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Cost of living in Switzerland

Switzerland has a longstanding reputation as being an expensive place to live. If you’re thinking of moving to Switzerland, it’s only natural that you worry about whether you can afford it. Expatisan.com estimates the monthly cost for a single person to be 3669CHF. Calculating the real cost of living in Zurich is more than just knowing the prices in Switzerland. You must balance these expenses against your increased income and the other benefits you get from living in Switzerland. Zurich may be the most expensive city on the planet, but it is also a global hub for finance and technology. There are many well-paid jobs available for highly skilled expats. Salaries in Switzerland are typically high enough to compensate for inflated prices, and expats find the quality of life is worth every penny.  Living in a clean alpine environment, your lifestyle will get healthier, and so will your bank balance.

Prices in Switzerland – housing and utilities

The biggest chunk of the cost of living in Zurich is accommodation. You can expect up to 30% of your salary to be used on housing. Most people rent an apartment, and there can be a shortage which pushes up the bill. A 45m² studio apartment in the centre of Zurich could cost around 1714CHF per month, while a larger 85m² flat would run up to 3188CHF. Before you gasp in horror, it might be worth considering living a little outside of the city. The same size apartment in an ordinary suburban area could save you nearly 1000CHF a month. The prices in Switzerland for utilities such as water and electricity are more comparable to other European cities. For a one-bedroom apartment with two people, it would cost around 178CHF (€169) per month. Utility companies are all private and offer packages, including the internet and TV licence. 

Prices in Switzerland – Food and entertainment

As you’d expect, groceries in Zurich are approximately 20%-30% more expensive than other European cities. A single person should expect to spend around 100CHF per week in the supermarket. A litre of milk costs 1.59CHF and a loaf of bread 265CHF. You can save money by buying non-Swiss items or shopping at the cut-price German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Cross-border shopping is an increasingly popular way of reducing the cost of living in Switzerland. Thrifty shoppers hop over the border to France or Germany to stock up on lower priced items.  Eating out is no less pricey in Switzerland either. A dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant would set you back at least 100CHF, without wine. Don’t be scared, you will be able to afford it! Expats in Switzerland have some of the highest purchasing power in the world, even after paying 7CHF for a beer.

Prices in Switzerland – Day to day costs

Health insurance in Switzerland is compulsory, and providers are all privately owned. Premiums are based on geographical location, not on income. You can expect to shell out around 10% of your pay on health insurance. Don’t skimp on your policy because low-cost plans could leave you with large unexpected bills in the event of an emergency. The average premium is around 450CHF per month. Many people find the prices in Switzerland for running a car prohibitive and turn to public transport as a cheaper alternative. Luckily, the transportation system is excellent, efficient, and not extortionate. A monthly ticket is around 77CHF on average. If you have children, you’ll be glad to know that public schools are free. However, they only teach in the local language so many expats prefer to enrol their children in an international school. These are awfully expensive; nearly 35,000CHF, but sometimes employers are prepared to contribute.

Cost of living in Switzerland – Mundialz

If you decide to work in Switzerland, you mustn't go around comparing prices in Switzerland to those in your home country. You’ll never buy anything ever again! We are sure that your new salary is going to afford you a very comfortable lifestyle indeed. Mundialz will be with you every step of the way, from application to relocation.

Start your alpine adventure and browse jobs in Switzerland today!

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