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Old 31.08.2012, 16:57
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Is a part time job enough for a living?

Hi All,

I would like to move and live in Zürich with my wife.
I have a chance to work part time (50-60%) as a barista in a coffeeshop.
I think the salary is between 25-30 CHF/hour, but I don't have concrete information on this.

This job would be great for me, because I can speak only English, and started to learn German. So I need time to improve my language knowledge, and actually I don't have a work permit. (But if I get the job I get a work permit).

So the question is:
Could this salary be enough to rent a studio apartment, and start to live in Zürich?
What is the minimum to start a living in Zürich?

I don't care if it's hard in the begining, because Hungary will always be harder...
(I checked other topics, but I wrote because, my case is a little bit special)

Thanks a lot!
P.
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Old 31.08.2012, 17:12
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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Hi All,

I would like to move and live in Zürich with my wife.
I have a chance to work part time (50-60%) as a barista in a coffeeshop.
I think the salary is between 25-30 CHF/hour, but I don't have concrete information on this.

This job would be great for me, because I can speak only English, and started to learn German. So I need time to improve my language knowledge, and actually I don't have a work permit. (But if I get the job I get a work permit).

So the question is:
Could this salary be enough to rent a studio apartment, and start to live in Zürich?
What is the minimum to start a living in Zürich?

I don't care if it's hard in the begining, because Hungary will always be harder...
(I checked other topics, but I wrote because, my case is a little bit special)

Thanks a lot!
P.
No. You want to live on 2000 CHF for 2 people in Zurich? Is this a Friday gag?

You really searched? There are tons of threads on cost of living, here are the first 24...


  1. Last minute panic attack ( Student stipend cost of living ) (53) 21.Aug.2012
  2. cost of living (38) 8.Aug.2012
  3. Cost of living here: have you adjusted to Swiss prices compared to back home? (25) 26.Jun.2012
  4. Need help on cost of living in Zurich (8) 20.Jun.2012
  5. Living Costs per Item (14) 18.May.2012
  6. Living in Lausanne ? (9) 19.Apr.2012
  7. Living costs in Basel (9) 23.Mar.2012
  8. Au Pair Salary CHF1,800 and costs of living - possible ? (35) 13.Mar.2012
  9. Budget to live in Bern ( Cost of Living enquiry ) (11) 8.Mar.2012
  10. General Info / Cost of living / Consequences of Unpaid Bills / EF Library (6) 16.Feb.2012
  11. Cost of living - help needed to get it right (92) 26.Nov.2011
  12. Dear Aussies, I need your help ( Cost of Living in Melbourne ) (16) 14.Nov.2011
  13. Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer ) (13) 10.Nov.2011
  14. cost of living in lausanne ? (51) 24.Oct.2011
  15. Cost of Living - Frankfurt 60K € vs Zurich 90K CHF (22) 4.Oct.2011
  16. Cost of living? Please help! [110K, Zug, 2 adults+2 kids] (68) 3.Oct.2011
  17. Strong CHF - Cost of living in Switzerland vs London/UK (16) 2.Sep.2011
  18. The cost of living in the Swiss municipalities (9) 25.Aug.2011
  19. Two Swiss cities in cost of living top three (7) 22.Aug.2011
  20. Please can you glance at my figures (living costs in Basel)? (21) 22.Jun.2011
  21. Canada - can someone help me about cost of living over there ? (19) 1.Jun.2011
  22. Moving to Winterthur - cost of living guidance requested (3) 23.May.2011
  23. Cost of Living in Zurich? Preparing to move, need an idea of a budget! (16) 10.May.2011
  24. Living cost for a couple (20) 21.Apr.2011
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  #3  
Old 31.08.2012, 17:13
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

Will your wife be working, or will this 50-60% be to support the both of you? If it's the latter, then good luck... you'll need it.
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Old 31.08.2012, 17:51
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

No it is not a friday gag!!! I'm just trying to find a new job, life in a new country...
And yes I found a lot of "cost of living" topics, but almost all write full time jobs. (and I do not really know the costs, and taxes for a part time job...)

By the way, in ideal case the salary could be 3000 CHF, ... how much is the minimum for two people? And yes, my wife also trying to find a job!

Do you know the hungarian living conditions? It is much worse, than to be a poor man in Zürich for a time...

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No. You want to live on 2000 CHF for 2 people in Zurich? Is this a Friday gag?

You really searched? There are tons of threads on cost of living, here are the first 24...


  1. Last minute panic attack ( Student stipend cost of living ) (53) 21.Aug.2012
  2. cost of living (38) 8.Aug.2012
  3. Cost of living here: have you adjusted to Swiss prices compared to back home? (25) 26.Jun.2012
  4. Need help on cost of living in Zurich (8) 20.Jun.2012
  5. Living Costs per Item (14) 18.May.2012
  6. Living in Lausanne ? (9) 19.Apr.2012
  7. Living costs in Basel (9) 23.Mar.2012
  8. Au Pair Salary CHF1,800 and costs of living - possible ? (35) 13.Mar.2012
  9. Budget to live in Bern ( Cost of Living enquiry ) (11) 8.Mar.2012
  10. General Info / Cost of living / Consequences of Unpaid Bills / EF Library (6) 16.Feb.2012
  11. Cost of living - help needed to get it right (92) 26.Nov.2011
  12. Dear Aussies, I need your help ( Cost of Living in Melbourne ) (16) 14.Nov.2011
  13. Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer ) (13) 10.Nov.2011
  14. cost of living in lausanne ? (51) 24.Oct.2011
  15. Cost of Living - Frankfurt 60K € vs Zurich 90K CHF (22) 4.Oct.2011
  16. Cost of living? Please help! [110K, Zug, 2 adults+2 kids] (68) 3.Oct.2011
  17. Strong CHF - Cost of living in Switzerland vs London/UK (16) 2.Sep.2011
  18. The cost of living in the Swiss municipalities (9) 25.Aug.2011
  19. Two Swiss cities in cost of living top three (7) 22.Aug.2011
  20. Please can you glance at my figures (living costs in Basel)? (21) 22.Jun.2011
  21. Canada - can someone help me about cost of living over there ? (19) 1.Jun.2011
  22. Moving to Winterthur - cost of living guidance requested (3) 23.May.2011
  23. Cost of Living in Zurich? Preparing to move, need an idea of a budget! (16) 10.May.2011
  24. Living cost for a couple (20) 21.Apr.2011
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  #5  
Old 31.08.2012, 18:09
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

This thread that was in drmom's list is pretty good.
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Old 31.08.2012, 18:10
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

I'd say you'd need at least 4000 CHF net/month to be able to live here with two people, and that is the bare minimum. Finding a cheap apartment/studio will be very difficult, and it is likely that you end up living outside the city. Which is not that bad, but I just think you should know.

Also, don't forget that you will initially have a lot of 'start-up' costs when you first move here. A large deposit for your apartment, permit fees, half-fare card for the train, possibly furniture etc. so you will need to have some savings before you get here.

Nevertheless, good luck to you - don't give up, one day you will find a good (fulltime) job so that you can start your new life!

Last edited by Wakey; 31.08.2012 at 18:24.
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Old 31.08.2012, 18:23
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

It's not enough. Switzerland is a beautiful country but - especially in Zurich - irrationally expensive. If your income is below 4,000 CHF/month you're not going to get by, and don't even think about social mobility. If you're shopping around for countries to start a new life at a low cost, I would look elsewhere if you're basing your decision solely on economics. Environment, now, that's another thing. Switzerland has a wonderful environment.

Given that you come from Hungary, here is the reality: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...t&city2=Zurich
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  #8  
Old 31.08.2012, 20:14
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope on the job front. This is from the www.ch.ch site:

Attention: Citizens from EU-8
The Federal Council decided on 18 April 2012 to invoke the safeguard clause provided for in the Agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the free movement of persons, applying it to the EU-8 Member States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary).
From 1 May 2012, category B residence permits granted to citizens of these countries will be subject to quotas. This measure is to remain in force for a year and applies to persons who come to live in Switzerland to become self-employed and to persons who possess an employment contract in Switzerland that is valid for a year or more.

This means it's Swiss first for a job, then people from the other EU countries and only after that would you be considered for a job. I think it's very unlikely that you'd get a permit if you had the offer of a full time job, never mind a part time only one. Better look to somewhere like Germany where you don't have the immigration restrictions.
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Old 31.08.2012, 22:22
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

OK, I do think that a part-time job could be enough for a living of two in Switzerland,

but at Zurich that could be a real challenge.


However, the problem is not that one, and it isn't EU-8 either,

it rather is imho that with a low monthly salary without a good amount of savings on one's bank account a person from any country if not Switzerland itself would not get a permit.
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Old 01.09.2012, 00:10
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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OK, I do think that a part-time job could be enough for a living of two in Switzerland,

but at Zurich that could be a real challenge.


However, the problem is not that one, and it isn't EU-8 either,

it rather is imho that with a low monthly salary without a good amount of savings on one's bank account a person from any country if not Switzerland itself would not get a permit.
Why not consider Canada? I know where you can go to make $100,000 a year with no education or qualifications. . .
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Old 01.09.2012, 00:16
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Why not consider Canada? I know where you can go to make $100,000 a year with no education or qualifications. . .
Where? And doing what?
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Old 01.09.2012, 00:31
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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Where? And doing what?
Working in the natural gas shale. It's quite literally a goldmine for workers.
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Old 01.09.2012, 00:36
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

The agencies know that Zurich is expensive, and they want people that can pay the rent. So they usually only rent to people earning 3 times the rental. Now if you are going to earn CHF 3'000 you will only be able to rent a room costing less than CHF 1'000 per month.

Can you find two part time jobs?
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Old 01.09.2012, 15:59
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

We are trying. If my wife and I get a part time job, we can earn beetwen 5500-6000 CHF.
We have about 5000 CHF for the start... If both of us get the part time jobs, we will try... if not London is calling...

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The agencies know that Zurich is expensive, and they want people that can pay the rent. So they usually only rent to people earning 3 times the rental. Now if you are going to earn CHF 3'000 you will only be able to rent a room costing less than CHF 1'000 per month.

Can you find two part time jobs?
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Old 01.09.2012, 16:03
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

Thanks, but we want to live in Europe.
And we have a lot of qualifications...

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Why not consider Canada? I know where you can go to make $100,000 a year with no education or qualifications. . .
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Old 01.09.2012, 16:04
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

Thanks.
Am I right, that we can get a short term permit? (L)
And after the B permit, can be easier...maybe

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I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope on the job front. This is from the www.ch.ch site:

Attention: Citizens from EU-8
The Federal Council decided on 18 April 2012 to invoke the safeguard clause provided for in the Agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the free movement of persons, applying it to the EU-8 Member States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary).
From 1 May 2012, category B residence permits granted to citizens of these countries will be subject to quotas. This measure is to remain in force for a year and applies to persons who come to live in Switzerland to become self-employed and to persons who possess an employment contract in Switzerland that is valid for a year or more.

This means it's Swiss first for a job, then people from the other EU countries and only after that would you be considered for a job. I think it's very unlikely that you'd get a permit if you had the offer of a full time job, never mind a part time only one. Better look to somewhere like Germany where you don't have the immigration restrictions.
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Old 01.09.2012, 16:19
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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We are trying. If my wife and I get a part time job, we can earn beetwen 5500-6000 CHF.
We have about 5000 CHF for the start... If both of us get the part time jobs, we will try... if not London is calling...
Reality check 5000-6000CHF will almost be enough for the deposit ONLY on your apartment in Zurich
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Old 01.09.2012, 17:36
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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Is a part time job enough for a living?
Only if you can live part-time.
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Old 01.09.2012, 17:47
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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The agencies know that Zurich is expensive, and they want people that can pay the rent. So they usually only rent to people earning 3 times the rental. Now if you are going to earn CHF 3'000 you will only be able to rent a room costing less than CHF 1'000 per month.

Can you find two part time jobs?
With such a low income the OP should consider renting a room, not a whole flat. Rooms in a shared flat can be found starting with something like CHF 400 (if you are very lucky).
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Old 01.09.2012, 17:54
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Re: Is a part time job enough for a living?

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The agencies know that Zurich is expensive, and they want people that can pay the rent. So they usually only rent to people earning 3 times the rental. Now if you are going to earn CHF 3'000 you will only be able to rent a room costing less than CHF 1'000 per month.
...which translates into a studio apartment and many landlords don't want two people occupying a studio apartment.
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