The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / Life  % width posts: 17

Costs of living in Bialystok

3 Jan 2018 #1
I probably have to go to the Bialystok area for work.
My family would join me, therefore I would like to know the costs of living per month
What I would like to know is the following:
Housing (3 bedroom detached house)
Food etc
Private english lessons
Football Club
Swimming club
Music Lessons (piano)

Thanks for helping !
DominicB - | 2,709
3 Jan 2018 #2
Where are you from? Yes, it does make a big difference.

What do you mean by "family"? How many people and how old are they?

Do any of you speak Polish?
Jardinero 1 | 405
3 Jan 2018 #3
OP PatExpat
3 Jan 2018 #4
The Netherlands. 4 persons, 2 adults and 2 kids 13 and 17 years old
No we do not speak polish yet. So maybe Polish lessons for us and Polish and extra English lessons for our 13 year old son.
Jamaj - | 9
3 Jan 2018 #5
I probably have to go to the Bialystok area for work.

Why would you do it. Come to Czech instead. Much better for living.
Jardinero 1 | 405
3 Jan 2018 #6
It will be a challenge to make a move like that, no doubt about it - especially with the children at the age where they are... It will be a culture (not to mention the weather) shock - I will be on the lookout for your impressions and comments... Are you Dutch?

All the best!
DominicB - | 2,709
4 Jan 2018 #7

Like Jardinero said, it will be a challenge, but it could be a great adventure for you and your family provided you are earning well enough, especially if you are earning the same wages you did in the Netherlands.

It's difficult to give a price for the house. It depends on location, standard and yard size. It's going to be a lot cheaper to rent in a village outside the city than in the city itself, but that comes with disadvantages for you sons, who don't speak Polish, together with increased costs in transporting them to the city for school, lessons and social activities. I guess that a good ballpark price for the house is going to be about 5000 PLN a month. Add another 5000 PLN a month for living expenses, and how much you want to save, and multiply the total by 1.5 to get how much you should be earning. For example, if you want to save 1000 Euros a month (5000 PLN), it would be (5000 + 5000 + 5000) x 1.5 = 22,500 a month.

It sounds like you are coming for a long stay. If so, then it would probably be wise to rent an apartment at first and take your time looking for the right house.

Schooling for the kids is going to be a big problem. I'm not sure whether there is an international school in BiaƂystok. There appears to be an IB program at one of the public high schools, and I suggest you contact them for further details. The person to contact is:

Ms Emilia Makarska
ul. Narewska 11
Bialystok 15840


This is going to work out best if your boys are outgoing and willing to take this as an advantage and opportunity. It is not going to work if your boys are shy and are going to take it as an ordeal. If your boys are not 100% vanilla in terms of sexuality, then reconsider whether this is a move you ought to make. A provincial eastern town in Poland is no place for a foreign kid with a non-conventional sexuality.
Maciek_G 4 | 18
7 Jan 2018 #8
Please ignore what dominic is saying, he runs to all these types of threads and spams them, not sure if he's some ultra nationalist that doesn't want outsiders in Poland or whatever but I just got back from there, my sister and her husband live an hour away from Warsaw, they have 2 kids and only make 4500zl after taxes and they live quite well.

The average income after tax in Warsaw is around 3750 PLN, or approximately $850 USD per month. This figure shows how Warsaw is a wealthy city not only in the national economic sphere, but also regionally. In other important cities of Poland, the average salary is considerably lower, including Krakow or Wroclaw. [15] Full house with 3 bedrooms in the city = 2800zl.
rent will be your biggest expense, rule of thumb is if you want a comfortable life you will spend as much as your rent in expenses/month.

Dominic is over the top when he talks about savings, I'm guessing he's a multi-millionaire now after reading his wild posts. From what I've seen in real life most people don't save much in there savings account whether here in Canada or there in Poland. Usually savings come from real estate, when you buy & pay off your property plus the % it grows over 20 or so years usually pays for your retirement. But 90% of the time people don't start making big money from work or other ventures until they get older and wiser, between 40-60yrs old is the magic number when people begin to understand the world and really generate large sums of cash with moderate effort, at least that's what I've seen.

So to sum up, you will need 5600zl/month lets say 6,000zl for good measure. This is of course after taxes.
Maciek_G 4 | 18
7 Jan 2018 #9
here's a link to people being asked how much you need to live comfortably in Poland and the general consensus is 3000zl after tax with the lowest answer being 2000zl and the highest 12,000zl (for a family, I'm guessing of 6) which lets be honest the guy had a look on his face of the typical pole who loves complaining and I'm sure he meant before taxes.
another video with general consensus of 2500-3000zl and one women saying that for a family of 4 the salary must be between 7000-8000zl, keep in mind this video was shot near the centre of Krakow which is not Bialystok and more expensive.
Jardinero 1 | 405
8 Jan 2018 #10
an hour away from Warsaw, they have 2 kids and only make 4,500zl after taxes and they live quite well

How recently have you left PL? I think it's time for you to wake up and smell the... bacon... ;-)
This is utter nonsense - survive you could (and on a budget), yes, but it will not be a comfortable existence after you've paid your housing, car/transport/costs associated with children... forget any savings or vacations, especially if the kids are in paid schooling or want to attend after school activities...
Atch 20 | 3,906
8 Jan 2018 #11
So to sum up, you will need 5600zl/month lets say 6,000zl for good measure.

Did you look at the list of requirements the OP has?? There is no way that 6,000 zl would cover that. Absolutely no way.
mafketis 35 | 10,714
8 Jan 2018 #12
Did you look at the list of requirements the OP has??

Well they don't seem very realistic or show much knowledge of how things work in Poland.
DominicB - | 2,709
8 Jan 2018 #13
Depends on how much he will be earning. More realistic if he is earning 25,000 PLN a month or more.
jon357 72 | 21,378
8 Jan 2018 #14
Half that would pay for the sort of lifestyle he talks about in his original post and many people would say they can do it for less. Very few jobs in Bialystok pay that.

Though some do...
Maciek_G 4 | 18
8 Jan 2018 #15
I've been to Poland twice this year for a month at a time specifically looking at the cost of living. So the smell of bacon is real fresh with me. I think the problem comes from foreigners who go to Poland expecting to live the life they were living back home and also being charged a lot more for same things only because you aren't from there. For example I met a guy who got tricked into paying 700zl a month extra because he had an English accent when speaking Polish, people see he has money and they jump on the opportunity. Another example is when I went to the gym and I paid for a drop-in because I didn't have a membership (I speak Polish without an accent) the guy who came in after me did the exact same thing and got charged 10zl more because he didn't speak Polish perfectly. These are small examples of what I had seen often, and when you start wanting to buy high-end/luxury items and services(which foreigners are drawn to) it gets A LOT worse.
DominicB - | 2,709
9 Jan 2018 #16
Half that would pay for the sort of lifestyle he talks about in his original post

Not with a free standing house that fits that lifestyle. And certainly not with any savings. A western expat professional with a family of four would be scraping bottom if they were not able to put away at least 4000 PLN a month, and that's really minimal.

Very few jobs in Bialystok pay that.

I'm assuming from the wording of his question that he is being sent by his Dutch employer and will be earning Dutch wages while in Poland, and that he is at least middle management.

I think the problem comes from foreigners who go to Poland expecting to live the life they were living back home

It's not exactly a problem if they are earning expat wages and have money to burn. A bigger problem is foreigners coming here expecting to live as cheaply as Poles, and Poles like you telling them that they can. You kind of perpetuated that with your video quotes. What may be a comfortable wage for an average native Pole is horribly low for a highly qualified foreigner, or for a highly qualified Pole, for that matter.

Foreigners generally don't speak any Polish, and don't have a local network of family and friends. Both of those raise the cost of living a great deal. On top of that, they often have children that need to be sent to expensive private schools, which can cost as much as 4000 PLN a month per child. Poles are generally honest when dealing with foreigners, so the "gringo tax" is not nearly as bad as in, say, Central America, where price gouging is the rule, not the exception.

That is why statements like "you will be earning twice the local median wage" are completely meaningless to a expat. They don't give a rat's a$$ how much the locals earn. Their own wages per se don't matter to them, nor does cost of living per se, except as to how they impact the only financial figure that does matter to them, which is how much they can put aside at the end of the month in their savings or retirement account or in their kids college fund after paying for (what is for them) a comfortable lifestyle. Without savings, the job is not worth taking, unless it somehow has a very, very high probability of guaranteeing advancement and higher savings potential in the future.

For westerners, this is rarely the case. A decrease in savings potential is an opportunity cost that few are willing to incur, which is why so few westerners come to work in Poland compared to how many Poles go to work in the west. Indian engineers, on the other hand, may be willing to slog through a year or two of working for substandard wages in Poland on the assumption that this will enable them to get a much better paying job with much higher savings potential in the west in the future.
jon357 72 | 21,378
9 Jan 2018 #17
Not with a free standing house that fits that lifestyle

Quite easily. half that amount is still four times the average salary for Bialystok.

will be earning Dutch wages while in Poland, and that he is at least middle management.

No problem at all, in that case.

Home / Life / Costs of living in Bialystok