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Move to Brussels - job offer - May 2011

(17 Posts)
RBA84 Thu 26-May-11 09:26:13


I got an offer to go and work in Brussels. I will have an aprox 1700 euro net per month. I will go there single, for the moment. From what I saw, a studio is about 500-700 euros to rent/month. Can you give me some advices on good/bad neighborhoods?

Because I am single without children/s I understand that my taxes will be 38%. This will be charged from my salary every month or at the end of the year?

How much costs to eat half of the month at restaurants/fast-food (decent ones) and half of the month to cook? How much do you spend on a month (food+cigarettes+1 or 2 nights in town to party)?

I will get some medical insurance, but I read that is necessary to have also the 'mutuelle' insurance(to cover all the medical emergencies). Standard medical insurance is not enough?

I saw that public transport card is around 60 euros per month. This is with all the lines, or a single line?

I do not know what to say about my salary. I'm a Delphi Developer with +4 years of experience. Offered salary is in the average range?

Sorry to put some many questions, but now I have a lot of questions/decisions on my head.

Thank you in advance!

Have a great day!

Best regards,

Portofino Thu 26-May-11 09:49:01

Will you be working for an employer? Do you know your gross salary? It has to be multiplied by 13.85. By my quick calculation you would be in the top tax bracket - 50%. This is normally taken from your salary on a monthly basis and you need to complete a tax return once a year.

Yes you need the Mutuelle cover. Normally your employer can organise this.

Where abouts will you be working? That could have a big impact on where might be the best place to live. A transport card is between 45 and 50 euros a month - less if you are under 25.

Food costs - groceries seem quite expensive to me - spend about 150 euros a week for 3 of us. You can normally get a fixed price lunch in a restaurant for about 10 euros. I would say normal main course prices start at about 12 euros. Cigarettes are about 5 euros a pack. 2 euros for a beer, glass of wine etc

RBA84 Thu 26-May-11 11:47:28

Thank you Portofino,

yes, I will work for an employer. "By my quick calculation you would be in the top tax bracket - 50%." - can you explain me why?

thank you,

Portofino Thu 26-May-11 13:06:20

By looking at the tax calculator, a net of 1700 and no dependant spouse, no children. That's why I asked what your gross income was . Tax is 45% on incomes over 19,000 euros. Your next income x 13.85 comes to more than that. So I would guess that your gross income must be in the region of 3k per month. 50% rate starts at 36k euros per year. Plus local income tax, plus social security payments. After allowing for the basic exemption, you can probably expect to take home just over half of your monthly gross income.

In Belgium, you get a 13th month payment, and 0.85 double holiday payment. This is included in your gross annual salary.

RBA84 Thu 26-May-11 14:03:12

Thank you again Portofino,

Now I've understand.

Can you please tell me the 'unsafe' areas/neighborhoods in Brussels?

Thank you

Portofino Thu 26-May-11 14:45:05 is the main house/flat search website.

Assuming you will work in the centre somewhere, I would say that most places to the East, North and South are OK. Some bits of Schaerbeek are to be avoided, but the area round Parc Josaphat are quite gentrified. Sint Josse and to the North of the Gare du Nord is where the red light district is. Also the area round the Gare du Midi / St Gilles is not great.

Evere is fine (but a bit dull) Woluwe St Pierre/St Lambert are large leafy communes mainly inhabited by families. Etterbeek/Ixelles - more central and absolutely fine. Auderghem, Watermael- Boitsfort are more leafy surburbia. The Brussels commune (as opposed to the Region) post code 1000 runs right through the centre from the north to the south.

Popular areas for night life are St-Gery, round Place Flagey, Chateleine.

In the week the European district round Schuman and Luxembourg has lots of expat bars.

500 euros would get you this For example.

I would go onto Immoweb and do a map based search. Do you know where your work will be based yet?

RBA84 Mon 30-May-11 08:53:06

Thank you for the answer. At this moment I don't know where the work place is based.

Wunderland Mon 06-Jun-11 15:09:34


Another slighlty panicky addition to questions about schools and Brussels - I have been following the threads and was amazed by all the info and advice, but it was maily for bilingual schools. We are moving from London to Brussels in August. Our daughter will be 3 in August and we are hoping to get her into a French maternelle for September. Is that realistic at all? What else can we do? Are the childcare boards for childminders? I would rather get her into "school" already though. Annoying, as we just got a place in London before we knew that we had to move. My partner will work near Louise in Ixelles - so may be best to look there, and we are looking to live not too far (Ixelles, St Gilles, Etterbek, Uccle, Forest is the areas I have been looking on ImmoWeb), but we might not know where exactly before July. When do the schools close and how do I best at least try to get her on lists? Our daughter speaks French, English and German and I was hoping to get her into a French school as I don't think we cannot afford the English ones. I have been looking at French school websites, but do not understand enough to make sense of it. Many thanks in advance for your help!

Portofino Mon 06-Jun-11 15:30:01

You will need to be quick. There are only 4 weeks left of the school year. There is a recent thread where the OP was hoping to live in Ixelles and mentions lots of the schools there. We need natation, as she is the font of all knowledge when it comes to schools here. I would draw up a list of schools and email them asap. We can certainly help with that. Most local child care settings don't take children after 3 - there is no call for it.

Wunderland Mon 06-Jun-11 17:10:31

Thanks so much for your fast reply! My partner initially didn't get the job, so we didn't worry, and now we have to relocate within a month or two - which would be no problem without a little one I guess. I got as far as this list
but not sure where to go from there. Partner is actually French, but doesn't really understand the process we have to follow to enrol either and is so stressed with the new and old job that "mum" has to take over flat and schoolhunt...
Many thanks again - what a source of knowledge and help you all are! Merci!

Portofino Mon 06-Jun-11 17:56:29

I will link to this thread on the living overseas topic as you might get more responses. Basically for dd, we arrived here in April, around May time I think I emailed the local schools and then made an appointment, filled in a form, took her passport/birth certificate and vaccination book. Sometimes you need the document from the commune saying where you live, by I think all schools have slightly different rules.

I am sure you won't be the first person in this situation though. I would send an email to each of the schools, explain the circumstances and ask if there are places left and what the enrolment process is. If your partner is French, he should be able to draft something wink. For maternelle, there is no problem if you need/want to move to a better/closer school later on - you can move freely at the end of the year. Once they are in Primaire, you can only change schools at the end of each 2 year cycle - unless you are moving miles away of course.

Portofino Mon 06-Jun-11 18:08:33

this thread might be useful and specifically mentions some of the Ixelles schools. You might be better posting in Living Overseas as I think the Local page is off most people's radar.

natation Mon 06-Jun-11 19:03:50

Wunderland, see the other thread

Wunderland Tue 07-Jun-11 11:53:54

many thanks again! Do you have a network there too? Little outings etc?

Portofino Tue 07-Jun-11 13:27:29

We do indeed. I need to update everything as I think we have a few new movers recently. We have had the odd meet up with the kids, but do grown up lunch in Brussels when the kids are at school, trips to the cinema, coffee at each other's house etc. Longtime was actually building a spreadsheet at one point....

There's a mix between wohm and sahms I think (I work FT) but everyone I have met so far is very friendly and will be happy to help you settle in. Have you seen previously the link to the BCT?

It is well worth joining - even if you work and don't do coffee mornings. Lots of areas do girl's nights out and the like, there is a bookclub, and you usually get a directory listing other members and where they live so you can look up people who live nearby. They run weekend activities for the kids several times a year - disco, Xmas fair etc. I met lots of people by volunteering on the Events Committee.

Portofino Tue 07-Jun-11 13:28:46

I'll PM you my email address.

Wunderland Sun 28-Aug-11 14:30:51

We now have a house in Ixelles, border Etterbeek, but still no maternelle apart from the one nobody recommends - panic! I might try and go to Jardins d'Elise personally (with my child?) and maybe Claire Joie in Etterbeek - any thoughts about these?
Many thanks!

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