Finances

When you come to Germany you will of course want to feel financially secure. So it’s good to know that university graduates generally earn a decent living here. Their experience is valued and rewarded accordingly. At the same time, life in Germany is comparatively inexpensive, and inflation is very low – even though rents and property prices have picked up significantly in recent years.

 

8 typically German money-saving tips

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The cost of living in Germany is relatively low, yet many Germans are very thrifty by nature. Here are 8 typically German tips for saving money.

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Flea markets: Germans love a bargain. Which is why they like to visit flea markets. While you can of course go online to hunt down special offers from the comfort of your own home, nothing beats the excitement of discovering a treasure on a dusty stall table.
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Swimming lakes: Taking the family to an open-air pool for the day can be pretty expensive. That's why many Germans prefer to take a refreshing dip in one of the country's countless free swimming lakes. As Germany is home to neither alligators nor piranhas, there is nothing to stop you enjoying your swim.
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Cycling: Germany is a nation of cyclists. Most cities have a good network of cycling paths, or even dedicated roads for cyclists. Taking a bike saves on the cost of public transport and gets you out in the fresh air at the same time.
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Schrebergärten (allotments): The original form of urban gardening, this is something that is typically German. A good five million Germans lease a small plot of land on which they can grow fresh fruit and vegetables. A cheap and ecological pastime, it's a lot of fun, too.
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Paper or cloth bags: Whether shopping for groceries at their local supermarket or buying clothes, customers have had to pay for plastic bags in many German shops since 2016. To save money, simply take a cloth or paper bag with you to the supermarket.
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Tap water: The quality of German drinking water is above average, so many Germans drink water from the tap rather than buying crates of mineral water. As big fans of carbonated drinks, they use special appliances to add carbonic acid themselves.
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Car sharing/car clubs: Public transport is so good that fewer and fewer young city-dwellers own a car. Not everything can be transported by bus or train, however, which is where car sharing schemes and car clubs come in: you save on the initial outlay costs, the expense of parking and the cost of insurance – but remain mobile nonetheless.
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Waste separation: The colour-coded bins outside German houses not only add a splash of colour to everyday life. Separating waste is good for the environment and good for your wallet. By sorting your waste, you will not fill up your grey household refuse bin so quickly – and its collection incurs a charge.