobody answered).

Anyway, we'll keep looking and eventually something will pop up. In the meantime I might start liquidating my military antique collection...Iron Cross anyone?

Interesting. My bill is roughly 4%, I'll have to enquire about that.

What was/is silly though, when I went to Canada, I had to pay 3 years compensation in advance based on an average Canadian salary (which they said was 55k...I wish!) and then here I have still some "credit" from that...But it won’t be applied until my final year of paying compensation….oh well…
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Old 27.09.2016, 16:04
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Re: Supporting your wife

Hi Arthur,
I have no advise to give you but i am impressed by how you are taking on the situation in such a positive way. As Odlie said earlier in this thread, these struggles will make you stronger as a couple and life is all about ups and downs. I am sure you will remember these moments later in your life and can teach some of your values to your kids (if you make any). My best wishes to your family and hope your wife finds some job soon.


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  #70  
Old 27.09.2016, 16:06
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Re: Supporting your wife

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Hi Arthur,
I have no advise to give you but i am impressed by how you are taking on the situation in such a positive way. As Odlie said earlier in this thread, these struggles will make you stronger as a couple and life is all about ups and downs. I am sure you will remember these moments later in your life and can teach some of your values to your kids (if you make any). My best wishes to your family and hope your wife finds some job soon.


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Not sure I would put it (bold) in such absolute terms really...

Agree with the rest though.
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Old 27.09.2016, 16:18
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Re: Supporting your wife

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Hi Arthur,
I have no advise to give you but i am impressed by how you are taking on the situation in such a positive way. As Odlie said earlier in this thread, these struggles will make you stronger as a couple and life is all about ups and downs. I am sure you will remember these moments later in your life and can teach some of your values to your kids (if you make any). My best wishes to your family and hope your wife finds some job soon.


cheers
happycreature
Many thanks, I've been though rough times before and we've been through hard times together as well. But we've only come out stronger, which is why I don't get my knickers in a knot about it anymore....just stiff upper lip, chin in, chest out and march on, just got a great person by my side now to keep me company.
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Old 27.09.2016, 16:38
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Re: Supporting your wife

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Bit different for us:
Insurance is 406 for the two of us it's a package with household ins.
GA is 570 for the 2 of us (she needs to get around as well for potential interviews)
Swisscom with internet and phones is 220 for the two of us
Radio/TV is 38
Rent is 1670 all included
Consider quickline as Internet Provider and yallo postpaid for phones. It's around 100.-/month you save on a very good service. I'm quickline customer and would keep it even if it's more expensive...
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  #73  
Old 27.09.2016, 16:44
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Re: Supporting your wife

I was on an extremely tight budget when I first came to CH. Far less than the gross you described. From what you've described your standard of living is simply too high for your income. You're not really living according to your means.

I would cut way down on mobile, rent and the GA for your girlfriend is a pure luxury that you should axe straightaway. There used to be something called Gleis 7 for young people where you could travel free after 7pm for a ridiculously low annual fee. I'd look into that and use Halbtax for other journeys.

Also, you will certainly qualify for subsidised healthcare, so look into that asap. Contrary to what some people have suggested, it will not affect any permit and/or citizenship applications. (Nor will being on unemployment btw.)

At the same time, it's only been three weeks and maybe you're worrying too much too quickly?
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Old 27.09.2016, 16:46
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Could be an option in the future but our phones are 2 year contracts, so can't change it there and our internet is a lot cheaper then. and is that 100.- per person?

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I was on an extremely tight budget when I first came to CH. Far less than the gross you described. From what you've described your standard of living is simply too high for your income. You're not really living according to your means.

I would cut way down on mobile, rent and the GA for your girlfriend is a pure luxury that you should axe straightaway. There used to be something called Gleis 7 for young people where you could travel free after 7pm for a ridiculously low annual fee. I'd look into that and use Halbtax for other journeys.

Also, you will certainly qualify for subsidised healthcare, so look into that asap. Contrary to what some people have suggested, it will not affect any permit and/or citizenship applications. (Nor will being on unemployment btw.)

At the same time, it's only been three weeks and maybe you're worrying too much too quickly?
We're married, so she's not my girlfriend.

The rent is on contract, have to give three months notice, and the cost too move, we don't have the funds. This was stated before.

Mobile is fairly reasonable I think actually, and besides, contract, would cost CHF 500.- per person to cancel.

As for the GA, if she travels to any major city 2 times a week, then she pays it off already. It's CHF 240.- for hers, if she got a regional pass (for bus and regional train to get groceries...the regional pass is close to CHF 140.-) and a half tax....you end up paying more really, especially if she starts getting interviews and has to travel to Basel, Zürich or Bern etc as it's close to CHF 30.- there and back with a half tax.
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Old 27.09.2016, 16:59
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Re: Supporting your wife

Well, seems like you're stuck then as you're unable to take on any of the suggestions provided by the many people who responded. All you can do is skip the ice cream after dinner and not make the same mistake next time you're looking for accommodation, internet, insurance etc.

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We're married, so she's not my girlfriend.

The rent is on contract, have to give three months notice, and the cost too move, we don't have the funds. This was stated before.

Mobile is fairly reasonable I think actually, and besides, contract, would cost CHF 500.- per person to cancel.

As for the GA, if she travels to any major city 2 times a week, then she pays it off already. It's CHF 240.- for hers, if she got a regional pass (for bus and regional train to get groceries...the regional pass is close to CHF 140.-) and a half tax....you end up paying more really, especially if she starts getting interviews and has to travel to Basel, Zürich or Bern etc as it's close to CHF 30.- there and back with a half tax.
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Old 27.09.2016, 17:09
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Re: Supporting your wife

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If she can't find anything else, she could work as an au-pair or nanny for a while?
I'll second this idea.

And even if your wife does not want to commit short or medium term-ish to a job outside her field, there are plenty of one off or occasional jobs she might consider doing that would still leave her time to interview.

I'll throw in my oft-repeated suggestion: With the holidays approaching many people are absolutely desperate for pet care, especially dog care. If she has any interest, skill, or experience in that area, she might consider it. To give you an idea, overnight care in the client's home usually commands CHF 200 per day - which even if she only worked one week a month would be a help.

One off or occasional jobs would still leave plenty of time free to continue the search for a job in her field.

All the best to you two...
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Old 27.09.2016, 17:32
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Re: Supporting your wife

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As for the GA, if she travels to any major city 2 times a week, then she pays it off already. It's CHF 240.- for hers, if she got a regional pass (for bus and regional train to get groceries...the regional pass is close to CHF 140.-) and a half tax....you end up paying more really, especially if she starts getting interviews and has to travel to Basel, Zürich or Bern etc as it's close to CHF 30.- there and back with a half tax.
In other words, she would have to get >3 interviews-in-major-cities per month before the GA actually becomes the cheaper option. In the meantime 100 francs a month is quite a bit of ice cream after dinner.

Of course maybe you guys use the GAs for weekend sightseeing as well, and that's good if you do. I'm not saying you should definitely give it up - just be aware in your planning that it is a luxury, one which you're currently agreeing to prioritize over other luxuries such as the aforementioned ice cream.
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Old 27.09.2016, 17:35
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Re: Supporting your wife

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...And then we're not even paying off the student loan yet nor putting anything into savings.

Anyway. As I said, without the student loan repayment, we'd be fine.
Have you looked into changing the payment temporarily, until you're more financially secure? That might be a quicker way to get some relief while she is searching for a job.

http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/student_loa...ssistance.page
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Old 27.09.2016, 17:47
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Re: Supporting your wife

I mentioned it several times but perhaps the replies got lost in the pile: the interest on Canadian student loans is deductible from taxable income in Switzerland as well as any other interest paid on debts (credit cards, etc, both in Switzerland and abroad). Depending on your marginal tax rate this could still save you a (few?) hundred a month since the largest portion of the monthly payment in the early years is interest.

And I'll join the get-rid-of-the-GA school of thought: half-fare card cost comes to some CHF15/month and if your wife only needs to travel for groceries and an occasional interview (inshallah) it will definitely be cheaper than GA.

P.S. The last comment in parenthesis is just to test whether the new surveillance law is already in effect

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Old 27.09.2016, 18:14
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Re: Supporting your wife

Okay, if she's only been looking for 3 weeks that's a bit optimistic. Yes, you can get a job quickly, but Swiss employers don't always move as fast as you may be used to when it comes to hiring. And even experienced/specialists can find it takes months to get a job.

Keep looking and applying for anything suitable. She should also check down at the local RAV office for vacancies which may not be advertised elsewhere. Work on the language and hang in there. Something will turn up. And consider this: with such a low income you may be due a tax refund.
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