Someone recently asked me “how expensive is Switzerland?”. Well, an article this year named Zurich as the #1 most expensive city in the world. Geneva ranked at #3. Just to put it in perspective, New York City is 47th.
I thought I would showcase some examples.
You think US gas is expensive? I see all your Facebook posts. Well, it costs us over 125 francs (150 USD) to fill our car up.
462 CHF = 500 USD. Our yearly TV tax. Nope, this doesn’t include cable. Just for the privilege of watching TV or signing up to pay 100 CHF / month more in basic cable. You don’t even have to have a TV to get taxed….it covers radio too.
Getting your hair done. Gabe pays 85 francs for a men’s cut. This is like 93 USD. One time, he accidentally got a senior stylist and it was over 105 francs. I have a friend who got highlights at the same salon – 350 francs!!!
When people leave their paper & cardboard on the curb, they put it in a Louis Vitton bag.
Drink menu at a bar near our house, prices around 17-19 CHF. Add 10% for the price of the Swiss franc, and you are spending a cool 20 spot for one drink.
12.70 CHF = about 14 USD for a Medium Value Meal at McDonalds.
The average window sign in Geneva. These prices are not unusual on Rue du Rhone: Dress 2230 CHF, Bag 1280 CHF, Scarf 330 CHF, Ties 220 or 180 CHF, Shirt 1500 CHF and Pants 1330 CHF.
One of my favorite sources for expensive deals is Glocals, which is like our Living Social or Groupon.
I know these little Roombas are expensive in the US, but I think its only 200 USD. Here, half off, they are 400 CHF!!
What a deal!!! Half off: Only 69 francs (75 USD) for a mani / pedi!!! I used to pay 25 or 30 USD for both, full price. Let’s just say I have also never paid to have my nails done here.
How do we live in such a city?
Here, we only eat out once a week. Back in the States, we ate out 5-8 times a week between lunch and dinners. However, the average meal out at a low to mid-range restaurant with a glass of wine costs 80 CHF. A nice place is 200 CHF. So, thus the cut-back.
We eat less meat. It’s 3-4 times the prices of the US. So we have more vegetarian meals.
We don’t buy any clothes here. The extent of our purchases are a H & M furry hat for me when it was -20 degrees and a pair of boxers that were half off for Gabe.
We don’t buy “stuff”. The desire is less great here (both their less commercialized way of life and the fact we don’t understand all the ads), but we make due with what we have. We never go out just to shop or pick up something because it looks cool.
Pretty much, we spend all our disposable income on groceries and travel. All in all, we don’t actually mind this change in lifestyle. It will be interesting to see how this changes or stays the same when we return home.