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Relocation Budget Stuttgart

Dear all,

My apologies in advance if this topic has already been discussed in the previous posts as I was unable to track them.

I am planning of moving to Stuttgart from Portugal. I was offered a 40k gross/year job position and thus I had 2 pertinent questions.

1- Is it realistic to rent a furnished flat by taking into account my salary wage?

2- Given that I will be offered a flat for the first month by the employer, what would be the approximate budget recommended for the initial expenses?

Many thanks in advance for your advices,
Kind regards

Sorry to break you this bad news... 40K gross will not be enough to pay your taxes in Germany and also pay rent in Stuttgart. 

Stuttgart is one of the toughest places to find housing.  Real estate in Stuttgart is a very tight market.  A furnished place would be difficult to find and if you did find one it would be expensive.

I do wish you good luck.

Eric

Hi Eric,

Many thanks for your feedback. It is very much appreciated. I will take into account.

Anyways, there are so many ambiguous opinions. However no one ever told me that it may be so hard to pay taxes and rent a flat with this wage. Several people from Stuttgart reassured me that it's more than enough. Even though, I am gathering different points of views and I will go from there.

Regards

No problem! I am glad to contribute.  I just see too many people miscalculate life's expenses.  Yes, we can all tighten our belts and live within our means.  But no one gives us a list of required expenses.  Last thing you want to do is travel all the way to somewhere and be surprised negatively.  Germany is a high tax country.  I have seen EU citizens come here and really be disappointed.  Refugees will get free assistance not other EU citizens.  You will have to pay for medical insurance, in addition to bunch of other taxes that you may never heard of.  (TV & Radio Tax)  Also, it will depend on how large or small you want your apartment to be.  If you are single, you may be able to manage with a small place in the outskirts of Stuttgart.  Inside the city limits it will be more expensive.

Ask your employer in Germany if they will be paying your medical/dental insurance.

Good Luck!

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your prompt reply. I do perfectly agree with you and I would certainly like to avoid having a negative experience.

In fact, our salary wages in Portugal for people with my Degree are not much better than in Germany, I am afraid. I handle to have a living with 500€ Net/month for expenses only. That said, I spend 50%of my salary on rent. I have to, even though, admit that I am quite comfortable with it here. So, if I would change for something similar under the perspective of professional evolution on a long-term, that would be more than fine. I don't intend have this earning for a long period of time.

Therefore, I was wondering if this salary is sufficient to pay bills and rent a flat. A flat with good conditions but not a 5 stars hotel, if course.

With regards to your suggestion of inquiring the company about the health insurance, I thought that all was included in my monthly deduction to the state. I will certainly make them this question. Thank you so much for this advice!

Have a lovely evening,
Natalia

Dear Nataliaas,

Please do not take Amalhas' opinion too serious - he/she obviously does not know the situation in Germany very well!
EUR40000/year translates to EUR2300/month after all taxes and compulsory deductions (incl. health insurance, which is paid half by you and half by the employer - by law, so there is nothing to negotiate about), which is around the average income of a German family with one kid.
If you are single, you will manage well!
However, please note that there are very few furnished flats and those are all overpriced.  Unless you come for a few months only, you should consider bringing or buying your own stuff. (Budget for the initial expense of this, in addition to the deposit of 3 months rent, the first months rent and, if you engaged a property agent - which isn't really necessary or helpful - another 3 months fee for him/her.)
An unfurnished one-room flat in Stuttgart city costs EUR500-800/month (plus utilities, which might add another EUR100-150). Sublet rooms cost less than that (and furnished places double it).
But it really is difficult and time-consuming to find a good place. One month will probably not be enough, so ask your employer to provide temporary accommodation for three months!
Stuttgart is one of the most international cities in Germany. I am sure you will find your niche and be happy, just like many others!
Good luck!

Dear Beppi,

Thank you so much for your feedback. I am glad to hear that I might be able to manage my expenses with this salary wage.

In what concerns the health insurance, I would in doubt and you just clarified me. That was exactly my idea after some researches.

I will try to find an unfurnished flat and then try to arrange the furniture with time.

I regret to hear that up to 3 months may be required to find a good flat, I will certainly discuss this question with my employer so that they could give me some help and guidelines or offer a flat for a longer period of time.

Thank you once again for the complete answer, it will be very useful,

Kind regards,
Natalia

Beppi is correct. 40K is a good salary in Germany for a single person although Stuttgart is expensive. Finding good housing is difficult here especially when one is a foreigner but it depends on the impression you make. Mostly people want the security you will pay the rent - and to your advantage, you can show that you have a reliable income. Furnished places are very rare and usually very very expensive. Unless it is for just a short time, one can buy simple furniture to get started at Ikea or second hand. Honestly, the amount usually charged extra for a furnished place will usually be so high that you could buy such furniture and just throw it away after 6 months and still be better off.

One of the cheapest options is to consider a shared apartment known in Germany as a WG. One can nearly always find advertisements at University for people looking for people to share and they are not always necessarily students but generally young people. The thing is to find a place that fits to you. It makes a big difference living with a bunch of 20 year olds that party all of the time or perhaps ones that are 30 and quiet. 

And this is where one can actually find furnished places for no extra cost – for a limited period of time. Often people go for a semester abroad or to travel and will rent out there room in a shared apartment for a specific period of time say 3 months or 6 months. This is known as “zwischenmieten”.  Since they plan to return they will often be leaving the room furnished. Sometimes such places will be extra cheap because otherwise the people would have to pay rent the whole time they are gone to assure that they can return. If you are staying longer, you will then of course have to find another place afterwards but have the time to do so.

I am in Stuttgart, so you can contact me and I can tell you information about the city and possible areas and show you where the housing advertisements are located at the central University campus (there is another south of town in Vaihingen)

You're welcome.
If you have further questions about moving to Germany, please feel free to post them on the forum!

Dear Tomin,

Thank you for the detailed feedback!
It may be a good idea to find a temporary shared flat and then try to find an individual apartment. Rather than looking for an a flat in a hurry, it would be wiser to take a longer time to find for a better place afterwards. I would prefer to live alone as I am used to it. During my graduation, I have spent several years in shared flats. But as no other option for instance, it will may be something necessary.

So, I will try to follow your advice and arrange something shared at the beginning. I am just afraid as it may impact my tax declaration at the end of the year. In Portugal, we usually don't receive a receipt for renting a room, therefore we don't declare this expense officially. I will try to find information about this as well, as our taxes system certainly differ.

I would also be more than glad if I could contact you for additional help later on. I am happy to acknowledge that there are people like you all, providing this support and the information, I wasn't expecting it. 

Wishing you wonderful beginning of the week,
Kind regards,
Natalia

In Germany, you rent is irrelevant for your ioncome tax, so having a receipt or not does not matter. But in any case, rental contracts are usually in writing and payments by bank transfer, so there is proof enough in case you need it.

Great thanks Beppi!

The only accommodation that can be taken as a business expense for tax purposes would be hotels while on business trips. Like Beppi mentioned, your normal accommodation is not tax deductible anyway. The only reason I know that one might need receipts for rent would be if they are getting some kind of social assistance, which doesn't apply to your situation.

Thank you for clarifying, Tomin!

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