Cost of living in Switzerland

A lot of people think that Swiss people are rich, but it is not the really the case because of the cost of living. But it’s true that we are rich in many send of the word. Firstly for the quality of life, we have very efficient services (paid by our taxes), public transport are fantastic, Swiss people are the biggest user of public transport in world, the security is still fairly good even if crime is increasing in some regions.

So why we are not rich financially, because we spend a lot of money in health care insurance (between 300-500USD per month), lodging can range between 900-4000USD/month (around 60% of the population is renting and not owning a house), groceries are around 30% more expensive that France or Germany. A Starbuck coffee, tall mocha is probably around 7USD, 1 Kg of premium beef will be around 90USD! I will not talk about restaurant as the are extremely expensive. So how can we become financially independent and be able to increase our saving rate?

The biggest trick we have for groceries shopping is:

At the supermarket: at the end of the day, just before closing, products that have their expired date the next day will be discounted at a rate of 30%-50%, so almost everyday we go to the supermarket and try fish-out some opportunities.

In my next post, I will detail our saving schemes.


4 thoughts on “Cost of living in Switzerland

  1. Retiredat50,

    When I visited Basel in June last year, the first thing I noticed was how expensive groceries were! (Actually, the first thing I noticed was how many people were smoking, but that’s another story.) Dear Lord, I almost had to sell a kidney for some bacon. I actually found restaurants to be relatively cheap compared to making your own dinner.

    My friend who lives there easily makes twice as much as I do in Belgium after taxes (and she is lower on the job ladder than I am), but she spends most of it on food and the rent of her apartment. The major advantage for her is that, if she manages to save just a little bit, that’s a lot of money if she ever moves back to Belgium.

    Looking forward to your savings!


    • NMW,

      Yes it’s true but anyway we need to survive in this expensive country and try to save the maximum, but not easy every month…

      Let’s exchange some tips and see how we move move forward in our journey to FI.

      Thsnks for all the comments and see you soon here or over your blog.



  2. Hi, interesting topic. I’ve never lived outside Switzerland but I’ve had the luck to train my frugality muscle when I was a student trying to survive in Zurich, world’s most expensive city.
    The tip with the grocery store is very true, now I’m not in Zurich anymore and I live near a Migros: if you go shopping in the last 10 minutes before closure you always find sweet deals. Another thing that I do to save money is to avoid meat: I eat meat maybe once a week and always discounted turkey/chicken.
    Another tip: go to ethnic grocery store (balcanic, turkish, asiatic, african). I can buy huge bags of peas, beans, cous-cous, rice at a fraction of cost compared to Coop, Denner or Migros. Even better than Aldi or Lidl.
    I’m looking forwar to other suggestions!


    • Dear NW,

      Thanks for the tips of the beans, rice etc… We eat beef only one a month, the rest is fish or chicken.

      I had the chance to leave in 2 other different continents and have to say that Switzerland is really an expensive country to leave. But at the same time, what a quality of life we have here.

      Cheers and thanks for the comments


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