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Old 03.08.2012, 20:16
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What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

I have recently been offered a job with a net salary of CHF 1190 after deductions for tax and rent (accommodation and bills are included).

Is this a realistic wage for an individual to live off, albeit frugally? Or would I be better off finding a job in my home country (UK)?

I have to make a decision within the next two days.

Thanks!
RW
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Old 03.08.2012, 20:23
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

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I have recently been offered a job with a net salary of CHF 1190 after deductions for tax and rent (accommodation and bills are included).

Is this a realistic wage for an individual to live off, albeit frugally? Or would I be better off finding a job in my home country (UK)?

I have to make a decision within the next two days.

Thanks!
RW
if health insurance isn't already included that could take a big chunk out of your wage packet.
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Old 03.08.2012, 20:23
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

It's very low. It depends what your 'bills' includes - compulsory health insurance (250-300chf per month), additional electricity costs, internet and home phone connection - 100chf per month, public transport fee (possibly 70-150chf per month).

I'd imagine your 'frugal' shopping bill, including things like basic toiletries, cleaning chemicals, would be somewhere around 100chf per week.

Will you be working at a university (eg. internship) because that might have extra benefits like access to 'student' health insurance, lower rates for travel if you are under 25, and the uni canteen for cheaper 'eating out' options...
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Old 03.08.2012, 20:26
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

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I have recently been offered a job with a net salary of CHF 1190 after deductions for tax and rent (accommodation and bills are included).

Is this a realistic wage for an individual to live off, albeit frugally? Or would I be better off finding a job in my home country (UK)?

I have to make a decision within the next two days.

Thanks!
RW
No - its not realistically.

Could you tell us what the job is?
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Old 03.08.2012, 20:35
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

The job is a teaching assistant at a specialist school for 42.5 hrs a week. I know that all electricity, heating and internet would be included in my rent however I would have to pay for insurance which I'm aware is a lot as they go by age rather than wage (I rhymed!)

Compared to the UK, Switzerland has a much higher cost of living which shocked me because I lived in Central London for three years (which is probably the most expensive part of the UK). It's kinda made me apprehensive, as I have just graduated from university and everyone seems to be encouraging me to take it because it's abroad.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:15
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

Where abouts in Switzerland? Where we are it would be fine- in Geneva or Zurich area, it would be a struggle.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:19
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

The school is situated in Morges.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:27
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

We've certainly had mixed reviews here on the forum before...

http://www.englishforum.ch/family-ma...ol-morges.html
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:34
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

If you are university educated, particularly with something that would qualify you as a teacher, then you'd not have too much of a hard time to find a position in an international school, or even possibly within the government system.

Do you have special education qualifications ? Autism therapy training (PECS, behavioural strategies) ?

Can you afford to pack up your life and come over, and vice versa, head home again if it doesn't work out as planned ?

On a UK passport it's just a matter of paperwork to get a work permit for a legitimate job. To give you an idea, a newly qualified primary school teacher, or a qualified early childhood teacher would be earning around 5000-6000 per month... and paying maybe 1500chf in rent to have a private apartment, or more likely, sharing a more 'fancy' place with a friend and paying around 1000 per month for their rent...
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:38
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

I've been previously lurking as a guest so have see this before, which is why I'm kind of worried. To write something like this on my CV would be very good (as I would like to go into teaching) however moving to a different country with no support and to an establishment I'm not to familiar with is daunting.

I guess it's a question of how bad is bad? I've done poorly paid, rubbish jobs in the past and as a first job out of uni I don't expect it to be highly paid or any good (I see it more like a stepping stone).

Atm I'm very confused!
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:39
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

Based on what I've read in this thread, if you have to pay for your own medical insurance, and also your own mobile/cell phone then you'll find things very hard here.

I'm sorry but it sounds as if this school is wage dumping. 1200 francs should be pocket money after everything else and I mean everything else is paid for. Even then I think it's a rip off, being forced to stay in accommodation as prescribed by the employer. No, I'm not down with this at all.

Then again I'm in Zürich so my perceptions may differ from others here.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:42
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

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If you are university educated, particularly with something that would qualify you as a teacher, then you'd not have too much of a hard time to find a position in an international school, or even possibly within the government system.

Do you have special education qualifications ? Autism therapy training (PECS, behavioural strategies) ?

Can you afford to pack up your life and come over, and vice versa, head home again if it doesn't work out as planned ?

On a UK passport it's just a matter of paperwork to get a work permit for a legitimate job. To give you an idea, a newly qualified primary school teacher, or a qualified early childhood teacher would be earning around 5000-6000 per month... and paying maybe 1500chf in rent to have a private apartment, or more likely, sharing a more 'fancy' place with a friend and paying around 1000 per month for their rent...
I have an undergraduate degree, so to qualify as a teacher in the UK I would need to complete a postgraduate certificate in education. I was hoping that this would help me with my application for teaching (make me stand out so to speak, particularly as competition is fierce).
I'm lucky in the fact that I would be able to up and go with ease, however my personality would want to stick things out no matter how bad things were (unless I went into a total meltdown).
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:45
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

It depends on your age and experience, your expectations (eg are you able to live frugally) - but mainly on your aims for the future. I went to UK from CH for hardly any money at all. I didn't care as I wanted to travel, experience a new country, learn English - and could have loads of fun with very little money. It gave me a platform to build on, and I've never looked back. It could well be that after improving your French, getting your foot in the door, etc, it could lead to a much better job and prospects, here or elsewhere. So many brilliant things you can do here for hardly any money at all- cycle, walk, swim in the lake, cross-country ski, or even ski and snowboard if you buy second hand and go to the smaller resorts.

Money is definitely NOT everything, honest. If you agree with this- you may have a ball. If you expect to keep flying back to the UK, go to the top Clubs, ski in Verbier every week-end, and have a couple of exotic holidays, maybe not. Only YOU know what you expect out of life.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:50
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

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, public transport fee (possibly 70-150chf per month).
Mine's around 250chf per month.
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Old 03.08.2012, 21:54
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

If you look at this thread, which I started, CHF 1,190 is over what the powers-that-be consider to be the minimum amount that a single person needs for daily living expenses in Switzerland. I get CHF 1,110 for bills and living expenses. My rent and health insurance are covered.

Here are some figures:

My health and accident insurance comes to CHF 379.50 per month. However your employer should pay for accident insurance. This is with the lowest franchise of CHF 300 per year. You might want to 'allow' for that too. Then you would have to pay 10% of any costs over that CHF 300, up to CHF 700. There are health insurance subsidies for people on low income, but I don't know if you'd be eligible. Have a look here. I'm female and 31, by the way.

Other insurance: ECA (fire insurance) is around CHF 50.00 per year. Contents insurance and responsabilité civille is around CHF 180.00 per year.

You mention internet - I think if you have an internet connection you will have to pay Billag for radio, which is around CHF 170.00 per year. TV and radio will cost you a whole lot more - around CHF 460.00 per year. However perhaps that would be covered in your accommodation?

Transport costs: If you're living in Morges (I live nearby) then you'll have most shops etc. in the town, so won't need to travel that much. Unless you want to. I suggest you look here for an idea of transport costs.

I manage to keep my general shopping costs to about CHF 250 - 300 per month (food, cleaning materials, cat food, cat litter, toiletries, having guests for dinner occasionally).

If you want a mobile... it's hard for me to say on that one, as I generally call my parents and we have free calls to each other. The best value mobile I've found is Migros Budget pay-as-you-go.

I've played around with the spreadsheet I use to manage my finances, and based on what you're telling us you'd need to pay for, I came up with a figure of around CHF 900 per month for:

food and general shopping (CHF 300)
health insurance (as above)
a guess on mobile costs (15 CHF)
additional expenses (e.g. buying a new iron if yours breaks) (50 CHF)
putting some money aside for your health care costs and emergencies (CHF 125)

However I haven't included travel costs (as I don't know how much you'd want to travel) or Billag - I recommend you check whether that will be covered or not.

If you want to PM me (and let me know what version of Excel you have) I'd be happy to share my spreadsheet with you.

Hope that helps you decide.

V
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Old 04.08.2012, 00:08
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

Thank you for all your kind replies, though I'm still deciding whether to accept it's helped me put things into perspective .
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Old 04.08.2012, 00:42
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

These threads come up quite often, and I usually find myself thinking, "Yes, of course you could live on that," and rolling my eyes at the people who say it will be impossible because you won't be able to afford satellite TV, a maid, and a fleet of limos. But even I would think that the amount you quote is going to be seriously, seriously tight.

If you're young and treating it as an extension of your studies, and seeing it as an adventure, then why not? You won't actually starve. But otherwise, I would steer clear.
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Old 05.08.2012, 00:25
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

Is it really better than working at Sainsbury's for free to get benefits? Heard G4S is looking for people.
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Old 05.08.2012, 01:40
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

In the end after researching the costs, people's opinions etc. I've decided not to take the job.

For anyone reading this who may have had a similar offer, I would recommend that you research the standard of living compared to where you currently live to get a good idea of what your costs will be, and then compare that to your salary. For example, what surprised me was that the price of a McDonald's meal is almost double the cost of what you expect would pay in London (you can tell I'm a fatty at heart! ). I was naive to think that because I live in an expensive city, Switzerland would be similar, however it's most definitely not!

It's easy to accept a job and not consider the consequences (financial, emotional)- especially when you have people encouraging you to go just because it is abroad. I guess one way to look at it if you're having doubts is to think that if you were offered the same job at home, would you take it? When I considered it, I would no way take the same job back in the UK. Even though I'm not out to make stashes of money or live a jet-set lifestyle, I would like to make enough not to have to worry about going off budget once in a while.

In the mean time, I'm gonna keep looking for jobs in Switzerland, because I do want to travel and experience a different country- just not at the expense of my wellbeing. Once again thanks for all the help guys!

RW
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Old 05.08.2012, 12:05
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Re: What's the minimum wage an individual could live off in CH?

Well, I am sure that keeping away from too many McD's would actually be very good for your health- and so would taking part in all the free sports activities available all around you here. You woos

As said, many of us have travelled away from home and comforts with very little money, and never looked back - but you have to have a travelling soul to make it work. Hope you find a way - and looking forward to your arrival. Cheers.
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