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Old 12.05.2009, 22:53
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How is this salary for a couple?

Hello everybody. I will be moving to Neuchatel in October. I will be on a salary of 44,000 francs with an increase of 5000 every year.

I will be with my wife who will initially not be working.

So I've been told that for a couple that salary is just on the poverty line! I was surprised when she said that because if I had that salary in the UK I would be living very comfotably.

My supervisor says it is liveable as long as I'm carefull with my money.

What do you all think?
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Old 12.05.2009, 22:58
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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Hello everybody. I will be moving to Neuchatel in October. I will be on a salary of 44,000 francs with an increase of 5000 every year.

I will be with my wife who will initially not be working.

So I've been told that for a couple that salary is just on the poverty line! I was surprised when she said that because if I had that salary in the UK I would be living very comfotably.

My supervisor says it is liveable as long as I'm carefull with my money.

What do you all think?
The minimum salary here for any fulltime job is just below this. Working at the cash counter of the local supermarket would earn you more. I did live on this money for some months as an internship and yes, it is possible. However, I was alone. Offering you 5000 more a year is a joke.

What education do you have? What job have you been offered?
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  #3  
Old 12.05.2009, 23:06
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

It's for a PhD lasting about 3.5 years. I'm guessing that's why it is so low.

So if my wife learns enough french and gets a job at a supermarket I could double my income?
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Old 12.05.2009, 23:26
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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It's for a PhD lasting about 3.5 years. I'm guessing that's why it is so low.
Yeah. that's a reasonable PhD stipend. With two people it will be tight, but still possible. Hope at least one of you can cook...

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So if my wife learns enough french and gets a job at a supermarket I could double my income?
No, you couldn't. Your wife could have an income though.
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Old 12.05.2009, 23:31
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

I highly recommend the search function of the forum as pretty much everything has been discussed here before and you will find tons of information.

Short lookup for PHD salaries showed that you are not getting too little:
a phd student in zurich bring spouse

You will find much more examples on jobs, where and how to get them and so on. Have a look around.
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Old 12.05.2009, 23:36
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

Maybe you should look around the forum to get a feel for what it may be like here- and how expensive, especially the initial setting up, if you don't have savings it would take you a long time to pay everything off.If the PhD is worth it anything is possible.
It's not always easy for everyone to pick up a new language, and most cashiers in supermarkets are living here many years.
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Old 13.05.2009, 12:48
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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Yeah. that's a reasonable PhD stipend. With two people it will be tight, but still possible. Hope at least one of you can cook...

No, you couldn't. Your wife could have an income though.
That's what I meant.

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I highly recommend the search function of the forum as pretty much everything has been discussed here before and you will find tons of information.

Short lookup for PHD salaries showed that you are not getting too little:
a phd student in zurich bring spouse

You will find much more examples on jobs, where and how to get them and so on. Have a look around.
I did see that thread. But I was thinking that Neuchatel will have very different costs to Zurich so I thought I'd make my own thread. My supervisor there was under the impression that my wife wouldn't be able to work in Switzerland because she is non-EU but from searching this forum I proved the HR department otherwise which is fantastic!

I'm not looking for the high life there. Just as long as it's liveable and I can concentrate on my research instead of money problems and I will be fine!

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Maybe you should look around the forum to get a feel for what it may be like here- and how expensive, especially the initial setting up, if you don't have savings it would take you a long time to pay everything off.If the PhD is worth it anything is possible.
It's not always easy for everyone to pick up a new language, and most cashiers in supermarkets are living here many years.
I get some relocation so it's all good for setting up We should both be going to French classes soon. We are both bi-lingual anyway, so hopefully learning French won't be too bad!
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Old 13.05.2009, 12:56
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

But depending on your wife's profession etc. it might be very difficult being non EU to get permission to work?
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:01
porsch1909
 
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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But depending on your wife's profession etc. it might be very difficult being non EU to get permission to work?
Because we are married and she has indefinite leave to remain in the UK and I am a British citizen under the free movement of person she doesn't need permission as such. It's a bit of extra paper work for the company but they don't have restrictions under the national priority rules.

She will get British citizenship in March anyway.
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:02
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

wow, good luck!! 2 people living off 44k (I take it thats before tax as well) after you take off the cost of appartment etc you are not going to have much left. Really look into the costs here beforehand!

OK we're a family of 3 but our grocery bill is around 200chf per week, don't forget health insurance, you'll have to pay for accident cover too for your wife, rough guess would be 300chf per month for both of you. And thats all your money gone just to live. And that assumes you have no debts or bills back home.

Good luck!!

(always make sure you have a pot of money stashed away so you can get back home in an emergency)
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:23
porsch1909
 
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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wow, good luck!! 2 people living off 44k (I take it thats before tax as well) after you take off the cost of appartment etc you are not going to have much left. Really look into the costs here beforehand!

OK we're a family of 3 but our grocery bill is around 200chf per week, don't forget health insurance, you'll have to pay for accident cover too for your wife, rough guess would be 300chf per month for both of you. And thats all your money gone just to live. And that assumes you have no debts or bills back home.

Good luck!!

(always make sure you have a pot of money stashed away so you can get back home in an emergency)
Thanks for your reply. It's good to know some costs.

So if I take

Food - 800CHF per month (absolute max for a couple I'm guessing)
Rent - 900CHF per month
Insurance - 300 CHF per month

That comes to 1500CHF per month. I calculated from this (http://www.comparis.ch/comparis/default.aspx) link that I wold have 3326 per month take home.

So if I put 1000CHF for misc. expenses then I should have 800 odd to play around with...

So it's do-able if I am careful I hope!
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:26
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

have you checked on www.homegate.ch for rental costs, don't know what they are like where you are going but you won't get anything for 900 round zurich way
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:28
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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have you checked on www.homegate.ch for rental costs, don't know what they are like where you are going but you won't get anything for 900 round zurich way
I have had a look there. But that's the amount my supervisor said it would be for a cheap but nice apartment in Neuchatel. I might stretch for a more expensive one since every person I knows wants to visit me and a spare room would help!
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:37
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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Food - 800CHF per month (absolute max for a couple I'm guessing)
Rent - 900CHF per month
Insurance - 300 CHF per month
CHF800 is a bit steep for a food bill. That's more than we spend as a family of three by a long chalk and we don't shop particularly cheaply.

If you keep your eye out for products on "Aktion" (offer) or 3 for 2 offers you can make some good savings.

Your insurance might need a little upward adjustment if you are covering for two of you.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 13.05.2009 at 13:56.
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:42
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

We are paying over 500 for health insurance, so I think 250 is too low.

Agree that 900 is too low for rent.

Overall, I'd not come here as a couple for 44,000 Sfr if I had any other choices..
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Old 13.05.2009, 14:25
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

We all need permission, a permit as such, to live here and also to work.
Even in Neuchatel anything more than a one room studio would surely be a bit more?
Extras can add up- transport, house insurance, tv, telephone etc., electricity.
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Old 13.05.2009, 14:36
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

We're a couple and we can do food on 400CHF a month. You'll have to look out for sales and be creative but eat well at that price. Aldi will be your friend for things like juices, eggs, milk and veggies even but your closest Aldi seems to be in Bern.

I've heard you can get student insurance which will help but you might ask around.

If you look around, you might find cheaper rent in Canton Fribourg. While it's a high tax canton, since you're a student, you'll hardly be paying any tax. To check how far you'd have to commute, use www.rail.ch to check point to point distance. Obviously, if you live too far, your commute cost and time cost will be more than the rent you save etc. but I'm sure you'll figure all that out. Oh, Jura is also cheap I think.

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Thanks for your reply. It's good to know some costs.

So if I take

Food - 800CHF per month (absolute max for a couple I'm guessing)
Rent - 900CHF per month
Insurance - 300 CHF per month

That comes to 1500CHF per month. I calculated from this (http://www.comparis.ch/comparis/default.aspx) link that I wold have 3326 per month take home.

So if I put 1000CHF for misc. expenses then I should have 800 odd to play around with...

So it's do-able if I am careful I hope!
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Old 13.05.2009, 15:31
porsch1909
 
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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CHF800 is a bit steep for a food bill. That's more than we spend as a family of three by a long chalk and we don't shop particularly cheaply.

If you keep your eye out for products on "Aktion" (offer) or 3 for 2 offers you can make some good savings.

Your insurance might need a little upward adjustment if you are covering for two of you.
I try to make any estimate high so I might be surprised I will worry about health insurance closer to the time.

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We are paying over 500 for health insurance, so I think 250 is too low.

Agree that 900 is too low for rent.

Overall, I'd not come here as a couple for 44,000 Sfr if I had any other choices..
I found an apartment with 3 rooms 47m2 for 972 inc. electricity etc. When I get there I will have a better idea. Plus by my last year I will be on 59,000 which will be much more comfortable.





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We're a couple and we can do food on 400CHF a month. You'll have to look out for sales and be creative but eat well at that price. Aldi will be your friend for things like juices, eggs, milk and veggies even but your closest Aldi seems to be in Bern.

I've heard you can get student insurance which will help but you might ask around.

If you look around, you might find cheaper rent in Canton Fribourg. While it's a high tax canton, since you're a student, you'll hardly be paying any tax. To check how far you'd have to commute, use www.rail.ch to check point to point distance. Obviously, if you live too far, your commute cost and time cost will be more than the rent you save etc. but I'm sure you'll figure all that out. Oh, Jura is also cheap I think.
Thanks!
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Old 13.05.2009, 15:45
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

Nebenkosten or included costs usually cover an estimate of heating, water and electricity of the shared facilities, not of the appartment itself. Then once a year you pay the differance or recieve a refund depending on price of fuel etc. We still pay about 50 a month for our own electricity, and 300 at the end of year for the shared electric bill.
Not trying to be negative here it's just it can be hard to economize here as there are so many unexpected and unimagined hidden costs and fines to pay.
But if it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both of you , go for it . But with all the facts for both of you...
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Old 13.05.2009, 15:49
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Re: How is this salary for a couple?

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I try to make any estimate high so I might be surprised I will worry about health insurance closer to the time.



I found an apartment with 3 rooms 47m2 for 972 inc. electricity etc. When I get there I will have a better idea. Plus by my last year I will be on 59,000 which will be much more comfortable.







Thanks!

3 rooms isn't 3 bedrooms, they count all rooms as rooms, exluding kitchen and bathroom, so it may be 1 bedroom, 1 living room and 1 tiny tiny box room.
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