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Old 15.09.2011, 12:28
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Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

Hello all,

Currently, we live in France, and we would like to move to Geneva.

With my husband's net income of 5700CHF (I don't have income), renting an apartment (1-bedroom,1 living room, around 50m2) in Geneva, is it able to live in Geneva for 2 persons? We will buy food in France every weekends.

Other questions:
1. I saw an advertisement of T3 apartment. It only includes 1 bedroom with 1 living room, so what does 3 piece apartment mean? What is the 3rd piece?

2. If we move to Switzerland from France, will the net income increase or decrease? It will change a lot?

3. With the company FREE in France, we pay internet+TV+telephone only 30euros every month, how much is it in Switzerland?

4. How much for 2 person's medicine insurance? 700CHF per month?

I am afraid we can not afford the living in Switzerland with one person's salary.

Many thanks for your information!
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Old 15.09.2011, 12:37
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

Yes it is enough to live on
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Old 15.09.2011, 13:00
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

In Geneva, when they mention the number of rooms for an apartment, the kitchen is included. This means if the apartment is advertised for 3 rooms, it has a living room, a bedroom and the kitchen.
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Old 15.09.2011, 13:29
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

honestly I say no. it is not possible. I had a hard time living on that in MOntreux and if I wasnt living with my gf I could have not made it.

so in my opinion no you can not
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:00
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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honestly I say no. it is not possible. I had a hard time living on that in MOntreux and if I wasnt living with my gf I could have not made it.

so in my opinion no you can not
A lot of persons, including families with children, live with less than that, even in Geneva!

Of course you can live with that, but you must plan a careful budget and stick to it!
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:03
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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Hello all,


Other questions:
1. I saw an advertisement of T3 apartment. It only includes 1 bedroom with 1 living room, so what does 3 piece apartment mean? What is the 3rd piece?

2. If we move to Switzerland from France, will the net income increase or decrease? It will change a lot?

3. With the company FREE in France, we pay internet+TV+telephone only 30euros every month, how much is it in Switzerland?

4. How much for 2 person's medicine insurance? 700CHF per month?

I am afraid we can not afford the living in Switzerland with one person's salary.

Many thanks for your information!
1. as mentioned before. easily 1500 in Geneva (IF you find one)
2. it should decrease. I was around same salary and after deductions for ONE person I kept approx. 4800 net (AVS , insurance, etc etc)
3.75-100 a month
4. Mine is 188 a month and the gf is around the same (high deductable)


so 4800 ish-1500-400 is around 300o ish to live on; this is not including all the hidden cost for everything. you can do it but you will be living like hamsters.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:07
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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1. as mentioned before. easily 1500 in Geneva (IF you find one)
2. it should decrease. I was around same salary and after deductions for ONE person I kept approx. 4800 net (AVS , insurance, etc etc)
3.75-100 a month
4. Mine is 188 a month and the gf is around the same (high deductable)


so 4800 ish-1500-400 is around 300o ish to live on; this is not including all the hidden cost for everything. you can do it but you will be living like hamsters.
I fully agree, stay where you are, or try to move to a cheaper area in Switzerland, not Geneva.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:15
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

The rule of thumb I was told when relocating here is one third of your salary for rent, one third for expenses and one third as savings. So on that basis you would need to fina an apartment around 2000 CHF (look in www.homegate.ch and you can see what that gets you in Geneva). Then for about 470 CHF/week for two people I'd say thats quite tough when you take into account health insurance (it varies but assume say 150 CHF/mth minimum each and likely more like 2-300 CHF - depends on your excess as well as if you just have basic or private). If possible I'd do what we did which was spend a weekend/week in Geneva so you can get an idea of costs and compare with your current budget for all items - insurance etc and for anything you cannot find out then post here again and we should be able to provide advice! Hope it helps and good luck!
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:38
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

another possibility. how much do you keep at the end of the month now?
double that and add some change and that will (could) give you a rough estimate. In Belgium to here for example I do everything x3 price and income wise
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:48
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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1. as mentioned before. easily 1500 in Geneva (IF you find one)
2. it should decrease. I was around same salary and after deductions for ONE person I kept approx. 4800 net (AVS , insurance, etc etc)
3.75-100 a month
4. Mine is 188 a month and the gf is around the same (high deductable)


so 4800 ish-1500-400 is around 300o ish to live on; this is not including all the hidden cost for everything. you can do it but you will be living like hamsters.


So net salary is 4800

Rent - 1500
Internet/phone/TV/mobile etc - 150
Electricity - 80
Food - 800
Travel - 100
Health insurance - 400

That's 3030CHF per month. So 1800 per month after all expenses. Take another, maximum 800 for misc expenses is still a grand per month spare.

Saving 12k per year is hardly being a hamster.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:53
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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So net salary is 4800

Rent - 1500
Internet/phone/TV/mobile etc - 150
Electricity - 80
Food - 800
Travel - 100
Health insurance - 400

That's 3030CHF per month. So 1800 per month after all expenses. Take another, maximum 800 for misc expenses is still a grand per month spare.

Saving 12k per year is hardly being a hamster.
If you want to own a car, eat out a couple of times a week & go skiing at the weekend things will be tight.

I guess the insurance deductible is high, that's hardly 'savings'

If your looking for an apartment in Geneva today for 1500 you won't have much luck, that's very different from somebody who already has an apartment & just pays 1500.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:56
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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another possibility. how much do you keep at the end of the month now?
double that and add some change and that will (could) give you a rough estimate. In Belgium to here for example I do everything x3 price and income wise
In my experience Belgium is not that much cheaper than Switzerland so I don't think that's a very good benchmark.

France on the other hand should be cheaper than Geneva. I reckon it should be doable but I'm not an expert and I don't live in Geneva. Porsch's calculations look pretty good to me.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:02
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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If you want to own a car, eat out a couple of times a week & go skiing at the weekend things will be tight.

I guess the insurance deductible is high, that's hardly 'savings'

If your looking for an apartment in Geneva today for 1500 you won't have much luck, that's very different from somebody who already has an apartment & just pays 1500.
800 a month for food is a huge amount for 2 people especially if he's shopping in France. I spend about half of that for 2 people shopping in CH.

800 per month would pay for a decent enough car and for fuel.

4 weekends per month. Costs what 80CHF maximum for a ski pass so 640 per month for skiing. I'm sure he'd be better off getting a ski pass and 80CHF is really the high side of things in terms of ski passes. That is if he wants to go skiing at all.

Like I said...it's not living like a hamster.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:12
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

OP specifies NET income, so that's already more funds available than some are assuming.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:13
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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800 a month for food is a huge amount for 2 people especially if he's shopping in France. I spend about half of that for 2 people shopping in CH.

800 per month would pay for a decent enough car and for fuel.

4 weekends per month. Costs what 80CHF maximum for a ski pass so 640 per month for skiing. I'm sure he'd be better off getting a ski pass and 80CHF is really the high side of things in terms of ski passes. That is if he wants to go skiing at all.

Like I said...it's not living like a hamster.
Whilst it's possible to live on less, I would not choose to move to Geneva on that salary. I don't believe you can find an apartment in Geneva for 1500 at this time.

Have you included Parking, insurance & repairs in your calculations for a car? Do you don't own a car?

Edit, I don't doubt you could live very well in Neuchatel for the figures your quoting, I think Geneva is another matter especially for apartments.

Last edited by fatmanfilms; 15.09.2011 at 16:23.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:47
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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1. as mentioned before. easily 1500 in Geneva (IF you find one)
2. it should decrease. I was around same salary and after deductions for ONE person I kept approx. 4800 net (AVS , insurance, etc etc)
3.75-100 a month
4. Mine is 188 a month and the gf is around the same (high deductable)


so 4800 ish-1500-400 is around 300o ish to live on; this is not including all the hidden cost for everything. you can do it but you will be living like hamsters.
If we move to Geneva, the net income will be around 4800CHF? That's 900CHF deductions...

While we are in France, the Gross income is 6800CHF, net one is 5700CHF.
So we will only have 4800CHF also, if we live in Geneva? We are married couple and have no kids. I don't work.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:47
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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Whilst it's possible to live on less, I would not choose to move to Geneva on that salary. I don't believe you can find an apartment in Geneva for 1500 at this time.

Have you included Parking, insurance & repairs in your calculations for a car? Do you don't own a car?

Edit, I don't doubt you could live very well in Neuchatel for the figures your quoting, I think Geneva is another matter especially for apartments.
Given that Neuchatel is probably the most expensive canton to live in for taxes etc I don't think living here is significantly cheaper than Geneva with the exception of rental costs. Shopping in France is also a much bigger deal from Neuchatel than Geneva so we can't make the same savings there either.
Most of the other costs are like utilities, health insurance etc are pretty much the same across Switzerland.

We have a car and it costs about 300chf a month to run (servicing, fuel, insurance) but we don't have to pay parking.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:57
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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The rule of thumb I was told when relocating here is one third of your salary for rent, one third for expenses and one third as savings. So on that basis you would need to fina an apartment around 2000 CHF (look in www.homegate.ch and you can see what that gets you in Geneva). Then for about 470 CHF/week for two people I'd say thats quite tough when you take into account health insurance (it varies but assume say 150 CHF/mth minimum each and likely more like 2-300 CHF - depends on your excess as well as if you just have basic or private). If possible I'd do what we did which was spend a weekend/week in Geneva so you can get an idea of costs and compare with your current budget for all items - insurance etc and for anything you cannot find out then post here again and we should be able to provide advice! Hope it helps and good luck!
Thank you very much for your information.
My husband and me, we are young and health (lucky enough), we haven't visited doctors for years. So if we buy basic health insurance, how much it gonna cost? Thanks!
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Old 15.09.2011, 17:00
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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honestly I say no. it is not possible. I had a hard time living on that in MOntreux and if I wasnt living with my gf I could have not made it.

so in my opinion no you can not
Not everybody was born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
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Old 15.09.2011, 17:03
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Re: Is it able to live in Geneva with 5700CHF for 2 persons?

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With my husband's net income of 5700CHF
A Migros / Coop Cashier is paid 3'500 to 4'000 per month. And there's plenty of them around so apparently you CAN live here for less than a gazillion francs per month.
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