Cost of Living in Germany

The cost of living in Germany for expats is the primary concern for people seeking job opportunities in the country or relocating to it. The following are some useful pointers that may help you assess the situation, should you decide to shift to Germany.

Housing in Germany

If you have to move from your home country because of company policy, the cost of living in Germany for expats will be shouldered in part by the moving allowance you will get. Note however, that this is often only applicable if the relocation is for a period of two years or more. Make sure that the money is sufficient so that you can get the place you desire.

The cost of an apartment in Germany would depend on:

  • the city in which you are looking to find an apartment
  • the number of rooms required by you in the apartment
  • is the apartment fully furnished or unfurnished

The farther you go from the city, correspondingly, the rent of the apartment will also be more affordable. It is said that an apartment in Berlin is cheaper than the ones found in Frankfurt and Munich.

The cost of renting an apartment will depend on the location and the size of the place. A two bedroom apartment costs at least 900 Euros a month. A three bedroom house may come in at 1,600 to 2,000 Euros. There are also several condominium units you can buy or rent.

Taxes Germany

The tax rate varies depending on earnings and status but it can go as high as 44.3% for a single individual. The highest rate for a company is 25%. In addition there are also deductions due to the Value Added Tax (VAT). If your business enterprise involves trade, there is also a trade tax. For this reason it is often beneficial to keep your salary fixed (i.e., not subject to the fluctuation of the exchange rates) as it can help reduce costs.

Transportation Costs in Germany

If you are interested in going to other countries in Europe you will be pleased to know that for 100 Euros you can fly anywhere in the continent, helping lower the cost of living in Germany for expats significantly. The fuel cost fluctuates according to the season. Do not be surprised if it goes up by as much 20% during winter.

Shopping in Germany

Shopping is pretty much the same as in the United States, with the cost depending on the stores you buy from. One thing that expats might need to get used to is that clothes are specified in centimeters (not sizes). The stores here are also not as large as those in the United States, but a lot of what you will need can be found here comfortably.

Cost of Basic Necessities

In terms of the above mentioned basic necessities, the cost of living in Germany for expats may seem a bit high. The rate in cities and villages are not the same but on the average it can be 100 Euros a month for water (this is for a family of three). Bread costs about 2 to 3 Euros per loaf; milk comes in at 70 cents per liter. The prices of fruits are also quite high, both in supermarkets and small stores.

The question of whether it is too expensive to live in Germany will depend on your salary to a large extent. As stated earlier, company cars and relocation pay will help to reduce the cost of transferring. If you would like to settle in Germany, you will need to assess the facts and the figures. Doing so will allow you to determine if the cost of living in Germany for expats is suitable to you.