Cost of Living in Bremen

12 posts in this topic

Hi All,

 

I've been offered a job in Bremen, Germany. I'm a Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience (bachelors and masters degree in IT) and am wondering about the costs of living in Bremen. The company gave me an initial figure for a salary but I'm finding it a bit low (even though it qualifies me for an EU Blue Card).

 

I want to quote a higher figure in my talk with HR (which is likely going to happen in the coming week) but don't want to quote too high and scare them off. So I did some research and found that people with my experience make on an average 50 - 55K Brutto (Gross) per year. Since this is my first job in Germany, I was thinking of negotiating for 50K and being flexible to come down to maybe 48K (and also negotiating a raise after the Probezeit of 6 months). Question is, is that figure, 48.000 Euros, enough for a good and comfortable life in Bremen? (All figures are Gross amounts and I know Net amounts after taxes will be a lot lower)

 

So if anyone could answer how much it costs for each of the following points, would be so grateful!

 

 

  1. Cost of groceries per month (lacto-ovo vegetarian only, means with egg and milk)
  2. Cost of internet and cable per month (medium speed package of say 2 Mbps to 6 Mbps?)
  3. Cost of public transport (monthly pass with Straßenbahn, etc.)
  4. Rent cost (along with Nebenkost and Heißenkost amount if applicable) for 1 BHK flat, maximum 2 BHK flat, semi to unfurnished.
  5. Gym membership for a month (middle scale gym with good amenities)
  6. Monthly Cost of electricity
  7. Cost of furnishing a 1 BHK flat (On an average)
  8. Cost of learning driving in Germany (driving school and driving classes)
  9. Driving License fees and tests costs.
  10. Entertainment cost every weekend (Maybe a bar visit or movie or theater, nothing too extravagant)

 

The answers will help me build up an idea of living costs in Bremen and how much to negotiate for. Before anyone points out, I searched the forum for this info and even did a search on topics specific to Bremen but found none. So I am posting here.

 

Thanks in advance!

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1. Groceries are cheap in Germany. I find food noticeably cheaper in Germany than in Italy, Spain, France and the UK.

 

2. Check: vodadofone.de, http://www.kabeldeutschland.de/, telekom.de... Prices vary but you can expect to pay around 30 euros a month. Speeds are typically a lot faster than 2 to 6 Mbps. My local cable company offers up to 150 Mpbs!

 

3. Check here: http://en.vbn.de/

 

4. Renting is relatively affordable in Germany. Over half of Germans live as tenants. You can check prices here: immobilienscout24.de, immonet.de

 

5. No idea

 

6. Gas and electricity are expensive in Germany. There's a strong "green sentiment" in society and a widespread antipathy against nuclear power particularly, which attract a regulatory environment that drives prices up. My energy bill (gas + electricity) for a 70 sqm flat is about 150 euros a month, and I live on my own, don't even shower every day (I'm slightly ashamed to confess) and keep my flat so cold in the winter that visitors invariably complain about it.

 

7. No idea what a BHK flat is (is that an Indian thing?) but in ikea.de you should get an idea. I'd presume pretty much the same all over the world in these globalized days.

 

8. A lot. There are threads about this here. Use the search function.

 

9. Ditto

 

10. On the salary you are looking at you can afford to go out and have fun. I wouldn't worry.

 

11. Health insurance is missing from your list. Look into that. In Germany health care is not financed by taxes and you are not automatically covered just by living here, like you'd be in the UK, for example. You have to get health insurance and it's not cheap. Search the forums. There are also two forum members (john.g and Starshollow) that can advise you and find you a suitable plan.

 

You don't need to find specific information on Bremen when searching the forums. The only important disparity in cost of living between different regions in Germany is housing. Everything else pretty much costs the same.

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Thanks for the reply Smaug. Very informative.

 

Sorry, I assumed BHK is a universal thing. It means Bedroom Hall(Living Room) Kitchen and yes, I guess it is an Indian thing. What is the universal notation?

 

Will definitely take your tip on Health Insurance. I still have to talk to the HR and get the full list of details regarding the job so don't know everything yet. But I'll keep this in mind and make sure to negotiate my salary accordingly.

 

In fact, some people I know have just told me I should actually ask for 60K for my range of skills. Not sure but it certainly has me thinking...

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Hi All,

 

I've been offered a job in Bremen, Germany. I'm a Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience (bachelors and masters degree in IT) and am wondering about the costs of living in Bremen. The company gave me an initial figure for a salary but I'm finding it a bit low (even though it qualifies me for an EU Blue Card).

 

I want to quote a higher figure in my talk with HR (which is likely going to happen in the coming week) but don't want to quote too high and scare them off. So I did some research and found that people with my experience make on an average 50 - 55K Brutto (Gross) per year. Since this is my first job in Germany, I was thinking of negotiating for 50K and being flexible to come down to maybe 48K (and also negotiating a raise after the Probezeit of 6 months). Question is, is that figure, 48.000 Euros, enough for a good and comfortable life in Bremen? (All figures are Gross amounts and I know Net amounts after taxes will be a lot lower)

 

So if anyone could answer how much it costs for each of the following points, would be so grateful!

 

 

  1. Cost of groceries per month (lacto-ovo vegetarian only, means with egg and milk)
  2. Cost of internet and cable per month (medium speed package of say 2 Mbps to 6 Mbps?)
  3. Cost of public transport (monthly pass with Straßenbahn, etc.)
  4. Rent cost (along with Nebenkost and Heißenkost amount if applicable) for 1 BHK flat, maximum 2 BHK flat, semi to unfurnished.
  5. Gym membership for a month (middle scale gym with good amenities)
  6. Monthly Cost of electricity
  7. Cost of furnishing a 1 BHK flat (On an average)
  8. Cost of learning driving in Germany (driving school and driving classes)
  9. Driving License fees and tests costs.
  10. Entertainment cost every weekend (Maybe a bar visit or movie or theater, nothing too extravagant)

 

The answers will help me build up an idea of living costs in Bremen and how much to negotiate for. Before anyone points out, I searched the forum for this info and even did a search on topics specific to Bremen but found none. So I am posting here.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Hi, firstly costs would also depend upon your family status - married/children

1.There are indian shops to buy indian specific groceries, which are also available at asian shops. Otherwise, one can buy them at many bigger stores like Aldi, Penny, Netto, REWE, EDEKA or bio store like Natura. The cost varies

2. Internet and landline combined about 30 -40 euros monthly. Cable about 18 euros fixed for state and then you can have set top box or dish antenna or sky on extra payment.

3. Local SBahn card is about 77 euros a month

4.Flats here come in terms of atcual rooms and not bhk or in terms of sq mt. Depending upon the location it can vary approx 6 - 12 euros sq mt. Most of them are unfurnished.

5.Gyms are reasonable - about 30 euros a month ( i saw a banner at am brill )

6. Electricity/Water/Gas is expensive as mentioned by smaug

7.Furnishing again depends on your taste and your willingness to buy new or secondhand furniture, etc

8. Driving lessons and test is costly about 1000 euros plus / minus

9.Entertainment / eating out about 50 euros a week subject to different factors - where all you go, how often and with whom

 

Overall, you can live very comfortably with this salary here - though it should not deter you from extracting the max from the company. All the best.

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Thanks for the reply Smaug. Very informative. Sorry, I assumed BHK is a universal thing. It means Bedroom Hall(Living Room) Kitchen and yes, I guess it is an Indian thing. What is the universal notation?Will definitely take your tip on Health Insurance.

 

In other English-speaking countries:

 

Bedsit: A bedroom with some kind of cooking facility in a corner.

Studio: An single-room apartment, which would include a living room area. Larger than a bedsit.

One-bedroom flat/apartment: An apartment where the bedroom and kitchen/living room are separate. Kitchen and living room could still be in a single room

Two-bedroom flat: Same as above but with two bedrooms.

3-bedroom...

4-bedroom...

 

In Germany apartments are described differently as in English-speaking countries. Germany counts bedrooms and living rooms together when describing the flat, so a "1-Zimmer-Wohnung" is a studio, a "2-Zimmer-Wohnung" is a one-bedroom flat, etc.

 

Apartments with shared kitches and bathrooms are pretty much unheard of in Germany. There's always both.

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I wanted to add with regard to #7:

 

7. Second hand furniture is very cheap, or even free, in Germany if you have the means to transport it. Look for private ads placed in grocery store bulletin boards.

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As a general rule, reckon on paying 45%-48% total deductions (tax, social security, health insurance) from your net to get your in-pocket gross income (there are plenty of websites with calculators). Reckon on paying 30%-50% of your gross towards rent/services/internet etc. depending on your expectations on levels of comfort.

 

All-in-all you should be able to live pretty comfortably as a single person on 48-50k

 

OH! And make sure you read the "where to live in Bremen threads carefully before looking for somewhere to live :-)

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In fact, some people I know have just told me I should actually ask for 60K for my range of skills. Not sure but it certainly has me thinking...

 

60k is the sort of level you would command as an experienced specialist or as a junior manager/team leader. It might be realistic for your skillset but its getting close to serious money - Don't undersell yourself but don't price yourself out either.

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As a general rule, reckon on paying 45%-48% total deductions (tax, social security, health insurance) from your net to get your in-pocket gross income (there are plenty of websites with calculators). Reckon on paying 30%-50% of your gross towards rent/services/internet etc. depending on your expectations on levels of comfort.

 

All-in-all you should be able to live pretty comfortably as a single person on 48-50k

 

OH! And make sure you read the "where to live in Bremen threads carefully before looking for somewhere to live :-)

 

The last part is very important - hehe from personal expereince

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Now been offered a salary of 45K per year (gross). Is that enough for living in Bremen? I know I mentioned 48K but company is offering to go up only to 45K for now.

 

What about when I shift jobs? Can I ask for a raise to 55K to 60K after working in this company for 2-3 years and then looking for something new?

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Recent IT grads with an MSc start at about 42 - 46k€/year. Don't expect substantial raises working at the same company.

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What about when I shift jobs? Can I ask for a raise to 55K to 60K after working in this company for 2-3 years and then looking for something new?

 

45k isn't a kings ransom but you can live quite happily on that, especially if you don't have a car (Bremen is not huge and has good public transport)

 

A jump to 55k is doable if you change company after 3+ (not 2) years, 60k probably not unless you are very lucky. You generally wont get anwhere near that at the same Company

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