If you are planning to move to Austria, you will find its high cost of living a small premium to pay for the excellent standard of life. Expats from the UK in France actually find Austria cheaper than their home countries, while those from Spain and The Netherlands find it more expensive.
So how much will you need to lead a good life in Austria?That depends on the place you choose to live in. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is much more expensive than the other cities. Given below are some of the common expenses that you should take into account while calculating your approximate monthly expenditure in Austria.
Accommodation and Utilities
Assuming you will be paying your own rent and utilities, this expense should be your primary consideration. Studies show that Austria has the highest property prices across the EU. Most expats and many locals cannot afford to purchase their own properties. The purchase price per square meter for the city center is € 4,254 and outside the main city is € 2,730.
A majority of the population opts for renting houses because of the government’s efforts to construct state-owned residential buildings at subsidized rates. Even the higher-income neighborhoods offer apartments on rent with utilities (gas, water and electricity) for as low as € 450 for around 50 square meters. Away from these buildings, rents can be much higher; a similar sized apartment could cost twice as much. In Vienna, a 2-bedroom apartment costs between € 2,000 and € 3,000 per month, depending on the area.
The monthly cost of running a house could be anywhere between € 150 and €200 for electricity, water, heating and garbage disposal, depending upon the number of occupants. Unlimited internet access at home will probably cost you an additional € 20 per month.
The amount you spend commuting daily could increase your monthly expenses to a great extent.
Austria’s public transport is very efficient and reliable, so you won’t necessarily require a car to get around. All the major towns and cities are well connected through buses, tramlines, an underground metro and a suburban railway. Most of the cities have all these modes of transport while the smaller towns have only one or two types.
A one-way trip on the metro costs approximately € 2.20 while a regular monthly pass is around € 46. The starting tariff for a taxi ride is € 3.90 and you will pay about an extra € 1.42 per kilometer.
The cost of food and beverages needs to be calculated beforehand and it is one of the main factors to affect your monthly expenses. The prices for some of the staples include: a kilo of chicken – € 8.34, a liter of milk – € 1.03, a loaf of bread – €1.52, a kilo of rice – €1.66, a dozen eggs – €2.96 and a kilo of local cheese – €10.72. You could also buy a reasonable bottle of wine for €5.00 and beer for about €1.65.
If you decide to eat out, you will pay around € 8.70 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant or €6.80 for a combo meal at a fast food joint. A 3-course meal for two at a mid-ranged restaurant will probably cost around € 40 or so. Restaurants charge around € 2.75 for a cappuccino, € 2.40 for a soda and € 1.65 for a bottle of mineral water.
Shopping in Austria is quite expensive, even compared to the UK, and definitely much more than the US. A pair of jeans costs approximately € 78.16 and a casual dress from a branded store costs around € 37. A pair of leather shoes for men usually costs € 97 and sports shoes can be purchased for about € 78.
Sports & Leisure
As an expat, you will find a lot to see and do in Austria as long as you are willing to pay more. You could start off by joining a health club for € 34 per month. The cost of a cinema ticket is on the higher side at € 9 for an international release.
All the prices above may fluctuate according to the economic situation and inflation rates. The amount you spend in Austria every month depends on your lifestyle and the city you choose to settle down in.
Have you lived in Austria as an expat? How did you plan your budget? Let us know in the comments.