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Cost of living germany

Cost of living Germany

Cost of Living Germany

What is it about the British which makes us unable to talk about money? We just cannot do it! It is toe curling, it makes us cringe. Apparently, keeping mum, is a very British trait. But when it comes to being practical, money does need to be discussed. Thankfully the Germans don’t find talking about money to be so daunting. And here it is in black and white, everything you need to know about the cost of living in Germany.

As a general rule, the cost of living in Germany, is statistically lower than in the UK and about average when compared to other European countries. However, to really understand how your cost of living might differ when moving to Germany, you need to answer two questions. Where do you live now? Where are you moving to? For example, if you currently live in London then moving to Berlin is going to feel considerably cheaper. In comparison, a family moving from a small south Walian village to a city apartment in Munich, are definitely going to notice a price hike.

Cars are part of Germany’s national image. They are extremely proud of the success of premium brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz. Of course all these companies require skilled workers to propel them to that level of regard. Germany currently has a shortage of qualified professionals including engineers, IT specialists and doctors. Most jobs for graduates start at 30,00 euros per annum. Unfortunately whilst salaries might be high, so are the taxes. When considering job opportunities, expats need to be mindful that as much as 50% could be deducted from salaries in tax. As an incentive, many employers will offer private healthcare, bonuses and annual pay reviews. It is also common for employees to be offered a 13 month salary, i.e.: work for twelve months and get paid for thirteen.

If there is one incentive that would entice British workers to Germany, perhaps it would be the fact the beer is cheaper than water. It might sound like a complete myth, but in many cases this is actually true. Many bars and restaurants only offer premium quality water and with beer available from about 1 euro per litre, it actually pays to drink beer. At the supermarket you can expect to pay 1.5 euros for a loaf of bread, 0.75 euros for a litre of milk and 1.55 euros for twelve eggs. Smokers will also cash in with a massive saving of around £5.50 per pack of 20 cigarettes!

Germans are known for their outstanding organisational skills and the transport system is no exception. Therefore expats living in urban areas don’t necessarily need a car. Trains are reliable and very fast, but do cost more than the bus network. Commuters should look out for discounts or consider a Bahn card which can save a lot of money.

Public schools in Germany do not charge, however many expats prefer to send their little ones to an international school and that can come with a hefty price tag. Tuition fees vary from place to place and depend on the age of the child. Costs start from approximately 10,000 euros per year.

If you are employed in Germany, you will pay for your health insurance on a monthly basis via a PAYE system. Those who are self employed need to ensure they have a private health insurance and these policies can be costly, sometimes as much as 250 euros per month.

The average disposable income is almost 15% higher in Germany than in the UK. This gives rise to the standard of living. Germans are generally happy with both the cost of living and the standard of living. A recent report suggests that Germans are more satisfied with life than other European nationals. Have a strong financial plan in place before you travel and you too can have a piece of the financial security.

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