Is this a realistic estimation?

My family - hubby and 5 kids are thinking of living in Hungary for several months in 2013. We will have an income of 3800EUROS/month.
I’ve done some calculations regarding cost of living.  I got estimates from various websites like Numbeo which compare living costs between countries and cities. I used information form this and similar sites to  estimate our living expenses in Budapest which would be approx 2000EUROS/month - this would cover:
•    Gas - E192/mth
•    Elec- E140/mth
•    Food- E521/Mth
•    Rent- E641/mth
•    Fuel- E400/mth - lots of driving?
•    Internet& phone - E120/mth
This should leave approx E1763.00/month at our disposal for leisure - to explore Hungary and other countries.
Do you think it is realistic?
I don't want to get there and discover that we can't afford to go anywhere.  We plan to live like the locals but every fortnight or so go on an adventure round Hungary or abroad into other countries.

Hi there, It does depend on how you shop and what u spend we do the same ..we use Ł750 a month to live on other income goes in t savings account
we pay rent and utilities out of this shop at local markets and cook food hungrian style in the pot over the fire ect this is why we came here to do this..our choice

we do explore a lot of the country and do eat out once a month and special occasions..
but we are two adults 5 kids can bring unexpected drains .... you should try and live at home on that money and see how you fai good luck to you where in hungary are yyou looking at living ?

For what it is worth, 3,800 Euros per month is more than most Hungarians make, so if you plan to live like the locals, then you will be just fine on that income. Also your total expenses, and relative earning power, can vary on where you will be living (large city (Budapest, Pécs, etc) versus smaller town). See these site for details and comparisons:

http://www.averagesalarysurvey.com/arti … 02724.aspx

http://www.filolog.com/costofliving.html

I assume this is the net income, else don't forget to deduct income taxes. You may also need to consider insurance payments (car, expat health fees, etc). Also private school (with English speaking teachers) fees for the children may be to consider (unless you will be here during a school break period).

This income is after tax Australian which I assume is what you were referring to. The children will be home schooled as we expect to travel around 1 week out of 4.
What are the expat health fees?  If we have travel insurance will this suffice?
Thanks for the links

we do explore a lot of the country

Is this by car? We are probably going to buy a car any advice?

I have no family of my own yet, and 5 kids are a respectable number, I allow myself to note that, in case this is your net income(i.e. this is what you can spend p.m.), most Budapest families with kids don't even dream of earning that amount of money per person, especially these days.(A thousand eur net salary is considered pretty good, two thousand very good, only a few percent of population making more than that)
Budapest is of course cheaper than comparable cities in western europe, or sidney or melbourne. But even if I personally have a hard time to imagine a situation that this income is not 'enough',  of course it ultimately depends on  the way and standard of life you got used to. Travelling for 5 can become expensive...
For starters, you could glance at http://ingatlan.com/ just to get an idea of the order of magnitude of real estate rent prices.

There are various threads on this threads already on this forum of the type "is this income enough", in which others and myself posted our opinions/estimates.
While there is a state healthcare system which is better than south american but worse than german (fees are typically deducted directly from your pay, just like taxes, if you are an employee) I would like to find out myself if there are some standard insurances allowing to use private health care, and dental facilities. And I never found out if there is any alternative to using state health care facilities for major operations and such, perhaps not.

And, of course, our lovely australian expats may give you a more 'australian' perspective on life here:-)

Hello!

I have moved to Budapest from Sweden and me and my boyfriend live in a 1 bedroom apartment in downtown.
The cost we have beside our apartment common fee (50 euro):
Gas: we pay the same amount every month 50 euros and it is based on the person who lived here before
Electricity: We have a lot of gadgets, computers, tv:s, floor heating, i am a wash-o-holic ( always have a dishing and/or washing machine on ), this month we paid 5 euros for the electricity. Previous months between 5-10 euros.
Internet and tv: we have UPC, 125 mbit internet and the biggest channel package with international news channels and HBO. Costs 30 euro / month.

We also have a car here, the gas costs about 1,5 euros /litre. If you are going to travel around the country I can highly recommend to get a car here. We have our car parked in a guarded garage and that is the most expensive thing we pay for here in Hungary 60 euros! :) Like normal price in sweden, but here you will have a guy and cameras watching your car 24/7 ! http://www.hasznaltauto.hu/ is a website with used cars, as i understand you have to have an address card to be able to register a car on you here in Hungary. We brought our car from sweden and have the swedish plates, very easy within EU.

Monthly ticket for buses, tram and metro is around 35 euros.

Food, drinks and other stuff is really cheap!! We are amazed over the price level, you get so much for so little money. If you go outside Budapest on the countryside and visit a market it feels like you are stealing!

Kati+6kotim :

The children will be home schooled

If you are only here for the tourist period (up to 6 months in two 3 month blocks) no one will probably care.

If you are going to be here longer, getting "official" permission for home schooling is difficult.

The education laws were recently changed, and tightened. Getting permission for home schooling was always difficult (official, with written permission) in Hungary and may be even more difficult now (I say "maybe" as I am not current on all the new laws changes -- maybe it is easier).

However..... unofficially I know it happens (the local school has no English speaking teachers and the school officials suggest home schooling -- a suggestion which is often technically beyond their legal rights to make). But if any official asks (unlikely, but possible) about your children being truant, you may have problems.

Kati+6kotim :

What are the expat health fees?

If you will be working in Hungary for a Hungarian Employer (or business doing business in Hungary), this is often auto-deducted from your salary.

Else, or if not, and I am not sure about non-EU, commonwealth citizens options, others may help you here more than I, normally residents in Hungary (including expats) are required to have health insurance if they are declared residents. Your travel insurance has limited coverage, and will only work for the official "tourist" period (3 months continual occupancy in Hungary, max 6 months in a year). After that you may need to declare your resident status and then you probably need to sign up with the state run Health system unless you can prove local health coverage from your home country (and better if valid in Hungary), or go to an office and declare you are self insured (difficult if you work in Hungary, and which has its own issues/problems).


Kati+6kotim :

Is this by car? We are probably going to buy a car any advice?

You will then definitely need auto insurance, it is mandatory. It is not expensive, but it will not cover much either if you are at fault (but, Hungary is not much of a suing country). Many forum posts on auto buying here, but the consensus is used cars in Hungary are over priced.

Hungary has pretty good bus and train connections, even if the stations are a bit falling apart, and you can get many places using public transportation, even as a tourist (but not for auto touring of course). I live in the countryside, and even I often leave the car at home and take a bus or train as they are simply more convenient.

FridaH :

We brought our car from sweden and have the swedish plates, very easy within EU.

Actually, not. Hungary has its own laws. If you are a declared resident of Hungary, you have to "import" the foreign car into Hungary (and pay a few fees....) and get Hungarian plates.

Okey! I am not a resident yet but good to know!

And unlike Sweden (and other western european countries) it costs quite much money to register a car here in Hungary, when you are importing.

FridaH :

Okey! I am not a resident yet but good to know!
And unlike Sweden (and other western european countries) it costs quite much money to register a car here in Hungary, when you are importing.

This is a - perhaps still ongoing - battle between the EU and Hungary. The way I was explained, Hungary, in essence, wants to keep a car-duty (Perhaps to avoid all crappy cars ending up here, and we also have significant car production of Suzuki Swift and others).  There must not be duties in the EU, so it was 'renamed' registration tax (regisztrációs adó, 'regadó'). The EU still complaines, hungary changes a few lines in the law - this  process takes a few years, repeat as required... (afaik, nothing specifically hungarian in this story, just a usual recipe used by eu governments to edge out a few more years for beloved but not eu-conform regulations)
I am not sure if the situation is still like this, perhaps Hungary finally lowered the registration fee. (Instead we fight for something more useful: 'freedom'...)

To offer something useful, I quickly found a few seemingly serious and current sites - only they are in Hungarian and I have not much idea of cars, nor time in this moment.  Using google translate on them may perhaps result in nearly understandable text.

an explanatory text on importing cars from EU countries
http://www.euvonal.hu/index.php?op=kerd … sz_id=1048

A calculator for Reg.Tax
http://www.euvonal.hu/regado.php

Alternatively, for those who dont trust a random php script, a table with current regadó numbers:
http://www.euvonal.hu/index.php?op=kerd … sz_id=1299

how to take into account the age of the car:
http://www.euvonal.hu/index.php?op=kerd … sz_id=1298


(The relevant scientific question is: does the tables agree with the calculator?)

The current version of the Law on Registration Tax:
http://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.c … 0300110.TV


A different 'FAQs about importing cars for private purpose' website:
http://www.vam.hu/data/folap/faq/faq3.html

klsallee :
FridaH :

We brought our car from sweden and have the swedish plates, very easy within EU.

Actually, not. Hungary has its own laws. If you are a declared residen  of Hungary, you have to "import" the foreign car into Hungary (and pay a few fees..) and get Hungarian plates.

What if my husband a non Hungarian bought a car in say Sweden would he be able to just bring the car in and drive it around with Swedish number plates? Or does he have to be a resident of the country from which he bought it? I really never thought of the problems we might encounter. I just thought you could buy a car from any country and just insure and register it, use it, then resell it when ready to leave.

Kati+6kotim :

What if my husband a non Hungarian bought a car in say Sweden ...

Any car needs a registration by the new owner at an address. Where would that address be?

If you are, for example, a Swedish citizen, visiting Hungary (i.e. not claiming Hungarian residence) you can drive your Swedish car with Swedish plates under your ownership here as much as you like if you remain a Swedish resident. But in the end it will depend on a concept of "nexus". If you live in Hungary continuously, for long enough, you are "suppose" to declare you are a resident. Same with the car.

Thus, it should be easy to re-register your car in whatever country you live in in the EU, without having to pay import fees. But as fireroller said, there is quite a political game regarding moving autos around the EU for some countries, despite EU "regulations" for the free movement of people and goods.

So in the end, some people end up going through all sorts of questionable tactics to try to avoid registering their car in Hungary and paying hefty fees. So the regulations just turn otherwise good, law abiding people people into law avoiders/breakers. Which is a shame.

As for my case, since we moved from Switzerland (and thus was even worse, and more expensive, to try to import a Non-EU car) we just sold our Swiss car (a darn shame, as I really liked that car) and bought a new one here. The used car quality options have improved since we came here, but the prices are still relatively high (not only cars -- I saw a sail boat for sale last year (I live near Lake Balaton) and when I inquired about the price I almost laughed out loud -- I could get a newer, larger one in better shape in the States for about half what they were asking). So I guess it would depend on how long you plan to remain in Hungary what type of auto purchase (new, used or lease) would be best for you and your budget.

klsallee :

....when I inquired about the price I almost laughed out loud -- I could get a newer, larger one in better shape in the States for about half what they were asking)....

It's not only boats, it's just about everything.

I just bought two very high quality puncture resistant cross country branded tyres for my MTB (Mountain Bike) from the UK mail order. Half the price of very average tyres in sports chain store Decathlon in Hungary AND delivered to the door absolutely FREE.

I also obtained a 2nd hand power steering pump for a car online and from overseas for the cost about EUR 50.  Only "possible" option was a new one here in HU at a cost over well over EUR 500.

The price differential also applies (at least) to children's toys, books, computer equipment and furniture. I am sure others also have examples.

fluffy2560 :

It's not only boats, it's just about everything.

Yes, this is painfully true. Especially in the brick and mortar chain stores. Everything from tissues to refrigerators will often be more expensive, even for the exact same product found in a store in, say, Austria.

However, and you may have already tried this, I find the online sites in Hungary do sometimes have about the same prices as abroad, when searched using (my version of) Hungarian such as:

  mtb külsőgumi ár WTB Timberwolf

(mtb tire price WTB Timberwolf)

But if you know a cheaper mail order site for MTB tires anywhere on the planet, do share :).

klsallee :

....

But if you know a cheaper mail order site for MTB tires anywhere on the planet, do share :).

Try: Evans Cycles

Not the best selection, but I found them to be good enough for many things. I could not get puncture resistant inner tubes elsewhere without searching overly hard.

klsallee :

[.... refrigerators will often be more expensive, even for the exact same product found in a store in, say, Austria.

Refrigerators are a problem in Austria due to their recycling laws. If you have an old one, it costs about EUR 40 to have it recycled there. Imported fridges are a problem from other countries as they do not like them being imported for fear of the recycling costs. Hence the temptation for Hungarian junk collectors working in Austria, to dump fridges by the side of the road close to the border.

fluffy2560 :

Try: Evans Cycles

Muchas Gracias

fluffy2560 :

Refrigerators are a problem in Austria due to their recycling laws.

Hungary also has such recycling laws.

On paper.

klsallee :

Hungary also has such recycling laws.

On paper.

There are other laws on paper too.

Seems to me to be very difficult to get rid of US (unservicable) items. I see in some districts (of Budapest), they pile up stuff in the street which gets picked over by teams of professionally organised junk collectors. I think fridges they do not like.

fluffy2560 :

Seems to me to be very difficult to get rid of US (unservicable) items.

Not difficult. Just expensive. Take them to a designated recycling center and pay the "recycling" fee.:D

fluffy2560 :

they pile up stuff in the street

Which is of course "illegal" to do. Addressing such issues is suppose to be the job of local governments. Paper laws and politicians, but that is drifting off topic.

klsallee :

...Take them to a designated recycling center and pay the "recycling" fee.:D

Yeah, if you can find one. Never seen one around here. People also dump their "problem" goods on places like Tesco. I've seen printers, toasters, all sorts stuffed in the recycling bin there. Old plaster, bricks and building waste seems to make their way on to local farmland. No-one wants to pay so they shift it on to someone else.   In Austria, it's the same except people have some "ethics" in that they dump their building waste, car batteries and whatever in the large bins at the autobahn rest stops and not by the side of the road. The authorities have taken to putting video surveillance cameras there.

klsallee :

... Addressing such issues is suppose to be the job of local governments. Paper laws and politicians, but that is drifting off topic.

Well, a bit but they have those kinds of public waste days on occasion and that brings out the independent recyclers. I've seen beds, doors, chairs, TVs and plenty of fridges.

But indeed, all this is off topic.

fluffy2560 :

[...] they have those kinds of public waste days on occasion

That's called "Lomtalanitas", good to know about if you are staying for a longer period.

Back on topic: 5 kids? Wow!
You'll need a big car!
Ford Galaxy/Seat Alhambra/VW Sharan with a roof rack?

If you plan traveling a lot anyway, consider rural locations to live:
You save a lot on rental, parking, and gain safety, health, and room for the kids. The only downside is the commute time to Budapest, where everything is (jobs, schools, nightlife)

Regarding homeschooling, is this still the situation ? (see quote below copy/paste), thanks for any information you can provide, Mark.

If you are only here for the tourist period (up to 6 months in two 3 month blocks) no one will probably care.

If you are going to be here longer, getting "official" permission for home schooling is difficult.

The education laws were recently changed, and tightened. Getting permission for home schooling was always difficult (official, with written permission) in Hungary and may be even more difficult now (I say "maybe" as I am not current on all the new laws changes -- maybe it is easier).

However..... unofficially I know it happens (the local school has no English speaking teachers and the school officials suggest home schooling -- a suggestion which is often technically beyond their legal rights to make). But if any official asks (unlikely, but possible) about your children being truant, you may have problems.

Hi Mark,

Note that this thread is from 2012, you might create a new thread on the Hungary forum, this can help.

Thank you,

David.

We looked into homeschooling (as locals) recently, so let me share my experience:

You'll still be registered at a regular school for the tests each semester. That means you have to include the official curriculum up to a passing grade. Now this is trivial for Hungarians, but I don't know how it works for foreigners.

The complications in getting the permission for home-schooling is entirely at the discretion of the school headmaster. He can either approve it outright, or send you jumping through crazy hoops indefinitely. So it's simplest to just shop around for a friendly school.

You'll probably want to choose an international one, and there you may have to pay, but nowhere near full tuition.

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