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Cost of living in Germany

When you move to Germany, you need to balance a potentially high salary against the typical cost of living in Germany. Germany has a remarkably high standard of living. Their public transport, healthcare and education are excellent and very reasonable compared with other industrialised European countries. While accommodation will take a big bite out of your wage, the food prices are quite low. The individual cost of living in Germany obviously varies according to your personal lifestyle and can differ from city to city. House prices in Berlin are far higher than in smaller towns, but it can be cheaper for things like clothes and food. The cost of living in Dusseldorf is virtually the same as the cost of living in Stuttgart. Expats usually earn enough to afford them a comfortable lifestyle. According to Expatisan.com, the average total cost of living in Germany for a single person is €1909.

Housing and Utilities

Generally, housing in Germany is quite affordable. They vary depending on the type of property and by region. Whether you decide to rent or buy depend on how long you intend to stay, but there are no restrictions for expats buying a property in Germany. In the beginning, most expats live in rented accommodation. Housing is one factor which differs vastly between cities. The cost of living in Dusseldorf is lower because of the decreased rent. A one-bedroom apartment outside of the centre costs around €550, whereas the same apartment in Stuttgart will set you back €718. Utilities also vary slightly between cities and suppliers. You should expect to pay around €2.50/m² for gas, electricity and water bills. Numbeo.com estimates the cost of living in Germany regarding utilities as €220 per month. An internet connection should cost you around €30 per month, plus the price of a TV license.

Food and Entertainment

Groceries are not too expensive in Germany and shopping at Lidl or Aldi can save you up to 15% on your bill. A litre of milk costs around €0.75 and a loaf of bread €1.36. Alcohol in supermarkets is reasonably priced at 84cents a bottle of beer and €4.99 for wine. Drinking alcohol in restaurants and bars costs more, around €3.50 for half a litre of beer. Eating out in Germany is generally inexpensive. There is a wide range of restaurants available in all price ranges. An evening meal for two with a couple of drinks won’t leave you out of pocket at €50. Tips not included. If you want to join a gym to keep fit, you will also find a range of prices, starting at a basic €19 all the way up to €87 for luxury facilities.

Day to Day Costs

All residents in Germany are required to take out basic health insurance. The cost varies depending on age, cover and the health insurance company you use. Some employers offer subsidised health care, so you should check to see if this will save you money. Basic insurance starts at around €160–€400 for professionals. Transportation costs seem to be consistent across the big cities. The cost of living in Stuttgart compared with the cost of living in Dusseldorf does not differ in terms of transport. A monthly travel pass in either city will cost around €79. Petrol prices can vary across the country but on average a litre of petrol costs €1.43. Public education is free and of an excellent standard. If you would prefer international schooling for your children, this starts at around €16,000 per year. Germany also boasts a fantastic childcare system which is subsidised based on your income. 

Cost of Living in Germany – Mundiaz

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