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Is 495000 NOK enough to live on in Kristiansand for family of 5?

Hi!

New to the blog. Found it by trying to find answers for my questions so hopefully someone can help. My husband's employer has offered us a transfer to Norway for a minimum of 1 year. His employer has locations all over the country but we have chosen Kristiansand as they have an international school that is tuition free (we have 3 children; ages 4, 6, and 8), and I've read its not as cold or expensive as other parts of the country.

His employer has offered him 495000 NOK a year. He's not in a highly paid career as it is, so it seems like a reasonable offer, except the cost of living and taxes seem to be so high. Is that a doable salary? I plan on finding employment myself, but given my young children it may not come as quickly as we hope. We are currently living in the SF Bay Area so cost of living is pretty ridiculous here as well. We are always in the mind frame of having to budget.

Also is it reasonable to think we'd be able to purchase a used car there for 40000-55000 NOK? Given the need to get to work and kids to school, I'm assuming we can't rely completely on public transportation.

Any information would be greatly appreciated! We feel this would be an amazing opportunity to live abroad with our children but also don't want to be struggling or unable to see Norway and Europe while there. Thank you!

martin3132 :

Hi!

New to the blog. Found it by trying to find answers for my questions so hopefully someone can help. My husband's employer has offered us a transfer to Norway for a minimum of 1 year. His employer has locations all over the country but we have chosen Kristiansand as they have an international school that is tuition free (we have 3 children; ages 4, 6, and 8), and I've read its not as cold or expensive as other parts of the country.

His employer has offered him 495000 NOK a year. He's not in a highly paid career as it is, so it seems like a reasonable offer, except the cost of living and taxes seem to be so high. Is that a doable salary? I plan on finding employment myself, but given my young children it may not come as quickly as we hope. We are currently living in the SF Bay Area so cost of living is pretty ridiculous here as well. We are always in the mind frame of having to budget.

Also is it reasonable to think we'd be able to purchase a used car there for 40000-55000 NOK? Given the need to get to work and kids to school, I'm assuming we can't rely completely on public transportation.

Any information would be greatly appreciated! We feel this would be an amazing opportunity to live abroad with our children but also don't want to be struggling or unable to see Norway and Europe while there. Thank you!

Welcome to the forum.

Whilst waiting for others to reply I suggest that you read through the posts in the forum categories list. There is information there that may be of assistance to you. Then post some specific questions if you cannot find what you are looking for.

Hello martin 3132,

Welcome to Expat.com :)

You might find some interesting information here : Cost of living in Norway – 2015

Thanks

Priscilla  :cheers:

Hi,

Of course, everything depends on your standard of living but if the 495000 NOK are before tax I would say: It's challenging and difficult.
Your biggest expense will be the rent with ca. 12000 NOK per month for 3 bedroom apartment. That is nearly half his net salary. The rest will go for food, heating and other daily necessities. You won't be able to go out or take trips. Not sure about a car....

You can also look into the thread 'cost of living in Norway' to get an idea about expenses in Norway. http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=439040

In Norway usually both partners have to work to be able to pay the bills. If your husbands employer sends you, they should pay for the move and some of the expenses like car, schooling and housing. Sounds odd, that they offer you a short contract without a 'package' attached.

Thanks for the reply. The employer is paying to move the whole family 100% along with the first 30 days upon arrival. They are not helping with housing costs or a vehicle after the 30 days. As mentioned, I'm hoping to find a source of income but we cannot count on that immediately. We are quite used to living frugal. I just want to be prepared for how tight it may be.

Is owning a car really that unaffordable? I realize petrol is expensive but are there not older used cars out there for 50000 or less? I guess, given how expensive cost of living is where we currently are, we are naively assuming it can't be that much worse...

martin3132 :

Thanks for the reply. The employer is paying to move the whole family 100% along with the first 30 days upon arrival. They are not helping with housing costs or a vehicle after the 30 days. As mentioned, I'm hoping to find a source of income but we cannot count on that immediately. We are quite used to living frugal. I just want to be prepared for how tight it may be.

Is owning a car really that unaffordable? I realize petrol is expensive but are there not older used cars out there for 50000 or less? I guess, given how expensive cost of living is where we currently are, we are naively assuming it can't be that much worse...

..believe me, it can;  especially food.

I suggest you check out apartments and used cars at www.finn.no. It will give you an idea about their cost.

We are a family of three and would not be able to live on 495 000 NOK (we don't have a car, don't smoke and don't buy expensive stuff). Unless you can secure a job before you leave I would not do it.
General rule is (from financial advisers), that you should spend max. a third of your net income on rent.  In your case  half will be eaten up by it....
I do not want to discourage you, but do your math and calculate each cost factor carefully before you leave.

BTW: There have been many threads on job opportunities for English speakers here in Norway. Maybe have a look...

A Family of five will certainly have difficulties living of 495k NOK. It's possible, but difficult. Kristiansand is not as cold as many other cities, but it's not the least coldest either. The warmest, or least cold, is the south-east region around the Oslo fjord. East side tends to be a bit cheaper and also a degree or two warmer (in the Winter the west side of the fjord could have some snow, but the other side don't.) And if you move to either Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg or Halden, wich is near the Swedish border, you can shop most of Your daily needs there. A lot of stuff is a bit cheaper there.

Buying a car in Norway is a bit expensive. But you can have a decent car for around 50k, but it is not new of course (a new one cost about ten times that). Petrol is quite expensive, about $2 a litre. You also have to pay for Insurance, normally $30-40 and up a month, depending on Your Insurance agreement. Then you have to pay taxes. Annually its about $350. Kristiansand also have quite a few toll roads, and that will also add up. There is also a tax fee when you register Your car, normally between $200-400.

Also, if you are planning to rent a Apartment you have to pay up normally Three months Worth of rent. This money you will get back when you move out - as long as the Apartment is in the same state as when you moved in.

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