Germany is one of the most affordable places to live in the European Union; maybe this is because it is one of the most economically stable countries in Europe and the motherland to many renowned global companies. You may have heard the trademark ‘Made in Germany’; it is still a household name both in well advanced western countries and developing countries. If you compared the standard of living in Germany to those of other technologically advanced countries, you’d find out that more attractive offers in Germany, ranging from costs of foods, house rents, transportation, health insurances, accommodation to education – hence lower living expenses in Germany.
Information about living expenses in Germany becomes relevant depending on your stay abroad – as a student, researcher or regular fully employed person. Whatever the case may be, one of the first things to keep in mind is the system in Germany – a social democratic system; you pay as you earn – the more you earn, the more you pay; at least in certain areas like taxes and health insurance.
As an international student in Germany, the cost of education becomes more relevant to you and knowing that public universities in Germany do not charge any tuition for most study programs, it may be a reason to migrate to Germany. While it is a constitutional right to have free education and that right extended to international students, public universities in some German states now charge tuition, e.g. the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, ironically one of the richest states in Germany charges a tuition fee of EUR 3,000 per year for non-EU/EEA students. Private universities are for sure not free of charge, with the fees ranging from EUR 12,000 to EUR 30,000 per year, but this is still relatively cheaper compared to other countries.
The average cost of living in Germany for students is between EUR 700 and 1000 per month; this cost covers, amongst other things, your accommodation, food, groceries and health insurance. The major expenses to expect is accommodation which ranges from EUR 250 to 650 EUR per month for single apartments. This, of course, depends on your location. Cheaper accommodations are available to students via university hostels, private hostels or privately leases apartments. The cost of accommodation for workers may range from EUR 500 to EUR 1000 per month depending on your taste and place of residence. There are also options to share apartments or flats, hence the total cost is divided by the number of people living in the apartment; this usually depends on the size of the apartment and the available facilities in it.
Health insurance is compulsory for everyone legally residing in Germany and the cost is usually from EUR 95 per month for students. The health insurance cost for full-time workers depends on how much they earn per month. The payment of tax and health insurance is directly coupled to your salary – that means, the deductions are done automatically every month from your salary – you have no influence there – how much tax and health insurance cost is out of your control. The good thing is that you can easily calculate the deductions and know what amount to expect in your bank account at the end of the month.