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Old 17.07.2013, 10:14
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The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

I've just read it in 20 minuten, apparently the Swiss are able to save 17.5% of gross income, ahead of Germans (16.5%) and French (15.5%).

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/sto...paren-19856163

I'm quite impressed with the figure, I'm not even close to that...it makes me think that I go to restaurants too much!

Sometimes I wonder if I should save more and spend (ie enjoy) less, where is the right balance? any financial advise on this?

Last edited by mapcl10; 17.07.2013 at 10:42.
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Old 17.07.2013, 10:19
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

Go and speak to an independent financial adviser if you are serious about what you want to do with your money. They will give you better and more targeted advice than people who don't know the first thing about you.
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Old 17.07.2013, 10:26
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

well, with lower taxes, a lot more gross income makes it into net income. would be interesting to see what it is on a net income basis.

although generally, the higher the salary you have, the more you can save as the 'fixed' costs of living decrease as a proportion of your salary.
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Old 17.07.2013, 10:42
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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Go and speak to an independent financial adviser if you are serious about what you want to do with your money. They will give you better and more targeted advice than people who don't know the first thing about you.
I believe you're over-thinking the previous post. They just want to know roughly how much people save, and what their belief is regarding saving vs blowing it all and having fun now.

For me, when I first arrived here in Basel I was so shocked by the prices in restaurants and cafes that I almost refused to eat out. Although my salary is OK (even if I'm not on an expat package) I still rarely eat out and instead prefer to spend my time doing cheaper things, such as picnicing by the river, hiking up mountains etc. So I've ended up saving quite well.

The added bonus is that I'm doing things that are harder to do back in London (BBQ by the river, hiking up mountains) whereas if I'd decided to spend, spend, spend I'd be attempting to replicate my London life here, and would have left Switzerland by now (as it can't even come close to competing).
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Old 17.07.2013, 10:47
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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For me, when I first arrived here in Basel I was so shocked by the prices in restaurants and cafes that I almost refused to eat out. Although my salary is OK (even if I'm not on an expat package) I still rarely eat out and instead prefer to spend my time doing cheaper things, such as picnicing by the river, hiking up mountains etc. So I've ended up saving quite well.
I couldn't agree more.

If you live a modest lifestyle you will save quite well here.

If you want to live like a Rock Star, then you will save nothing regardless of how much money you earn.

Being "single" is perhaps the worst. You have to socialise, and "buying for one" is rarely cost effective.
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Old 17.07.2013, 11:30
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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well, with lower taxes, a lot more gross income makes it into net income. would be interesting to see what it is on a net income basis.

although generally, the higher the salary you have, the more you can save as the 'fixed' costs of living decrease as a proportion of your salary.
Not sure there is really such thing as "fixed costs" people who earn more money usually end up spending more on the essentials. Bigger house, bigger car, premium foods some even pay extra for air in these ponsy Oxygen bars
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Old 17.07.2013, 11:37
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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I've just read it in 20 minuten, apparently the Swiss are able to save 17.5% of gross income, ahead of Germans (16.5%) and French (15.5%).

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/sto...paren-19856163

I'm quite impressed with the figure, I'm not even close to that...it makes me think that I go to restaurants too much!

Sometimes I wonder if I should save more and spend (ie enjoy) less, where is the right balance? any financial advise on this?
I surprised it's only 17.5%, tax rates being so much lower than France or the UK especially single people.
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Old 17.07.2013, 12:21
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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I believe you're over-thinking the previous post.
Not something I'm usually accused of.

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They just want to know roughly how much people save, and what their belief is regarding saving vs blowing it all and having fun now...
Yeah, that crossed my mind too, but given that from the answers supplied thus far people can't supply an actual figure/percentage I do think that the OP was a bit vague (something I have been accused of).

Personally my income has gone down since moving to CH as I work Part-Time at the moment, so I actually go out even less and haven't been saving other than for specific items such as travel.
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Old 17.07.2013, 12:30
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

The article doesn't say how it defines "saving".

Do contributions to a third pillar scheme count?

How about life assurances?

Does the repayment part of your mortgage payment count (it is after all money that is being used to increase your net worth).

What about money invested in your property that increases the value thereof?

With such things not defined, I couldn't even say what I'm saving.
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Old 17.07.2013, 13:49
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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The article doesn't say how it defines "saving".
I was about to comment the same thing, this article is dealing with only 3.785% of the "saving topic". Meaning that it's almost talking about nothing and misses 96.215% of a proper information.*


Let's start with a basic observation:
You can not compare a potato with an orange. They are not the same thing. over. What's the link? Well because they compare France, whose savings rate is 15.5 percent, to Switzerland, whose savings rate is 16.5 percent.

How much is the "reference" of that percentage?
Because 15% of 2000euros will be 300euros.
16.5 percent of 5000chf (4050euros) will be 648euros.*

*Random salaries values.

So how to interpret that? the results are relative to the salaries, while in my opinion they should be absolute values. Or we would have to moderate the relative results with the relative cost of life in the respective country.

Because we all know that 648euros in CHF will not take you as far as 300euros in France.


And we are not even talking on how these numbers are calculated...

So my own conclusion is that news item is rubbish.

*Now that's some good journalism work, I gave scientific percents!!
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:02
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

I try to aim for 20 - 25% of my gross, Pillar 2 contributions excluded.

Anything above 30% is simply crazy in my view, you basically are oversaving and don't have a life.
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:08
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

It's also not clear whether they mean saving for hard times and your retirement nest egg, or whether they include short term savings such as saving up for vacations or new hardware.
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:10
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

Save?

Tom
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:15
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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Anything above 30% is simply crazy in my view, you basically are oversaving and don't have a life.
It all depends on your lifestyle and your salary. If you're earning 250k a year, but choose to live reasonably modestly (but still comfortably), it is possible to save 30% of your salary and still have a very enjoyable life.

'The Millionaire Next Door' recommends that consistently saving 15-20% of your salary over a lifetime will leave you very comfortably off. It's no surprise to me that the Swiss save this amount, and lo and behold, most of them seem to be pretty comfortably off.

One of the things I remarked upon very early on was that every Swiss person I know is a natural under-spender and regular saver. It isn't that they're Scrooges who never go out or buy anything. What they do buy, they buy carefully -- often top quality, designed to last a lifetime. It's rare that I see someone Swiss 'waste' money on quick, cheap consumables.

It's a lifestyle philosophy, but in Switzerland it is very easy to earn handsomely yet still maintain a modest lifestyle without pressure to always have the trendiest things. It's one of the things I like most about living here.

Last edited by Village Idiot; 18.07.2013 at 07:42.
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Old 17.07.2013, 20:51
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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I try to aim for 20 - 25% of my gross, Pillar 2 contributions excluded.

Anything above 30% is simply crazy in my view, you basically are oversaving and don't have a life.
And since when is spending money a measure of having a life, some people give more value to personal relations or simple stuff than spending money in a restaurant or at the pub. If you think that "having a life" is a function of how much you spend I can only think of you as a shortsighted person.
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Old 17.07.2013, 21:39
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

Phew... I can beat statistics to it with saving as much as 20% on a good month, LOL. Having said that it is all about one's lifestyle. No going out, no bottle of brandy a week, no pampering in a spa, weekend traveling and etc. My recipe is live like a monk for 10 months in a year and live like a king the remaining two.
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Old 17.07.2013, 22:44
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

Right, why save?

Spend it all now, and live off social benefits later!

Really, who can enjoy a super car/bike better at 60 than they can at 40?

Tom
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Old 17.07.2013, 23:40
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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And since when is spending money a measure of having a life, some people give more value to personal relations or simple stuff than spending money in a restaurant or at the pub. If you think that "having a life" is a function of how much you spend I can only think of you as a shortsighted person.
Unfortunate that you interpreted my post in a way it was not meant to be viewed, I apologize if I wasn't very clear.

My post was not focused on spending money, but more on responsible saving habits. The Swiss are very avid savers and have really developed a culture and mindset of saving for themselves for their own moderate future consumption rather than over consuming for themselves from others' savings (in other worlds, no credit card culture like in other western countries which in large part is to blame for the financial mess the world is in today).

However, one should not overkill while saving, unless one wants to avoid having a social life by not visiting pubs and restaurants, travelling, spending time building personal relations, etc... a balance should be struck.
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Old 17.07.2013, 23:49
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

As an expat also depends where do you live: Basel, Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich or Schauffhausen.

If someone earns 120k on a multinational and it is located lets says in...Schauffhausen where an appartment is 1000/month.

10% is for rent...if someone can not save 30% it is real a rock life star.

However in Geneva the salary will be same....the net for sure lower and rent and for some parking will be almost 40% of salary.
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Old 18.07.2013, 07:46
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Re: The Swiss save 17.5% of gross income

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However in Geneva the salary will be same....the net for sure lower and rent and for some parking will be almost 40% of salary.
...unless they actively choose to take on a longer commute and rent a less-expensive place over the French border.

As long as there's someone living on 80k in/near Geneva, then it's possible for someone earning 120k to put a third of their salary away. It's all a question of what they're prepared to sacrifice to do it.
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