Can you support a family of 4 in Karlsruhe when another parent is stay-home parent?

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First of all; I apologize for any mistakes I make in language, I'm not a native English -speaker.

My question may sound weird but we are contemplating moving to Karlsruhe so that only I would initially work and my husband would stay home to learn more German and to help the kids adjust etc. We come from Scandinavia and both of us work outside of home at the moment. Rents in Karslruhe seen relatively high. My work would require commuting by train - thus it makes most sense to rent a flat quite near the train station, obviously not the cheapest area. Is it madness to think that I could support alone for the whole family (for at least a few months - year, before my husband would hopefully also find a job)? With Kindergarten fees also, because kids need to learn German, my eldest probably would go to school at age 6? My salary would not be quite bad, approximately 5800€/month before taxes and places we have been looking for have been around 1000 - 1200€/month WARMMiete. The taxation is so different (I know that size of family has an impact on your tax rate) that I have no idea what to expect and also the costs of living are really difficult to calculate in advance...

Thank you for your responses!

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I think you'll survive.  According to an online tax calculator, if you get yourself registered in tax class 3 (sole earner) and have two kids and are not a member of a church and are a member of a public health insurance which will also include your spouse and kids, you will keep 3890€ per month after taxes. In Germany you also get child benefits (kindergeld), around 200€ per child.  Plenty of people are living on less.  If your child is turning 6 before Oct. 1st this year, they need to start school in the fall.  If they have a birthday Oct. 1st or later, they start school next year.

 

 

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Well, obviously, you won't be able to go out to the top restaurants every evening, but I doubt that is what you have in mind :)

I think that as long as you don't have a really expensive lifestyle, or expensive hobbies, you should be fine!

 

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I believe that the average salary in Germany is around 3,800 Gross.  So you are earning way above that and many people have to survive on less with a family.

But it all of course depends on what life style you expect and are willing to accept.  

 

If you want to save money on Kindergarten fees then I suggest that you look at living just over the border in Rheinland-Pfalz.  As here Kindergarten is provided free (although I think there are limits to the number of hours per week, but then it still means it would be much cheaper.  But of course this might mean a compromise on your commute.

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The old measure was maybe 25% of net income on housing. I am guessing it is within that. I would also say not high life but perfectly manageable.

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i think that you can survive well. We used to live in Durlach, the rental is around 950 euro with the flat of 2 sleeping room. Very nice environment for children, a lot of spielplatz and good school. It is not so far and not so close to Karlsruhe. Quite convinient with the train to Karlsruhe. If you want to save some money on clothing for kids, there are so many secondhand market for children here. But in general, i am sure that you can stay good with such income. 

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That's a very good salary for Germany, and you can live comfortably on that. According to Die Zeit's 'middle class' calculator, that income puts you in the top fifth of all households in Germany after taking into account family size. The notional 25-30% cost of accommodation limit applies less as you move up the income ladder.   

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On 04/02/2019, 07:27:46, dj_jay_smith said:

I believe that the average salary in Germany is around 3,800 Gross.  So you are earning way above that and many people have to survive on less with a family.

 

The average income of families in Baden-Württemberg was around 4,000€ net for 2017. That's also virtually equivalent to the amount where in Baden-Württemberg a family of four can apply for state assistance with rent - and yes, our caps for that are quite high in comparison to other German states.

 

Karlsruhe is relatively cheap as rents go, at least when compared to other cities in Baden-Württemberg.

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37 minutes ago, kato said:

Karlsruhe is relatively cheap as rents go, at least when compared to other cities in Baden-Württemberg.

 

I was going to say that too.   Those sorts of prices are a bargain for a family home in the centre of a prosperous German city these days :D.   You might not be dismissing that sort of price - at all, but definitely not on a "seems expensive" basis  - in the 2019 market here.  I enjoy the city as a visitor, very nice.

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On 04/02/2019, 11:09:25, TurboNinja said:

If you want to save some money on clothing for kids, there are so many secondhand market for children here.

Indeed. I lived in Bogenhausen (rich bit of), Munich when my kid was a toddler. You could pick up almost designer label gear that had barely been used - if at all - for a few euros. Could not understand some people's pride getting in the way of this type of "recycling", especially for stuff like ski gear or hiking boots that you would use a couple of times only before becoming too small. I never harasssed my kid about her ruining her clothes because I did not pay much for them. In a few instances, rips or stains should have been far more painful that they actually were... (I also took comfort in thinking that if the stuff had been washed a few times the worst of the solvents were gone.)

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2 hours ago, kato said:

 

The average income of families in Baden-Württemberg was around 4,000€ net for 2017.

You have to be careful of what you are comparing here (income from wages, all sources, scaled for family size, etc), and without providing a source it's difficult to tell. BW is indeed very high on the scale (around ~3600 brutto ) but it's hard to believe 4k net is the average of all families. 

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That link is in turn though only one person.    If we mean the sort of "family" that has dependent kids, then these days it would increasingly be two earners so  7k gross which does indeed take you to 4k net quickly.   Plus the welfare subsidy for marriage and kids on top. Turn it the other way.   If you strip out 500 a month child benefit for two kids, then a married couple contributing an average of 1700 each net (boosted by marriage tax reliefs) would not be big bucks in SW Germany.

 

A married person with 2 kids on that 3600 will be over 3k with the child benefit.    Then add a spouse`s part time job.   The subsidy to married parents of dependent kids swings the household income maths dramatically.   And now there is Baukindergeld too - another 200 a month for a pair.

 

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Official state statistics, based on micro census:

 

https://www.statistik-bw.de/Familie/Einkommenslagen/F-NE-m-K.jsp

 

For 2016 it's 3454 median net income with two children for all family types (single-parent*, two-parent married, two-parent non-married, two-parent same-sex partnerships) for primary earners between age 35 and 45. With the Kindergeld on top - 408 Euro for two kids now - we're at 3862.

 

* that's important, as it markedly drives down the median - only 17% of single-parent families with primary earners in that age group have net incomes of more than 3200 Euro.

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12 hours ago, kato said:

 

The average income of families in Baden-Württemberg was around 4,000€ net for 2017. That's also virtually equivalent to the amount where in Baden-Württemberg a family of four can apply for state assistance with rent - and yes, our caps for that are quite high in comparison to other German states.

 

Karlsruhe is relatively cheap as rents go, at least when compared to other cities in Baden-Württemberg.

 

 

9 hours ago, Auswanderer said:

You have to be careful of what you are comparing here (income from wages, all sources, scaled for family size, etc), and without providing a source it's difficult to tell. BW is indeed very high on the scale (around ~3600 brutto ) but it's hard to believe 4k net is the average of all families. 

 

 

Yes indeed.  You can often find very contrasting stats and information, this for example shows something different again;

https://www.gehaltsvergleich.com/gehalt/Deutschland

 

It shows average Nett for BW was  3.511  but for men it is  3.967

and for Germany the average as a whole it works out at 3.081

 

 

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A lot of families in Germany live on just one salary. But if your work requires commuting by train (so it's in another town?) and your husband plans to stay at home, why don't you live closer to your workplace? The areas around train stations are not always the most expensive ones, in many cases it is rather in area which is just not so nice to live. 

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8 hours ago, kato said:

For 2016 it's 3454 median net income

That´s the average income, not the median (which separates the upper 50% from the lower 50%) according to the link you postet.

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5 hours ago, Thai said:

A lot of families in Germany live on just one salary. But if your work requires commuting by train (so it's in another town?) and your husband plans to stay at home, why don't you live closer to your workplace? The areas around train stations are not always the most expensive ones, in many cases it is rather in area which is just not so nice to live. 

That's a very good question! Reason: my job is in Pforzheim and I'm a bit worried about it, especially the safety and the schools in there, the reputation of Pforzheim is quite bad, do you know is it really so unsafe...? 

Smaller towns near Pforzheim seem idyllic but we're a bit worried about how easy it is for foreigners in a small town. 

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Thank you all for your answers, I've read them all and really appreciate your feedbacks. 

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26 minutes ago, Nesdie said:

Smaller towns near Pforzheim seem idyllic but we're a bit worried about how easy it is for foreigners in a small town. 

 

A quick google indicates the foreigner population in Pforzheim 26%, rising to 38% in some districts (Romanian, Turkish, Italian etc).   More will have a migration background too.  This is not untypical of where people migrate for work in SW Germany.   Higher than Karlsruhe (20%).      Typically, you will find some of the outlying locales outside the bigger centres have very large foreigner populations too, often because specific sub-groups build communities  in them.  

 

We increasingly are the population now.  I read the stats for 2018 movers to my town yesterday which is already 40% foreign background; 15% German, 85% foreign.   There is large foreigner migration to SW Germany currently.

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20 minutes ago, swimmer said:

 

A quick google indicates the foreigner population in Pforzheim 26%, rising to 38% in some districts (Romanian, Turkish, Italian etc).   More will have a migration background too.  This is not untypical of where people migrate for work in SW Germany.   Higher than Karlsruhe (20%).      Typically, you will find some of the outlying locales outside the bigger centres have very large foreigner populations too, often because specific sub-groups build communities  in them.  

 

We increasingly are the population now.  I read the stats for 2018 movers to my town yesterday which is already 40% foreign background; 15% German, 85% foreign.   There is large foreigner migration to SW Germany currently.

Migration of foreigners because they found work isn´t necessarily a reason to avoid an area. I´d be more worried about those who are out of the labour market. I used to live near Karlstadt a. M., a small town with a lot of Turks since there were jobs for them. However, they didn´t cause problems. They might have changed the fabric of the town quite a bit it still was a nice little town with low crime and I felt perfectly safe there.

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