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Old 23.05.2020, 07:48
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rachvdg rachvdg is offline
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

Hi all - thanks to those who have taken the time to write helpful posts on the matter :-) It has been very informative ;-)

And just to mention a couple of things - while we do have some friends in the region, none of them have 4 kids, so that makes it tricky to compare (most have 1 or 2) or they have 3 but they live over the border in France and have lived in the region a long time, worked for big companies and earn mega bucks in Geneva...so its kind of hard to get a realistic view of what's "doable" for us...hence I thought to throw the net wide and find out from the forum....but it also seems that there aren't many (I've only heard from 1) family with 4 kids that are making it work in Switzerland who shared their income for me to get an idea. But all the comments have been helpful in making me think about things I may not have on my own...

So its been interesting reading through everyone's comments and views on quality of life etc...thanks :-)

I will have the ability to work again in the coming years as well, which will help, but initially, for sure we would need to survive on the one income, so that is why the need to set the benchmark. We will just have to decide to not come back until we get a job for my husband that is over the threshold for what we consider doable.

As far as budget considerations go - specific things for us as a family would be that our food budget is always massive due to multiple food allergies and special diet considerations we have to make due to health issues (food allergies/health conditions) in the family - which means we spend WAY more than normal, just cooking at home and eating "basic" - ie. not fancy or eating out - and my kids now eat more than my husband and I - which is a huge shift for us with financially planning that out...I have done a "theoretical" online shop on Coop.ch and migros.ch for a week's worth of food for us - just basics that we would normally get through here - etc. and it comes to about 400chf a week - which is way higher than the average from what I can tell!!

That does not include ANY luxuries like wine, chocolate, snacks (which we don't often have ever anyway) etc..... that's just 3 meals a day for 7 days...feeding 6 is expensive if you don't want to be spending all your money going to the doctor afterwards to fix all the problems that are caused by eating the wrong stuff and suffering as a result. ie. we eat lots of veges/fruit, dairy, meat, eggs, nuts etc...and unfortunately those are all the most expensive! We have to be very careful about consuming any grain based foods due to multiple food issues.

About housing - with 4 kids - we have to consider that there aren't many places that will rent to us, as we will be considered an "high" usage family (we also have a small dog and cat), so I know that finding a place "cheap" probably isn't likely especially since looking in the wider area where we will need to move rents for anything with 4 bedrooms is between 3500+ per month, on average...so that takes a massive chunk out of the budget. Its just stuff to consider. We have no problem living in a smaller place - we have done it multiple times and size doesn't really matter as long as it is functional for all our needs and is in the general proximity to where we need to be.

I read one of the comments about how my husband must be feeling stressed about being the only bread winner in the house and how Switzerland will be harder with that - and yes...that is one of the main reasons I am doing this research so that we can set a benchmark in our minds of what he would be willing to move for - and nothing less...or it will increase his stress rather than reducing it...which in many ways would outweigh any benefits of moving back - because the main reason would be to be home and actually increase our family time together somehow as well etc. rather than reducing it...so that is a big consideration on my part for him.

Reality is, despite all the depressing things about how expensive certain things will be, overall Switzerland is where our hearts are and where we want to have the kids grow up longer term for sure, so I guess at the end of the day like one of the poster's said...we just have to make the leap of faith and jump.

I have to trust that it will work out in the end, and we may need to sacrifice certain things but I think overall our lives will be better because we will be surrounded by community and friends once again that we love - and this will make all the difference, which is what we have been so missing on our journey so far, despite all the extra perks of a big house etc.

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