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Cost of living in Switzerland !

(20 Posts)
HormonalHousewife Wed 27-Feb-13 09:52:10

Wow !!

Having just returned from a lovely weeks skiing in Switzerland I am astounded at how much everyday basic items cost. We were self catering in a chalet so had to buy most things.

In the UK DH is a lawyer so earns a very good salary and we live very well, but we or more accurately I was shocked at how much everything is. Food, drinks, clothing all seemed 2 or three times more expensive compared to back home.

I dont know how everyday people managed to live. Do you just earn more ? and does anybody know how much a lawyer would earn so we can sell up and live there permanantly grin

laptopwieldingharpy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:57:28

Am sure they live very comfortably off the comissions they get for money laundering wink
Would he consider?

HormonalHousewife Wed 27-Feb-13 10:05:40


No. he wouldnt do anything like that unfortunately.

DH is stiff as old school, straight laiced as they come. wont even pay the gardner in cash just in case it looks like he's avoiding anything hmm

NeedlesCuties Wed 27-Feb-13 10:08:21

It's true. We've been there a few times on hols too and when buying food I just used to cringe.

Do they get some low tax rate or something, to make life easier?

No idea!

RedundantExpat Wed 27-Feb-13 12:09:55

We pay extremely low taxes and I guess, yes, salaries are higher. Having said that I don't know how a medium-low earner does anything in his spare time but walk in the woods.

LIZS Wed 27-Feb-13 12:36:57

As long as you are paid in CHF it is ok. When we lived there the exchange rate was 2.25 to £ now it is 1.45 which makes a huge difference.

HormonalHousewife Wed 27-Feb-13 17:14:57

Interesting about the taxes - I thought you were taxed for eveything within an inch of its life /

ah I remember those halcyon days Liz - it certainly does make a difference.

PS We had a lovely time in saas Fee, the glacier was just amazing; but I'm not sure I would go there again or recommend it to others - too much walking about to cable cars, carrying skis through tunnels hmm

I think they need to seriously invest in the nursery slopes at the base of the mountain with a magic carpet or pull rope across the bridge. Its really tough for inexperienced skiers or little ones to ski uphill !

DH is already looking at Wengen for 2014 but i want to explore a bit further afield.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 27-Feb-13 23:01:56

Also remember that ski resorts are more expensive than 'normal' towns because they are more remote and they know they have adaptive audience.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 27-Feb-13 23:02:37

'A captive' . Screw you autocorrect.

sleepingsatellite18 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:05:04

SIL has lived in Switzerland for about 12 years (grew up in Germany)

I'm pretty sure the wages are higher? She's only cleaning at the moment and I can't remember exactly but me and OH were shocked at how much she got paid for it! All relative though

anonymosity Wed 27-Feb-13 23:39:33

In the late 80s when I went inter-railing with a bf through Europe we stopped in Lucerne which was beautiful. We stayed in a campsite (it rained every night) and we could only afford a hot dog (horrible!) for dinner each night - and that took our whole day food budget which I think back then was about 5 quid for the pair of us.

ripsishere Thu 28-Feb-13 01:03:03

We lived there for three years. Although we lived in a low tax canton (5%) the rents and health insurance mopped up the difference.
I used to go to France once a month and buy a car load of shopping. Even factoring in the time and petrol it worked out to be around half the price of what I'd have paid locally.
Wengen is nice, if isolated. DD used to ski at Engelberg which is much busier. There's a COOP and IIRC a Denner there and they don't jack the prices up. Wengen only has a COOP and prices are more expensive because it is car free.

southwest Thu 28-Feb-13 01:13:58

Maybe they all pop to London and shop till they drop everyone else seems to lol!!

more seriously I saw a thread on here about people living in France because it's so much cheaper but working in Geneva I think

Australia is also really expensive, I wonder how the two compare

anonymosity Thu 28-Feb-13 03:12:55

London is very expensive.

ripsishere Thu 28-Feb-13 03:38:52

We were planning to move to London last year. I even went down and stayed with a Mner while I found a house to rent and a school for my DD.
Once DH and I worked out that half of his salary would go on rent and council tax, we jacked his proposed job in and moved to Malaysia.
It's like comparing oranges and apples. Switzerland does have lower tax, but you'' have to find a lot of CHF for medical insurance, personal insurance and car insurance. Electricity is very expensive, gas is virtually unheard of, and in some cantons if you practice a religion you are expected to make a % of your salary over to your particular church.

EspressoMonkey Wed 06-Mar-13 20:19:42

Switzerland is expensive. Taxes do vary canton to canton, i wish we lived in a low tax canton.

After a while i forget how much things do cost because i stop converting things from CHF to £, then someone visits us from the UK and has a moan at the price of things and you are reminded. Now trips back to the UK feel like trips to the US when the exchange rate was 2$ to 1£ and i go crazy at how cheap stuff is and spend spend spend.

It cost 155 CHF = £109 for my dog's haircut the other day, nothing special just a wash and trim. Gulp.

samuelwhiskers Wed 06-Mar-13 20:34:22

The exchange rate is pretty low at the moment 1.40 CHF = 1 GBP, 12 years ago it was 2.50 CHF = 1 GBP so it would seem really expensive on your ski holiday! Taxes are low but that is because you have to fund your own health insurance which can be 1000 chf a month for a family of 4. Some things are expensive but gas/elec seems the same price as the UK, council tax lower here (Vaud) but food is outrageously expensive. However, there are Aldi and Lidl now smile Houses are expensive in good location areas, first rung of the ladder is about 800,000 chf.

NanoNinja Wed 06-Mar-13 20:34:46

I have been here for three years and still get sticker shock. Paid 200 chf or about £150 for highlights and cut a couple of months back, cost me £50 in the UK.

Tax, health insurance and rents really do vary from canton to canton. Seems we chose a canton where everything is expensive... Clever.

DieWilde13 Sat 09-Mar-13 17:57:04

Everything is more expensive, but people also earn a lot more. I used to earn the equivalent of £50k p.a. as a PA! That made for some fun conversations with job agents in the UK when they asked me what I had earned previously grin

We moved back to the UK, dh kept his pay package and we are quite a bit better off here. A lot of expats are dazzled by the £££ they are offered for a job in CH, move over there and have a very rude awakening when they realise how high the cost of living is.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 12:20:34

Wages are much higher, taxes are lower. I've lived here 24 years now, and actually I find London horrendously expensive. I don't know how families manage on thirty thousand a year.

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