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Old 23.10.2008, 01:44
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How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Hello everybody,

I´m currently living in US thinking to move back to Europe, I´m considering several country and among them is Switzerland but always when it comes to moving, life expenses is a big factor. I know people dont like to talk about money or salaries but:

How much money does a couple need to live in Switzerland well?
(Money: after taking out taxes)(Well: nice place to live, car, food and money to travel in holidays, not luxury but nice level life)

Please, give me your opinion or if you have and want personal examples.
Thank you very much for help.
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Old 23.10.2008, 04:51
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Multiply whatever you currently consider "a nice life level" by alot- it's the only formula possible without knowing your lifestyle.

Some examples of costs (approximately in USD):

Movie ticket $17.00
BigMac Meal Deal $11.00
Parking car at airport for 22 minutes $3.50
Curry dinner, 1 person, 2 beers, no dessert $56.00
1 US gallon of gas $5.57
Sterilizing female dog $515.00
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Old 23.10.2008, 08:06
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

One bonus is that you don't really need a car to live comfortably here. I always factor that in because we would almost certainly have to have one if we were to move back to the USA.
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Old 23.10.2008, 08:19
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Sterilizing female dog $515.00
I had no idea this was a regular expense.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 23.10.2008, 08:33
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Hello everybody,



How much money does a couple need to live in Switzerland well?
(Money: after taking out taxes)(Well: nice place to live, car, food and money to travel in holidays, not luxury but nice level life)
.
For buying a <<nice>> place to live (with a view of a Lake and an Alp top) you should count at least CHF 6'000 / m2 (1 m2 = 10.76 ft2).
Renting (again something with a view of a Lake and a Mountain) should be approx CHF 30 /m2/month.

Last edited by irinastaxen; 23.10.2008 at 11:48.
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Old 23.10.2008, 08:38
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Also depends on what you are prepared to give up, and what you will buy regardless of the price.

I'm doing a lot more home-cooking since I got here, but on the other hand, my husband is a teacher and the kids and he get a (really good) cooked lunch at school every day...so I'm not responsible for three meals a day, only two (and breakfast doesn't really count)...so cooking and eating together once a day has become more important but less hassle.

Also, having lived in tight bugets and loose ones...when I am more 'happy' the money doesn't worry me so much, but when I am not 'happy' then money problems seem twice as bad...

And, depends if you can *cope* with living in Apartment...we love our apartment - but we lived 5 years with two children in a two bedroom flat in Sydney...so we know how to live in small spaces...so our apartment here in Switzerland is probably twice the size of what we lived in before...in fact, I quite like living in a small place, less to clean, easier to clean up...

The non-money things are the things we came for - learning a new language, being able to travel around Europe, earning CHF ...and the Aussie dollar was 91 cents when we arrived and was 75 cents I think last week - so we moved *just in time* - all our moving expenses were paid with AUD...

If you were planning to live in Zurich...then you have quite a spread of options about your living - within the same travelling distance in a radius around the city you can get quite a range of options but I'd be looking at 1500 to 2500 a month for your rental for a 2-3 bedroom apartment as a base level, and of course the sky is the limit...but basic here is not really *that* basic - it should be spotlessly clean, livable, mostly white bathrooms and kitchens, heating, good floors, double-glazed windows etc (these keep out the noise and the cold)...

The *weekend* lifestyle is great...we try to go out at least one day each weekend just to do something new.

And we don't run a car...the public transport is great...

Cost of living things -

litre of fresh milk 1.80chf (expensive to us)
fruit and vegetables 5chf -20 chf a kilo, but bananas are 2-3chf a kilogram (sorry, someone convert that)..
meat you can get cheap stuff (chicken, pork, beef mince) for 10-15chf a kilogram, or more expensive stuff (steak, lamb, beef, chicken breast) for 20-60chf a kilogram.
Alcohol is cheap...and you can get a bottle of coke for 1chf at the supermarket, or pay 3-4chf with your meal at a restaurant or take-away.
Phone/Internet - we are paying about 100chf a month for combined telephone and unlimited ADSL, and the speed is very good and reliable.
Mobile - we got pre-paid mobiles from Migros (supermarket) and the SMS are .10 chf (10 rappen) each, and the local calls are quite cheap to us - not sure how it compares to the USA.
Clothing - you might pay 20chf for basic t-shirts, 40-50chf for basic pair of jeans, 40-60chf for work clothing like shirts or ladies tops, and it goes up from there. But there are outlet stores and bargains to be had - for us the prices are very similar to Australia (but I know you can do better in Asia or USA)...also depends on how much time you have to shop around, and whether you get sucked into buying the expensive stuff or are prepared to wait till you see a better priced item...
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Old 23.10.2008, 10:06
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

One of the things about Switzerland compared to the US is that
you have to know how to shop. Meat is much more expensive
here than in the US for example.

In the US, people tend to eat out more. If you do that in Switzerland,
it will absolutely kill your budget!

Good luck!
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Old 23.10.2008, 10:10
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Mobile - we got pre-paid mobiles from Migros (supermarket) and the SMS are .10 chf (10 rappen) each, and the local calls are quite cheap to us - not sure how it compares to the USA.
Clothing - you might pay 20chf for basic t-shirts, 40-50chf for basic pair of jeans, 40-60chf for work clothing like shirts or ladies tops, and it goes up from there. But there are outlet stores and bargains to be had - for us the prices are very similar to Australia (but I know you can do better in Asia or USA)...also depends on how much time you have to shop around, and whether you get sucked into buying the expensive stuff or are prepared to wait till you see a better priced item...
There is no phone plan that even comes close to what we pay for mobile phones in the US. Back home I paid $75 for unlimited service. Here I pay about 30- a month for minimum service. But that said, no one here talks nearly as much on mobile phones as we did in the US. We do not carry it into every room we walk into attached to our hand, as I once did. Also, I learn that everyone here SMS's in lieu of calling.

Now clothes. The bargains are to be had. But the clothes quality is cheap compared to back home. I pay 50- for a H&M crap quality shirt. I have learned to shop in other countries. A weekend in London is a nice shopping adventure.

I think something to remember no matter where you move, is to stock up on what I call "Walgreen's staples". Deodorant, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, medicines you like. Especially ones such as tylenol or IB profun/Motrin. As those meds can run you up to 1 franc per pill. Compared to the $8 for the bottle of 1,000 I got at home. And the other meds, well they cannot be found. So I save the boxes from the US, and show the pharmacy the box and they give me the European comparison.

Pick Switzerland if you can. I swear it's like living in an Alpine oasis. I have yet to know one person who is happy to leave. My last friend who left, got home and finagled a way to get back to stay within 2 weeks.
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Old 23.10.2008, 11:34
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

aocampox, i dont know where are you from originally. I suggest you pick a european country rather than switzerland.
Everything here is very neat, controlled and kind of boring. Its the paradise of kids and elderly.
If you are coming from the states you will find the cost of life extremely high.
Moderate restaurants cost 60ch per person for a salad and main course.
Super market is very very expensive-meat costs something like 10ch per 100gr. Rents are very high as well and generally you have to pay for each and every move you make. The variety of goods offered is not so wide as in the states.
I think you should pay a visit before you actually relocate. Well its a wonderfull scenery for walks in the forest or ski but to stay........
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:09
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Ah well, we have kids...perhaps that's why it's paradise for us - as far as places to go that are not so different from home, you could do a lot worse...

India, China - been to both....loved it....but it would be *very different* to move there with three children...!

And I must say, I'm having no trouble getting around Zurich only speaking English (my husband is seriously learning it from the kids at the school, and intends to become fluent!)...and it doesn't bother me at all - I suspect there are plenty of places in Europe where English is less spoken or reluctantly spoken...but perhaps too that's because of the children - the 'oldies' adore the kids and seem to *love* the idea that we have brought them to Switzerland, specifically so they can *learn the language*...I suppose a different attitude to being single, adult and coming here specifically to *take money out of the country*... I also suspect somewhat that they are more open to us and our kids because we are english/german background so physically they look 'just like swiss kids'...even though they are not!

Ps. On the meat thing, I got beef mince (good quality too) for 10chf a kilo last week, and a (small) whole raw chicken for roasting will set you back 10-12chf or even cheaper if you are lucky...take-away Kebab (lebanese or turkish style) will set you back between 8chf and 12chf around the 'suburbs' of Zurich...and to eat local Thai will cost maybe 15-25chf a 'dish' which is double what we could pay in Sydney...
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:12
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Can we stick to the topic of money and not have another endless thread on whether Switzerland is the best or worst place in the world to live....there are good and bad things but everyone has to decide that for some themselves and/or make the best of the situation (advice no matter where anyone lives).

Generally, I will say, salaries are high and taxes are low so you should have money to spend but as noted earlier eating out is expensive, not the lower cost places you can find in the US. Food is expensive in general but of pretty good quality. Most people, even non white collar jobs, generally can afford to take nice vacations. In general services are expensive here because everyone makes a good wage, so the more you can do stuff (cooking, washing, cleainging, repairs, etc etc) yourself the better.
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:29
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

As I have nothing else to do prior to moving to Switzerland, I compared the online shopping at Tesco's with Le Shop / Migros (as we won't have a car in Switzerland, we will have the stuff delivered there, too)

Apart from some Quorn stuff and lemonade, nearly all items were either same price or in the case of smoked salmon, turkey steaks and king prawns, the Swiss prices were 3fold. However, I did notice that Migros and the other Swiss chains do their own budget range so we should be ok....

Has anyone got experience how the prices at "VOLG" compare to e.g. COOP And MIGROS, as we will have a VOLG quite locally but would have to walk further for Migros and coop etc.

As for clothing, I can only say that comparing a trouser suit (office style stuff) in Zurich to the prices in Munich, certain designers (Gerry Weber, Betty Barclay) are actually cheaper in Zurich. Phew.

Would love to hear other people's "comparisons"

THANKS!
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:35
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

Ah, oops. Took the bait as usual. Mustn't have enough to do around the house...

Hmmm, what else constitutes 'cost of living'.

School fees - extremely high (20k or more) if you want private education (in Zurich in English/bilingual or long-day-care), almost free if you use the local schools.

Public Transport - expensive if you buy daily tickets, but not as expensive as the Uk (so I've been told) and that GA card is great if you have the cash - annual 'free' transport pretty much anywhere.

My husband's travel pass for work costs 70chf a month within the 'zone' of Zurich - and I believe that the increase for a little further is not much more - maybe 15chf for each zone as you go outward from the centre...

Electricity - not sure...depends on if you are paying for a clothes dryer or heating or anything.

Oh, and insurance...seems people insure just about anything - you can get insurance so you don't have to put a big amount of cash into the deposit on your apartment (that'd be another one, sometimes up to three months deposit is take on a rental)... insure against problems with your tenancy, home/contents, theft, personal liability, professional indemnity, life insurance, family insurance, etc etc.

Besides...the original person who posted asked us for our opinions...

Hair cut - 30-50chf (we paid 38 at the barber yesterday for my husband) - for a man's 'normal' cut...but a lot more for women with colour and wash, style etc...we've noticed the hair styles are much more 'natural' here than in Australia...and longer

Housecleaning - seems to be 25chf per hour is a really good deal and could easily pay up to 50. Also, pretty difficult/risky to try to pay someone 'cash' for this, so that means you are stuck paying the 'legitimate' way...so of course, more expensive...

I've used LeShop (Migros) quite a few times since we arrived... but now I have been into a dozen or more migros/coop, they seem to have less range online than at the shops...and also I can get bargains (especially meat) which are not online, but at the local. In fact, they don't stock some of their 'own brand' items online but do in the shop. I keep pretty good track of what's a 'good price' for things, but I can save more by shopping in person...
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:37
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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How much money does a couple need to live in Switzerland well? (Money: after taking out taxes)(Well: nice place to live, car, food and money to travel in holidays, not luxury but nice level life)

Please, give me your opinion or if you have and want personal examples.
Thank you very much for help.
How longs a piece of string...really

EXAMPLE. Some people come to our place and think it's fantastic, one friend wouldn't live there because it's too quiet for him. We pay 115chf less for an airy 3 bed 2 bath, own laundry room apartment and massive underground garage, he lives in a cramped, 2 bed one bath place on a main road in town, who has to queue for a shot of the washing machine, and can't have car because he has nowhere to park. The thing is we both think our homes are great...for us.

People on here will give you plenty of data, but please don't let them spend their time posting with irrelevant info (for you). I think you'd get more from your post by stating more of exactly what you feel constitutes nice, and where you want it, then people can give you more specific info' that is geared to your requirements

I do think it's safe to say 'generally'.....it's going to cost more.
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Last edited by Papa Goose; 23.10.2008 at 14:04.
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:52
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Hello everybody,

I´m currently living in US thinking to move back to Europe, I´m considering several country and among them is Switzerland but always when it comes to moving, life expenses is a big factor. I know people dont like to talk about money or salaries but:

How much money does a couple need to live in Switzerland well?
(Money: after taking out taxes)(Well: nice place to live, car, food and money to travel in holidays, not luxury but nice level life)

Please, give me your opinion or if you have and want personal examples.
Thank you very much for help.
I have lived around Zurich in 3 different situations: single, married, married with 1 kid, married with 2 kids. My opinions (brutto monthly salary, preferably with a 13th montly salary paid out in Dec., a custom which I am afraid is under attack now):

For a decent existence:

- Single: starting at 6000 CHF per month
- Married: starting at 8000 CHF per month (hopefully both earn)
- Married with 1 kid: 9000 CHF per month
- Married with 2 kids: 10000 CHF per month

If you want to talk about a very comfortable existence, i.e. 100sq meter flat or larger, 1 foreign vacation per year, skiing at least 6 days, car, eating out once a week, then add 2000 CHF to above figures.

We have 2 kids, together we earn Brutto about 13,000 CHF per month, have two cars (necessary for work), 130 sq. meter apartment just outside Zurich, rent a garage and outside parkplace, have 1 foreign vacation per year, 1 local vacation, skiied 8 days last year, eat out maybe 2 times a month, buy stuff as required, max. out on our 2.Saule (approx. 13K CHF per year tax deductable savings plan), and then there is nothing left.
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Old 23.10.2008, 13:55
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Moderate restaurants cost 60ch per person for a salad and main course.
That's not moderate. In moderate restaurants the main course is 16-28 Fr. (depending on the meat), salad 8-9 Fr., beverage 4-6 Fr. Sixty francs is not impossible to spend but buys a whole menu with desert, coffee and alcoholic beverage(s) in a moderate restaurant.


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Super market is very very expensive-meat costs something like 10ch per 100gr.
Sorry, I'm a vegetarian, but what kind of common meat is so expensive?


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Electricity - not sure...depends on if you are paying for a clothes dryer or heating or anything.
Zurich is among the most expensive in Switzerland: 0.20 CHF/kWh (0.10 for night tariff, 0.25 from ecological energy sources).

Last edited by Nathu; 23.10.2008 at 14:16. Reason: quote fixed
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Old 23.10.2008, 14:07
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

I think the sort of lifestyle Karl described is pretty nice - don't forget, for this sort of lifestyle you are probably in the top 5% of the world's population for wealth!...Most Australians are top 20% anyway...

Thanks for the note on electricity - we have yet to pay for our first bill for this one!...am expecting it to be reasonably nasty - although all we have here is a computer, stereo that is turned off most of the time, lights, fridge, freezer...
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Old 23.10.2008, 14:29
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Sorry, I'm a vegetarian, but what kind of common meat is so expensive?
Nothing I can think of unless you count live lobster as common meat. The amount of misinformation that always pops up in these type of threads is pretty amusing.
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Old 23.10.2008, 14:32
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

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Nothing I can think of unless you count live lobster as common meat. The amount of misinformation that always pops up in these type of threads is pretty amusing.

Beef is considered a common meat someplaces. though CH10 per 100 sounds a little high. I have cut back my consumption of beef considerably since coming here from the US. I would go broke if I had a beef heavy diet.
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Old 23.10.2008, 14:34
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Re: How much you really need to live in Switzerland?

We had so many people warning us about the extremely high cost of living here, and having been here a few months now, I would not say we have noticed a massive, scary difference to our usual budget. That said we moved from Jersey in the Channel Isalnds which is renowned for having the highest cost, though not necessarily standard, of living of anywhere in the British Isles. Perhaps if we had moved from somewhere further north, or Scotland we would have got more of a shock.

People who have said above about eating a boozing are dead right - both are very costly, in fact even a sandwich lunch is expensive. Hairdressing, beauty treatments are a mad price. I have found the standard and price of fresh meat and produce in the supermarkets to be great. Local schools are superb standard and free in most cases, though not the internationals.

You can get all the usual high street clothes stores here, H&M, Zara, Mango, which is keeping me clothed and happy. How shallow am I?!

All in all, I think this is a brilliant place to live, the view outside my apartment still takes my breath away every few days, and there is a lot to be said for that!

Last edited by AnnieShine; 23.10.2008 at 14:37. Reason: spelling!
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