Comparing cost of living in Frankfurt and Sydney

16 posts in this topic

Hi Guys,

 

I know this is a bit of a broad question, but I have known that I might be offered an internal role with my company for the last 3 weeks so I have been doing my homework as much as possible in regards to this topic on TT. We currently live in Sydney Australia, on the northern beaches, but have been wanting to come to Europe for some time so have been saving. Fortunately an internal role came up with my company, and the offer has finally been received. So what I want to try and weigh up is the current lifestyle we have here and the lifestyle my salary in Frankfurt will offer us. From my understanding through these forums and world city rankings, Frankfurt is classed more expensive to live in than Sydney, on a whole it is averaged at 14% more. (unless I've read this incorrectly) So my understanding was the company would probably come in about 14% more dollar for euro?? But I was sort of wrong...lol. We (my wife and I) live on the beaches here in Sydney, in a 2 bedroom apartment. Have a standard 10 year old car, we don't dine out that often, maybe once a week, we don't drink or smoke, but we love traveling. We are both working here, and after paying all the bills we can save approx. $2k AUD per month. I am in I.T and the Mrs is in a financial institution. I hope its ok to mention my AU salary, I earn 75K and the Mrs is on 50K. Our intentions were for her to work full time as well, and to have two salaries, but to be able to live in a nice area (defined: out of the city, country like, but with local shops and places to go to for dinner etc..etc...), be able to pay normal living bills (food, phones, power/heating etc..etc...) but to be able to put money away each month so we can explore Europe and all the countries on offer. But...(lol) the offer came in from my company at 44,000 Euro Base. Now yes, they are paying for all relocation cost and the first 3 months of rent are free, and they provide us a rental car, and help us with all of the perks and everything needed to get set up for the first year. Anything that is a cost due to the relocation, will be covered by work. From my estimations, as we are married but to start of with only one working, I should take home approx 2100 Euros per month!! There are no other perks like the 13 month salary, this is over 12 months. I am being employed as a local, so the expat extra's are not included. I will be negotiating this, but in the mean time, are my figures pretty close: (This is all approx. and maximum costs) Warm Rent - 800 - 1000€, Travel Passes - 90€, Food(home cooking) - 600€, loans from Australia - 360€ which works out to be max approx. 2050€. Now of course, when my Mrs gets work her salary will virtually be spending money and savings, but my main question is, I know we couldn't do this on just my pay, but are my estimates pretty close for costs of living? Especially food for home, like groceries I'm talking about.

 

Thanks for this guys, I have only just received this offer and will be negotiating. I am a Unix admin thats been in I.T. for nearly 12 years...so I think its a bit unders...any advice would be great. I hope I have put in enough information.

 

Thanks again,

Creedy

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Hi

I've just read your post and thought I would share my thoughts with you being an Australian who has just recently moved to the Rhein-Main area:

-agree, the salary you have been offered is way too low and appears to simply be a direct conversion of your current salary into Euro, I think someone with 12 years exp. could demand a lot more

-you need to consider that there is no guarantee your wife will get a job-you haven't mentioned what she does, her educational background or whether she is fluent in German, you've factored that all of her income will be spending money, however if she doesn't work your entire income will be spent on bills and none on travelling( which is the main benefit of your proposed move)

-when you say that our company will take care of all relocation costs for the first year does this factor in health insurance for yourself and your wife?, you mentioned a rental car-does this include petrol ? (approx 70 Euro per week) what about telephone, mobile phone, gas, and electricity costs?

 

I would estimate that Germany is at least 30% more expensive than Sydney.

My advice is go hard in the negotiations, but do your research first and educate yourself about the German employment market for your wife's profession/skill set and for that matter for yours also which will help in your salary negotiations.

 

Good Luck!

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Hey Danielle,

Ok, sorry, we haven't moved yet, but they want us there by June if we accept. Mrs works with ING bank. But we both don't have any german language skills. You are 100% right, I was hoping my offered Salary would give us a bit of breathing space, but as you can see that would be a struggle. They have offered this so far : All relocation costs, Both of us and pet. Hire car including fuel for the first three months. Fully furnished apartment in Frankfurt for the first three months plus all costs ( I thnk the company owns a whole bunch of apartments) and after that if we still haven't found anything we must contribute 450€ per month. We get 1 months salary net tax free for relocation. All internet when we move out, and in the temp accommodation is covered by work, I will of course have a company phone which all costs are covered. All fees needed for the brokers to find us a place will also be covered by work. They are sending us to German Language school here first for a few weeks if I accept, and they will also help cover us for any training (within reason) for my wife to get into the work force. She is at a mid range level here, (Team Leader) but as I said with ING which should help for any bank job, but again our german is very slim. But Dani, you're a legend and thanks for the tip...cheers Creedy

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You say 44k base - is there also a bonus offered over and above this? (Bonuses are quite common in Germany).

 

Otherwise I'd say financially it looks like you are much better off where you are right now - its no fun trying to master a new language, new culture, new jobs and also being short of cash

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Mrs works with ING bank.

Assuming this is Ing DiBa this bank is not unknown here...

 

 

We get 1 months salary net tax free for relocation.

Hopefully the tax authorities here/there will swallow that...

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hi.

 

i lived in sydney - mainly bondi, but always eastern suburbs - for 10 years and have been here for 3. i find that for most things (housing, whether you buy or rent, going out - especially alcohol prices, and, of course, food) things are much, much cheaper than they would have been in sydney. here 1 litre of organic milk costs about 1 euro. becks or pilsener urquell costs about 1.50 per litre in the supermarket, and a bottle of decent wine can be had under 5 euros. you'll be smiling all the way to the checkout :)

 

the salary seems a bit low to expect you to move from australia for though, and you'd need to investigate your wife's status carefully. it's not so hard to find a job here without language skills BUT if she's not eligible to work and/or is used to having a meaningful job and finds only a crappy one, it could put a strain on your marriage as well as your pocket.

 

if you have any specific questions i'm happy to answer them.

 

monkel x

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I think the banking sector here in Germany is one of those areas where you really have to know the local language quite well. If your wife has no German language skills then you could be looking at anywhere from a year to more before she finds anything "suitable", provided she is enrolled full time in a really good (albeit expensive) langauge school from when you get to Germany.

At 44k base for the both of you and in Frankfurt, that would not make for easy living.

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And just because your wife has permission to accompany you to Germany, doesn't mean that she'll get a work visa along with her residency permit. You would want to make sure that she gets a work permit as well - perhaps even talk to your employer about them offering a job for your mrs as well. Aside from that, as others have mentioned, €44k is a poor offer. In my opinion, you should almost be getting in € what you earn in $.

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Agree with Hazza.

 

Aim for the same in euro as you get in dollars.

Germany, in my opinion, is considerably cheaper that Oz in regard to perishables, but you'll probably find that you'll spend more on going out, and especially travel, so these factors, together with the fact that you'll be taxed higher than home, means that to expect a similar quality of life here you should get the same money, figure-wise.

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HEM - Assuming this is Ing DiBa this bank is not unknown here.. : Yes correct its called ING Direct over here which is the same as ING DiBa

JohnnyBoy - yes there is a bonus, 6% based on performance of the company and personal

 

Monkel / SwedishChef / Hazza - This is the part that gets confusing. Going off what Monkel says it seems in regards to buying groceries, and general day to day and weekend activities, it probably makes sense to be earning less than what you do here in Aus. But then what the SC, and Hazza said was my original calculations and also the opinion I had in to what I needed to earn. I have taken all these points down about the work visa (thanks Hazza, although I was under the impression that both permits were now combined in one)?? I'll recheck that, but I have taken all your advice and have asked the company to re-access the package they have offered. A friend in Switzerland, same company, said to try and negotiate a net salary, let work look after taxes. I didn't want to waste time so I have given them the figure of 65K base. Thats a massive jump, but I really don't want to muck around haggling and all that rubbish...lol, either meet it or I suppose this role and Germany just isn't meant to be for us...Sydney will just have to try and hang out a few more months and put up with us...

 

So my question is who is more accurate?? SwedishChef and Hazza, or Monkel?? lol...

 

Guys, I know you don't have to post anything here, so for those that have, I really appreciate it, it makes a massive difference and helps heaps, so for what its worth...cheers!!! If they come to the party, and we get over there, we owe you all a drink...

 

Creedy

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I have taken all these points down about the work visa (thanks Hazza, although I was under the impression that both permits were now combined in one)??

Nope - definitely not. There are many different types of visas available and it can get confusing with what entitles you to what. However, work permits and residency permits have always been and continue to be very separate things, processed by completely different government departments.

 

Obviously if you are granted a work permit, then you will also receive a residency permit for at least the same length of time. BUT you will not necessarily receive a work permit with a residence permit - particularly if you have a dependent spousal visa. Make sure you check what visa she will get and what that allows her to do first.

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Editor Bob, thanks mate, that helped out heaps. Well I am going back to push for more, thanks again for all your help and amount of information has been fantastic. I will post back here next week to let you all know how negotiating went. Cheers all. Creedy

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Hi Creedy,

 

have you been successful with yr negotiation? The others are totally right with their comments. The salary was way too low.

 

Not sure if I'm in the right section but I have a similar problem just the other way around. I've been offered a position in Sydney and they want my salary expectations, no idea what to tell them. I don't know abt housing prices, etc. We'd want to rent a 3 bedroom house / apartment near Hurstville (at least that's where the office is located). My husband will come and for now he doesn't have a job so we'd be living on my salary at the biginning.

 

Do you have email address since I think this chat is only abt Germany, right?

 

thanks to get back!!

 

curly

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I would estimate that Germany is at least 30% more expensive than Sydney.

I'm surprised that you think this, and I'd like to know what exactly you think is more expensive over here.

 

I don't know Frankfurt or Sydney, but I know Munich and Brisbane and I know that Munich is more expensive than Frankfurt, but Brisbane is cheaper than Sydney.

 

I'd say on the whole both places are fairly similar in the cost of living. Rent in Brisbane is slightly cheaper than in Munich, but I'd imagine that Frankfurt would be cheaper than Sydney, which is way more expensive than Brisbane (especially the Bondi area). Petrol is more expensive over here, but unlike in Australia, you can get most places with public transport (which is reasonably priced) or in my case, with a bike.

 

Some food over here is cheaper (dairy), but some is more expensive (meat, except for Pork which is much cheaper here).

 

The angle you should be trying to use is the income after tax. You definitely have more deductions over here. The biggest hit comes from having to pay 7% for health care, and 10% for pension. In any case, 44K for a Unix Admin with 12 years experience is too low. Your suggestion of 65K is certainly not unreasonable.

 

Like Hazza says, the other big problem is your wife getting a work permit, this is definitely not a given.

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creedy

 

i have been here 6 weeks and agree with what the others have said, your salary should match AUD to Euros. you arer moving thousands of kms for what? cultural reasons, opportunity to travel? career development

 

how old is your wife? if she is under 30 she could gain a 1 yr working visa to start off with and gain it here easily for 30 euros.

 

i believe your salary considering your experience is way too low. you want to ensure the big move is worth it financially, so once here you can do what you want

 

good luck, hope it all works out, have to catch up for beer once you arrive

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