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Moving to Krakow next year, 5000 zloty net.

24 Nov 2017 #1
Hello all,

I'm 30 years and i'm about to move to another country. I'll be working in Poland, Krakow. Do you think 5000 zloty (net) is enough for a good living with no much worries? It's only me (no wife and no kids).

Thank you all.
terri 1 | 1,664
24 Nov 2017 #2
Tell us what you understand by the expression 'good living'.. To some it means a nice apartment, all facilities included, going out to dinner in a medium-posh restaurant 2 times a week, going on 2 week holidays outside of Krakow at least 4 times a year, having a car......for that it is not enough. However, having a mediocre apartment, using public transport, making all meals at home from scratch, going on 2 holidays a is enough.....
OP Raddit
24 Nov 2017 #3
Thank you for your reply.

Yes by good living I didn't mean all that luxury. Just a normal living with not much to worry about. Normal flat with internet, no car and travel to my home country 2/3 times a year.

I've read that the average salary is 3000 and something zlotys. So from that I understood that I can have a decent live with 5000 zloty. I was also told that the cost of living in Krakow it's not high.
OP Raddit
24 Nov 2017 #4
Oh and joining a gym :D
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #5
travel to my home country 2/3 times a year.

Depends where your home country is? If it is India or Pakistan, forget about it. Even once a year is going to be difficult, if at all possible. If it is the Ukraine or somewhere else very close, you might be able to do it.

Where are you from?

I was also told that the cost of living in Krakow it's not high.

The cost of living is very high in Poland compared to wages. A greater percentage of your wages will go to covering your cost of living than in richer countries, where the cost of living may be higher, but wages are even higher. This makes Poland and the other countries of Eastern Europe poor choices for those who want to save money. Kraków is one of the most expensive cities in Poland. Also, it costs a lot more for a foreigner to live in Poland than a Pole. And don't forget that you have to deduct your total cost for travel, relocation, visa and residence permit from your earnings.

In all, 5000 PLN net will give you a decent lifestyle of the type you describe, except for perhaps the trips back home. Better if you are from the Ukraine, less if you are from outside of Europe. Where are you from?
OP Raddit
24 Nov 2017 #6
Thank you for your reply.

I'm from Portugal.
So I really have to think about it, maybe it's not a wise choice to leave the job I have in Portugal, based on what you said.

Here in Portugal we have meal allowances in some jobs. Is it normal to earn it also in Poland? Here besides my monthly wage, they also give me meal tickets.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #7
Here in Portugal we have meal allowances in some jobs. Is it normal to earn it also in Poland?

No. I have never heard of that.

The main thing you will lose by coming to Poland is your home court advantage. In Portugal, you know the language and culture, and have learned how to live more cheaply with the help of your family and friends. In Poland, you won't have any of this, which is why I said it is more expensive for a foreigner to live in Poland than a native Pole.

The other thing you will lose is the opportunity to improve your qualifications. You have opportunities available to you in Portugal to take courses and get certificates at a lot lower cost than you would in Poland.

It is also a lot easier for you to network in Portugal to find a better job than to do so in Poland. Since the best jobs are advertised face to face, person to person in the real world, networking is by far the most important thing you should be thinking of at the moment in terms of job advancement and self-improvement.
24 Nov 2017 #8
If you are employed by some big international company in Krakow, you may have meal allowance, gym/leisure activity allowance, private health insurance, one-time relocation allowance, and yearly performance bonus.
OP Raddit
24 Nov 2017 #9
Thank you both.

The job is located in Quattro Business Park, in Google offices, working with Google Adwords.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #10

You had better check with the employer to see if they are specifically including any of these perks in your contract. Don't assume you are getting anything unless it's on paper.
idem - | 132
24 Nov 2017 #11
The cost of living is very high in Poland compared to wages.

I don't think that I quite agree with your statement....It is very generalized opinion based on what exactly?
24 Nov 2017 #12
Hi OP Raddit,

Is there any way to get in contact with you? I'm in the selection process for the same job (but in spanish) and the salary they mentioned to me was quite different... that's why, if you don't mind, I would like to ask you some questions.

DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #13

The local purchasing power of the median wage generally increases with the local median wage, and Poland is no exception to that rule. That means the local median wage can buy more, the percentage of the local median wage needed to maintain the same lifestyle decreases, and savings potential dramatically increases. In other words, the percentage increase in wages when you go from Country A to Country B is practically always higher than the percentage increase in the cost of living the same lifestyle. Savings potential is the most important financial number for working expats. That is why workers flock to richer countries, and flee from poorer countries. Very few workers from the richer countries of western Europe, for example, would even consider working in Poland. The downgrade in savings potential would be staggering.

Poland comes in pretty low in terms of local purchasing power and very low in terms of saving potential. Savings potential is by far the most important financial number for working expats. Savings potential in Poland takes a double hit: not only are local wages lower, but the percentage of that that you have to spend to live the same lifestyle is higher, leaving a lot less left over to put in the bank at the end of the month.

Poland is only cheap if you are receiving western wages while working there, or if you are receiving a fixed income like a trust fund or retirement pension. But relative to prevailing wages in Poland, the cost of living is quite high.
idem - | 132
24 Nov 2017 #14

It is lots of theoretical information. For me is more understandable to compare bare numbers.

>>>Very few workers from the richer countries of western Europe, for example, would even consider working in Poland. The downgrade in savings potential would be staggering>>>

They do but mainly for high paid managerial position. No one will move for less paid job and with huge language barrier...

I live in UK co I can only compare these 2 countries average salary in UK is around 26-27 K per year so it is around 8 000 zl. Without going into details basic food is in similar prices but restaurants, services, rents, .is much more expensive in UK. So I think by earning 8000 in UK and 5000 in Poland you can have relatively similar lifestyle. Unfortunately it is very general assumption as rent/property prices in Cambridge/London are very different from prices in some small town in north. The same in Poland Warsaw/Krakow or ...Tarnow. Plus average salaries again - it can be average of 60K in London and 20K Peterborough.

Plus no offence but as for today I am not sure Portugal comparing to Poland shows so much more work opportunities.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #15
For me is more understandable to compare bare numbers.

The ONLY bare number that actually counts for working expats when comparing two jobs anywhere is savings potential, or how much you can put in the bank at the end of the month. Raw wages and raw cost of living are absolutely meaningless except in how they affect savings potential. The only other financial factor that can be taken into account is impact on future earnings, or, rather, savings potential.

Those highly paid managerial folks who come from rich countries to Poland are exactly what I described above: they are being paid in western wages. They are the chosen few for whom moving to Poland does actually sometimes make sense. Most westerners, on the other hand, are not going to be able to earn western wages while in Poland, and therefore will experience a huge drop in savings potential. The opportunity cost of moving to Poland is staggeringly high for most westerners, even without the language barrier.

As for Portugal vs. Poland, they are so similar in level for income and job opportunities that the difference in income may not match the cost of losing one's home court advantage. Not being in your own country comes with a cost. You lose your network of friends and family, you are handicapped by not being able to speak the local language, and opportunities for self-improvement, further education, professional advancement and professional networking are fewer and more expensive, Also, there is a big difference between the cost of living for a Pole living in Poland and that of a foreigner living in Poland.

All in all, I think better options for the OP are either to stay in Portugal and take advantage of the opportunities available to him to improve his qualifications there, or move to a richer country than Poland like Germany or the UK where savings potential is much higher than in Poland.
terri 1 | 1,664
24 Nov 2017 #16
I truly believe that only people currently living and/or working in Poland are able to offer advice. I spend 6 months a year in Krakow. I can say straight off that 5K pln net per month is not enough to have a comfortable lifestyle. You will spend more than 3K pln per month (if not more) on accommodation and bills. You have to factor in food, clothes, private doctors, dentists......

Yes, many Polish people live on less than that, but they have family around them, they speak the lingo, they know the best places to search for a bargain.

Bottom line is always....suck it and see...try it, you may like it....NOT.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #17

I lived in Poland for twelve years. In Wrocław, which is comparable in terms of cost of living in Poland. 5k net is enough to live a decent life for a recent graduate, and even a junior employee, from within the EU. It won't be the high life, for sure, but it will be more than tolerable. There won't be much in terms of savings, which is a bigger problem, because I define comfort in terms of savings. But there are probably few better jobs in Portugal for the OP unless he improves his qualifications and gets some experience. If I were a young recent grad, I would focus on building up my qualifications and aggressively, obsessively building up my personal network of real-world professional contacts so that I could find a better job in the future, even if it meant staying with mom and dad in the interim. The thing about the job in Poland is not whether the pay is too low to survive, but if the experience will help the OP advance. If the OP's sole saleable skill at the moment is his ability to speak Portuguese as a native, I would be skeptical about that.

A small studio apartment, all inclusive, rent, administration fees and all utilities except phone/internet/TV, is going to cost about 1500 to 2000 PLN at the most. A room in an apartment half that.
terri 1 | 1,664
24 Nov 2017 #18
You would simply not believe how prices have increased recently. I spent 6 months in 2017, if you lived any earlier than 2016, you would be surprised. Poland is now a very expensive country. It may depend on which city one wants to live, but in Krakow, you'll be hard pressed to find a room for less than 1.5K pln, and a small flat 40m2 for 2K pln (if you're lucky).
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #19
You would simply not believe how prices have increased recently.

No, I don't. I've been keeping up with current prices and they have increased only modestly in the last three years, even in Warsaw. 1500 PLN for a room in a shared apartment is far beyond the market average in Kraków, unless you are talking about the Starówka or vacation rentals, neither of which is of any interest to the OP.
OP Raddit
24 Nov 2017 #20
Thank you guys.

DominicB, the more I read from you, the more tempted I am to refuse and stay here.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 Nov 2017 #21

Do your research and do the math carefully. Explore opportunities to expand your skill set. And good luck wherever you end up!
idem - | 132
25 Nov 2017 #22

You are right it is not much - it is just normal salary to survive. Sometimes choice depends on fact how is job market in your own country ( on special field)plus language barrier. To be honest saving potential... it is very vague subject- people lead very different lifestyles so saving potential depends on it too. I think lots ( families or even single people) on overage salaries don't save anything even they live in their own countries in west Europe now.

I have been living and working in UK for 15 but from my observation prices are going up in Poland and they will be as minimum wage goes up too but also salaries in bigger cities are catching up with west Europe...slowly but they are catching up.Especially in Krakow there are lots back offices are created for big Companies.

Looking how much properties are built and sold in Krakow every year

looking at some of these prices...

It appears to me that earning potential is growing in Krakow.
LongTermR 1 | 37
26 Nov 2017 #23
5000 zl might have been fine for a student. I'm sorry but it's not much money to live a comfortable life in Poland
G (undercover)
26 Nov 2017 #24
Do you think 5000 zloty (net) is enough for a good living with no much worries? It's only me (no wife and no kids).

It depends what kind of lifestyle you expect, how much you've been making in Porto etc. But generally when you choose the flat wisely (not some overpriced crap) you still should have more than enough money for normal life. I guess many of "it's not enough" folks don't even make 5k.
Dirk diggler 10 | 5,009
27 Nov 2017 #25
Its a fairly middle/upper middle of the road income for a single person. You'll live half decently on 5k net though but you won't be able to save much nor afford certain luxuries. Usually 10k 12k plus for a single person, 20k plus is where an upper middle class life starts in pl from what I've seen where you can afford a nice flat, mid level german car, etc.

A lot of poles don't make a high salary yet still have valuable assets because they're smart with their money, they save, don't live beyond their means, etc. A family friend is a fire fighter and I doubt he even makes 5k 6k zl net yet has a huge home, nice cars, sent 2 kids to college, etc
Nojas 4 | 110
27 Nov 2017 #26

I live in a fairly newly built 45m high end apartment in central Krakow and pay 1.9k in rent + 100pln for electricity + czynsz (on average ~300pln).

I pay about 140pln monthly for TV package and internet (200 mbit/s fiberoptics).
Phone with unlimited internet about 40pln.
Monthly fee for unlimited public transport covering all city 89pln.

500g minced meat is about 5pln (10pln for highest quality).
1kg of potatoes about the same.
1kg chicken filet is under 20pln.
Other types of meats like kotlets and what have you avarage between 10-25pln per kg depending on what type and quality.
Standard lunch is about 15pln for any normal places for office workers.

Electronics like computers, TV's and phones have about the same price as any european country making it more expensive for someone with a polish salary.

Other than that prices are not outrageous. Sure, your money will get spent quickly if you are going out to restaurants, but that's reality in any country. Besides, the best food you cook yourself. You know what you put in and you know how it's been handled. Anyone thinking a "luxury" restaurant is a guarantee against low quality products and health violating handling is out to lunch and doesn't know much about the restaurant scene.

Restaurants you go to for an experience, not to get the best quality food product.

Private doctors and dentists? All international employers in Poland offer a package with either Luxmed or Medicover for a very low monthly cost for the employee.
terri 1 | 1,664
27 Nov 2017 #27
Why do you assume that when I am in Poland that I live on fresh air and don't know the costs of anything. I know butter is now 8 pln & I pay 3pln for 100g of bread. I buy sliced ham for 40pln per kilo. If you suppose that 0.5 kgs mince is 5 pln - you live in cloud land.

Let me know the street where you live - I live in Plac Inwalidow and you can't get much more central than that. .
Nojas 4 | 110
27 Nov 2017 #28
Lol, the brit is going to tell stuff. And like I will put my address on internet, Srodmiescie is close enough.

Go to any shop, I dare you...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,872
27 Nov 2017 #29
Nojas are you really arguing the toss about the price of groceries with a woman?> lol, good luck.
Nojas 4 | 110
27 Nov 2017 #30

Well, seeing my answer... What do you think? I'm not someone to spew out bullshit...

I'm a Swedish man, trust me I'm well aware of grocery prices and how to put on a washing machine...

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