Cost of Living for Family of Three

Dear All,

I am moving to Brugge (Belgium)in by August12.
Need some help on cost of living is this area.

My details are as follows:

1. Family of three (2+1 Child of 4 yr old)
2. Purely Vegetarian family (Not even eggs)
3. Wife is Post Graduate (House wife)
4. Kid is in kindergarten in India

Need info on overall everage expenses for this much family.
mainly: Salary required, Taxes, Daily expanses (Meals etc, will be cooking at home), Utilities, General Medicals, Schooling, Transport.

So finally I would like to get an idea on everage salary required after taxes, to live easily in Belgium & get some savings around 50-70K INR/month.

With Regards

Check Immoweb for prices of apartments in Brugge and get to know the names and post codes of the surrounding municipalities (called in Dutch "gemeente"), so that you can search immoweb efficiently. As I write, Immoweb website is down for maintenance, but I'd imagine for a 2 bed apartment around 80m2, you should not pay more than 800 euro a month.

Food is more expensive than other surrounding EU countries, but for a family of 3, you should be able to stick to a budget of less than 500 euro a month, especially since you will not be buying meat.

For a 2 bed apartment, you should be able to keep you water, gas, electricity bills down to around 150 euro a month, if not less.

Schooling is theoretically free (a few local schools are allowed to charge fees for tuition but in great minority and you can avoid them and usually around 1000 euro a year). However, you will be charged for school trips, swimming, lunch time supervision, optional before and after school care. These charges can increase as your child gets older, but for a young child, you'll be paying 300 or 400 euro per year, so not enough to worry about.

For medical expenses, you need to join a private health insurance provider called a "mutuelle" such as EUROMUT, PARTENAMUT, MUTUALITE CHRETIENNE, SYMBIO, MUTUALITE SOCIALISTE. Expect to pay 160 euro a year for your whole family. You might also get enhanced medical insurance as part of your employment contract. For this fee to the mutuelle, you get the majority of medical expenses reimbursed. So a trip to a general doctor might be as little as 5 euro, once the mutuelle reimburses you the majority cost. Dental treatment for your child is fully reimbursed, as are vaccinations. How much your medical bills are will depend on how many medical appointments you make. But avoid using paediatricians, they are not necessary unless a general doctor recommends it, a general doctor charges far less and you get reimbursed far more and he/she is quite competent and fully qualified in treating children.

I'd recommend enrolling your child immediately in kindergarten, called in Dutch "kleuterschool". You can obtain a full list of kleuter schools from this website. Just change the post code or municipality name to search for schools in the area where you will live. … asp?hs=bao

Transport costs are very cheap. A bus / tram pass for the year with de Lijn costs €232 per year for an adult. Employers often cover the majority of transport costs too. Under 12s travel for free if the adult has a bus pass. … mnipas.htm

If you stick to an apartment at 800 euro a month, you can live on a budget of 2000 euro net salary per month. Just remember most landlords will rent their properties with proof your salary is 3 times the rent, so for 700 euro, you need a NET salary of 2100 euro per month, 800 euro a net salary of 2400 euro per month.

Finally, you won't find much of an Inidan community in Brugge, but there is a large one in nearby Antwerpen (1 hour and 20 min by train) where I'm sure you get supplies of food you might not find in Brugge. The community in Antwerpen is very tight-knit, as they're concentrated in the diamond trade and it's a very wealthy community too who can afford to send their children to the international English schools in Antwerpen and Brussels.

Dear Schoolmum,

Thanks a lot for this information.
I appriciate your help as you might have to type a lot for this post.

So from your experiances, I assume that I should earn net income of minimum EU2500/pm to enjoy a good life here.

Any other comments/suggestions are welcome!

what job will you be doing here

Hi Hannahhadman,

Thanks for your response.

I will be working as "Senior Technical Writer"


Hi Jaspal
I am in Belgium since last 4 years. from ur username, it sounds that your from Ludhiana. I am also from punjab. Let me know when you come to Belgium. Me and my wife are staying in Namur.

Dear Abhi thank you for ur response. Some how I have got some offer for UK. So now will be moving to Uk in august. But will be visiting to Brugges (Belgium) as well for short time.

May be we will meet....

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