The cost of moving to Germany
The last 3 weeks have been crazy for me financially. I’ve been spending money left and right, and if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been bringing in some mad freelance income this month, I might have already had a heart attack.
I realized that I haven’t really spoken about the cost of moving to Europe for 7 months. To make it easier, I’ll be converting all Euro prices over to Canadian dollars. Or maybe I’ll list both so you can see the exchange rate difference. Whatever you guys want to see. Thoughts?
Anyway, here is what my trip to Europe has cost me so far:
- $648 – Flight to Paris. ♥
- $432 – Insurance. We bought 12 months worth of insurance, but we can get a refund on the difference (since we’ll only be away for 7 months) once we get back to Canada.
- $470 – Work visa. We went through SWAP to obtain our 12-month working holiday visas because we needed to ensure we got our visas in time for Nic’s start date at work. This saved us the headache of submitting paperwork, and visits to the consulate. We also have a support system in place in Germany, which is well worth the money.
Here is what I still need to pay for (and the approximate price):
- $400 – backpack (75-85L). I realized a few weeks ago that my 60L top-loading hiking pack isn’t going to do me any good while traveling. I need something bigger, because I won’t be bringing any other luggage besides what I can fit in my backpack. The minimalist approach. :) I figure I’ll get good use out of this bigger pack in the future because I’ve got my sights set on trips to Asia, Kilimanjaro, and Machu Picchu in the next couple of years. :)
- $50 – daypack (25-30L). A backpack that I can use for weekend getaways as a carry-on, that also has a laptop slot. I will also use this backpack as my mobile office when I want to get out of the apartment and explore the city.
- $90 – two nights hostel in Paris. Our initial flight is into Paris. The plan is to spend 2 nights there before taking the train into Germany. Hostels are expensive for private rooms, but still cheaper than hotels. We’ll also check Expedia and PriceLine.
- $60 – train from Paris to Stuttgart. We’ll book this as soon as Nic gets confirmation on his start date at work.
- $80 – two nights hostel in Stuttgart. We’ll probably have to spend 2 nights in a hostel before we can move into an apartment for February 1st.
- $650 – deposit on an apartment. The apartments we’ve been looking at have €1,000 deposits, which is $1,300 CAD. We’ll split the cost of the deposit.
- $300 – first month of rent. The rental market in Stuttgart is tight. I’ve had plenty of people tell me to have something lined up before getting there. So we’re in the middle of contacting listings right now. Tiny studio apartments in the city are around €800, or $1,050 CAD – all utilities and internet included. Which I think is a great price, and almost seems too good to be true. We talked about how much rent I’d be able to contribute, since I also have to pay my mortgage and maintenance fees at home. Nic said he could pay around $800/month, so I’d probably be looking at paying $250-300 a month for my portion of the rent. Maybe less. Which is great, because my monthly mortgage/fees for my home in Vancouver is about $1,300/month, plus property taxes of course. But we won’t be able to finalize rent portions until we have secured a place.
All I’m seeing is dollar signs right now. And I’m sure I’ll have to add more expenses to the list in the next two weeks. But I know it will be worth it, and it will all be paid for in cash. :)
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a writer, personal finance blogger, and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.