How much is the cost of living in Germany?

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How much is the cost of living in Germany

For living, Germany is not the most expensive country – consecutively studying in Germany is more affordable and convenient. Besides, it overflows culturally, historically, of beautiful nature, extracurricular activities, top universities and lecturers providing exceptionally useful skills and knowledge.

Talking about expenses, it has a wide range when comparing between students and professionals

  • Germany gives a lot to students and in turn they expect good quality outcome so, education is free (just need to pay so called ‘registration fees’ around €120 per semester), though there are exceptions everywhere (there are universities that have tuition fees upto €5000 per semester too).
  • Everybody here needs to be secured for their health, so health insurance cover costs €85 (students) and €160 (professionals) per month as medical helpline is really expensive.
  • Being vegan is difficult but many have managed to, but as per culture here of working Monday-Friday without losing focus which includes high caffeine intake ‘Kaffee’, weekend parties and daily food costs about €250-400 per month depending up on how ‘luxurious’ a student as well as professional wants to live. Cooking non-vegetarian meals costs same as preparing vegetarian.
  • People here drive cars because world renowned ‘Autobahn’. So if wanting to own a car release 2500 bucks for perfect driving license and then car and but obvious it’s gas (Benzin).
  • Travelling can make pockets light but many offers can make your day.

In a nutshell, students can survive a year on €5000-6000 whereas others spend more than €1200 per month (because they earn a minimum of €2500 per month.)

Read Also: Top Health Insurance Companies in Germany!

Five most expensive cities in Germany

Non-foodstuff:

Price ranges Munich Hamburg Frankfurt
am Main
Düsseldorf Bonn
1-bedroom apartment rent
(in city center)
948 € 771 € 778 € 726 € 751 €
1-bedroom apartment rent
(outside city center)
755 € 537 € 510 € 518 € 491 €
3-bedroom apartment rent
(in city center)
1,866 € 1,677 € 1,601 € 1,522 € 1,366 €
3-bedroom apartment rent
(outside city center)
1,412 € 1,115 € 1,168 € 1,133 € 933 €
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heat) 250 € 225 € 233 € 197 € 242 €
Internet (10 Mbps) 22.80 € 22.70 € 23.53 € 23.25 € 23.33 €
Telephone (1-minute pre-paid) 0.10 € 0.11 € 0.09 € 0.16 € 0.09 €
Public transportation monthly pass 62.20 € 80.00 € 85.00 € 71.00 € 82.00 €
Public transportation one-way ticket 2.70 € 3.10 € 2.75 € 2.60 € 2.80 €
Taxi Tariff 1 km 1.80 € 2.00 € 1.75 € 1.80 € 1.60 €
Gasoline 1 liter 1.38 € 1.35 € 1.34 € 1.41 € 1.40 €
Fitness monthly fee 38.16 € 41.60 € 42.55 € 37.49 € 30.00 €
Cinema and other artistic events’ tickets 10.00 € 10.50 € 10.00 € 11.00 € 12.99 €
Tennis Court rent (1-hour) 17.11 € 21.50 € 20.00 € 16.67 € ?
Clothes in chain stores, like: Zara, H&M, etc. 35.98 € 36.00 € 37.27 € 39.33 € 40.00 €
Business leather shoes 116.59 € 98.93 € 100.62 € 103.00 € 145.00 €
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 5.45 € 5.50 € 5.50 € 5.00 € 5.50 €

Restaurants/Pubs/Bars/Cafés

Price ranges Munich Hamburg Frankfurt
am Main
Düsseldorf Bonn
Meal at inexpensive restaurants 10.00 € 9.00 € 10.00 € 10.00 € 12.00 €
3-course meal for two at mid-range restaurants 50.00 € 50.00 € 50.00 € 40.00 € 42.00 €
0.5 liter domestic draught beer at pubs/bars 3.50 € 3.50 € 3.50 € 3.50 € 1.50 €
0.33 liter imported bottled beer at pubs/bars 3.50 € 3.00 € 3.00 € 3.00 € 3.25 €
Coke bottle (0.33 l) at pubs/bars 2.60 € 2.13 € 2.40 € 1.74 € 1.25 €
Regular coffee at a café 2.72 € 2.71 € 2.84 € 2.42 € 2.63 €
Bottle of 0.33 l Water at pubs/bars 2.15 € 1.78 € 1.93 € 1.65 € 1.25 €

Grocery shopping:

Price ranges Munich Hamburg Frankfurt
am Main
Düsseldorf Bonn
Milk (1 liter) 0.76 € 0.66 € 0.83 € 0.75 € 0.65 €
Fresh white bread (500 g) 1.25 € 1.92 € 1.72 € 1.60 € 2.25 €
White Rice 1 kg 1.51 € 1.62 € 1.62 € 1.43 € 1.02 €
Eggs (12) 1.93 € 2.33 € 2.00 € 1.82 € 1.16 €
Local Cheese 1 kg 7.85 € 9.46 € 10.88 € 6.60 € 5.00 €
Chicken Breast (1 kg boneless) 7.33 € 7.25 € 7.27 € 5.98 € 6.70 €
Beef 1 kg 15.00 € 13.60 € 13.40 € 16.66 € 13.30 €
Apple 1 kg 2.05 € 2.08 € 2.31 € 2.36 € 1.63 €
Banana 1 kg 1.66 € 1.72 € 1.88 € 1.77 € 1.65 €
Orange 1 kg 2.37 € 2.38 € 2.47 € 2.45 € 1.49 €
Tomato 1 kg 2.59 € 2.54 € 2.11 € 2.35 € 1.50 €
Potato 1 kg 1.44 € 1.14 € 1.28 € 1.36 € 0.30 €
Onion 1 kg 1.38 € 1.86 € 1.57 € 1.15 € 1.10 €
Lettuce 1 head 1.10 € 1.05 € 1.02 € 0.97 € 0.79 €
Water (bottle of 1.5 liters) 0.33 € 0.54 € 0.63 € 0.58 € 0.23 €
Bottle of Wine (mid-range) 7.00 € 6.00 € 5.00 € 5.00 € 6.00 €
Domestic Beer (bottle of 0.5 liter) 0.91 € 0.94 € 1.09 € 0.81 € 0.70 €
Imported Beer (bottle of 0.33 liter) 1.08 € 1.03 € 1.34 € 1.09 € 1.01 €

Student’s monthly expenses

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are basically in line with the EU average. You will need around 850 euros a month to cover your living expenses. The largest expense is your monthly rent.

Rent and utilities € 323
Food and drink € 168
Clothing € 42
Learning materials € 20
Car and public transportation € 94
Health insurance, medical costs, medicine € 80
Telephone, internet, TV € 31
Recreation, culture, sports € 61
Total € 819

Average Salaries in Germany by Profession

Who earns how much Euros a year
Doctor 85K
Lawyer 67K
HR manager 65K
Engineer 61K
IT specialist 59K
Finance specialist 58K
Sales manager 57K
Natural scientist 54K
Marketing manager 53K
Pharmacist 53K
Teacher 50K
Architect 45K
Social worker 38K
Nurse 35K
Caregiver 31K
Skilled tradesman 29K
Physiotherapist 28K
Cook 25K
Waiter (tips not included) 21K
Minimum wage 18K

Personal Income Tax

Germany has a rather complicated taxation system and personal income taxation is no exception. There is a progressive personal income tax rate starting from zero and ending at 45% for high-income individuals earning more than 260 thousand euros a year. The tax rates 42% and 45% are flat within their respective brackets whereas within the 9,001-54,949 euro bracket the tax rate rises geometrically from 14% to 42% (see below).

Personal Income Tax Rates in Germany for 2018

Singles (EUR) Married Couples (EUR) Tax Rate
0 – 9,000 0 – 18,000 0%
9,001 – 54,949 18,001 – 109,898 Starting at 14% and geometrically increasing to 42%
54,950 – 260,532 109,899 – 521,064 42%
Above 260,533 Above 521,065 45%

As a student, one can save a lot because of all the student prices everywhere but once one starts working, the benefits are reduced drastically

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