Stuttgart living costs are considered to be about the same as the living costs in Berlin. To put it in an international perspective, living here is only slightly cheaper than living in New York City, with most of the daily costs ranking about 80% of what you would pay in New York. One notable difference between the cost of living in New York or Berlin is that the individual purchasing power of someone in Stuttgart is rated as higher. Personal purchasing power is a rating of how far your income can go in the markets. The wages and salaries available for most jobs here is slightly better than the national and comparable international average.
Foreign students are often caught off guard by the higher cost of food and eating out in Germany than in other places in the world. General market prices and menu prices are higher, but much of this stems from the importance that the German culture places on food. Unlike many other industrialized cultures, Germans view eating out as something done as a reward or special night out, the concept of the take away dinner being a daily habit is not something Germans really relate to.
There is more emphasis on fresh foods and foods purchased at a market as most of the eating is done in the home. This can serve to make food prices higher as they are more dependent on the current market and transportation index than places where there is a higher emphasis on prepared foods.
When renting an apartment or house, one of the nice surprises about living in Stuttgart is the overall lower cost of utilities than in other places. Germany does have a lower utility cost than many countries due to their power grid structure. The actual renting costs are 80% to 90% of what you would find in London. The different areas of Stuttgart will change the average rental price, with those being located in greener areas being more expensive and those nearer the industrial sections being less so. When you get to the neighbourhoods near the Universities, the prices can go either way. Nicer neighbourhoods, those near shopping areas and where faculty tends to stay, will cost more than the “student rows’.
Stuttgart University estimates that the average student needs an additional income of €700 a month to cover costs of rent, utilities, transportation and sundries. This is assuming you are in a moderate priced living arrangement and using public transportation.
There is much you can do in Stuttgart for entertainment that is free. Entertainment, such as theatre and cinema, that you pay for is on the slightly higher scale than average. If you are inclined to join fitness clubs, you will find the average monthly fee to only be slightly higher than the average as well.
Stuttgart is affordable if you manage your money well. It can help to take the time to learn more about how to create a budget, especially if you are there to study. The financial needs and burdens of a student are much different than those of someone who is not engaged in study.
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