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Moving To Poland - Cost Of Living compared to the UK


sportbilly 1 | 11
9 Nov 2021 #1
Hi, I'm in a management job in the UK paying a base salary of 76,000 GBP, I've got a potential chance to relocate to Poland (I can be part remote so can choose my city and am thinking Wroclaw or Gdansk) and have been offered a salary of 60,000 Euro. Both these salaries are gross figures.

My question is how do I compare the two salaries, clearly 60,000 Euro is a lot less but do you think I can have a comparable lifestyle in Poland to the bigger salary in the UK please?
cms neuf - | 1,919
9 Nov 2021 #2
In those towns you could live very well on that. However sort out private healthcare and also be aware that for remote work you still need a work permit.
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #3
60000 Euro in Poland is much more than 76000 GBP in England.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #4
Thanks, you seem certain on that (that 60K Eur is more in comparison), what EUR salary in Poland would compare to my UK salary? How are you calculating it, or is it a gut feeling?
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #5
It is only a gut feeling, but the "upper class" in Poland begins official at 120000PLN/27000EUR gross. Where begins "upper class" in GB?
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #6
I'm not sure where upper class starts. 76k in the UK probably puts you in the top 5% of salary, where would 60K Euro gross put you in Poland?
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #7
Estimated in the top 1%.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #8
Interesting. Rent in Gdansk and Wroclaw, whilst less than a comparable UK city, is still not very cheap. Must be hard to live in Poland on a "normal" average salary
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #9
Yes it is hard but I don't know how hard. I live since 32 years in Germany.
Atch 17 | 4,014
10 Nov 2021 #10
do you think I can have a comparable lifestyle in Poland to the bigger salary in the UK please?

You can certainly have a good lifestyle in Poland on that salary but it may not stretch as far as you imagine. The cost of living is rising all the time in Poland. Food and energy prices have risen significantly over the course of the pandemic. If you want any imported brands of clothes or electronics you'll pay western European prices for them and you don't have anything like the range of 'deals' that you can get in the UK. The link below is to Numbeo which gives a pretty accurate assessment of living costs in my experience.

numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&country2=Poland&city1=London&city2=Gdansk&tracking=getDispatchComparison
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #11
You can certainly have a good lifestyle in Poland on that salary but it may not stretch as far as you imagine.

A fair assessment. Shopping bills are less here (though yes, they're noticeably increasing), good clothes are not cheaper here (in fact often more expensive), taxes are high here and the 'smart money' often have side hustles or land investments as tax breaks.

People who say they've come from the UK to Poland and things are cheaper often mean that they've sold a house in London or the home counties and bought somewhere in a village or small town here. That salary will fund a very decent life, especially for people without kids however where I live, it's not anything special.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #12
How can 60k Euro be in the top 1% of salaries (according to a previous reply), yet other people are saying it won't stretch far.

It's hard to establish if I will have the same lifestyle in Poland (moving from a medium size and cost city in the UK).
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #13
How can 60k

Poland has the highest number of registered businesses in Europe. As well as that, it's not unusual (even very common) for higher earners here to have multiple income streams.

the same lifestyle

Life is different here to the UK in so many ways. You mention salary and the type of job, but you don't say any more about your circumstances or lifestyle; this does make a difference.

As someone who's also in that theoretical 1%, I feel comfortably off but not especially rich here and perhaps a little poorer than many of my neighbours here in the Warsaw stockbroker belt. Remember that the costs of life (including going out, staying in hotels, food and drink shopping, buying clothes) in any given country are predicated on the average income. In Poland, that average income is not high and if you want to live here as you do in a wealthier country, you will find yourself spending far more than most.

After tax, you will be left with about 15,000 zlotych per month. On that, you will be able to save a good amount, go to average bars and mid-price restaurants and not worry about bills; much the same as someone in northern England would. It is not however exceptional in a big city, and you may find yourself spending more than you think if you want something in life more than the average Pole has. As I said, it depends on how you want to live. You can live nicely here on that, however it's a mistake to expect the general standard of living in society to be the same.
PolAmKrakow 2 | 2,057
10 Nov 2021 #14
@sportbilly
60K euro is about 240K in Poland where the average wage is about 5K per month. Big difference in standard of living with that kind of money.
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #15
Google: 2,2% Poles earns 180000PLN or more gross. But 80% Poles earns 60000PLN or less.
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #16
But 80% Poles earns 60000PLN or less.

And this is key to how costs, prices and day to day possibilities work here.

Higher earners here tend to spend their money in very specific ways.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #17
Thanks, My aim is not to come to Poland ro be rich. My wife is a Pole and is homesick, so the motivation is to move for family reasons.

However, I don't want to be worse off (but I've no desire to have the biggest house and car), hence my question on does the UK salary compare with the Poland one.
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #18
I don't want to be worse off

You'll not be worse off.

does the UK salary compare with the Poland one.

It's more how life compares. Lifestyles are different here however you will be very comfortable on that salary range.
Atch 17 | 4,014
10 Nov 2021 #19
Comfortable as long as it's just him and the wife. If kids feature in the picture, it's a different matter and if you have to pay a mortgage, run two cars etc. that 15,000zl will be stretched to the limit.

It's more how life compares.

Yes, that's it really. Life is just so totally different. Life in an English village within striking distance of a provincial town for example is another world when you compare it to the Polish equivalent.

My wife is a Pole and is homesick,

I see that you're trying to choose between Wrocław and Gdańsk. Which one does your wife favour? Does she have family in either place? Because it's only a matter of time before she will want to move back to her home town to be nearer her family especially if you plan on having children.
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #20
kids... if you have to pay a mortgage, run two cars etc. that 15,000zl will be stretched to the limit.

That is very true. Sometimes people have to be very thrifty here, even those on a better than average income.

village within striking distance of a provincial town for example is another world when you compare it to the Polish

Also true. I absolutely would not recommend a smaller town here.
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #21
I stick to my theory that for 60000 EUR you can live much better in Poland than for 76000GBP in Greay Britain.
mafketis 34 | 11,657
10 Nov 2021 #22
It depends, the more you live like a Polish person the better the life, if you want to maintain a very British life style, then..... hmmmm it depends? Years ago I knew some American expats in Warsaw who spent several times more than necessary because they didn't know how to function in the local economy and instead got stuck in the foreigner economy (with wildly overpriced goods and mostly very bad service and frequent rip offs that they were mostly unaware of...).

If he listens to his Polish wife and can adapt to a different lifestyle then yeah, 60,000 will go a looong way. If he wants to pretend he's still in Britain, then the same amount of money won't go nearly as far.
Alien 7 | 1,077
10 Nov 2021 #23
Exactly as you say, but his Polish wife will make sure that they live like other Poles or at least show him how it can work.
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #24
if you want to maintain a very British life style

Afternoon tea?

There's really not that much difference. Both places have malls, people in both countries have clothes, pay bills, drive and/or use public transport, use uber eats, get their hair cropped and take weekend breaks if they can afford it.. Bills, travel and beer in cheap bars are cheaper here; most other things aren't that different.

The diet is poorer and less varied here though, in large part due to income levels. It's not extravagant to eat well though and Poles do enjoy going to the theatre or opera, to the cinema and when we go for weekends away here, we stay in nice hotels where the other guests are generally Poles.

or at least show him how it can work.

You can save money on some things though, and it is worth doing. Waiting in a massive queue to get the 25zl 'sunny express' train ticket that takes 4 hours or paying 75zl for a ticket on a quicker and less crowded train is however not.

It used to be cheaper here, however costs are noticeably rising in cities as living standards improve.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
10 Nov 2021 #25
Thanks, lots of great advice. I appreciate all the feedback.

My wife is from Grudziadz, but she wants to move to a bigger city. Gdansk is the favourite as closer to her birth city.

We've got two boys, one 12 and one 2 (I know, a big age gap!). So I understand this will add cost, but I've also got them adding cost in the Uk. we only run once car, which is fully paid for and not on credit.

We have a "normal" life in the UK. We rarely eat out in restaurants, and don't have any debt or credit outside of a mortgage. We live in a city in the Midlands, so not expensive but not cheap either, and our biggest expense in the UK is our mortgage of 1K GBP a month, which when you add in council tax and bills must be hitting 1.5K ish off the top of my head.

I certainly don't have an issue with living like a local, and don't want some luxury rich lifestyle. Just enough to have a decent house or flat (we've got a 3 bedroom end terraced in the UK), nice food, and enough spare to save a bit and have a few treats a month (the odd meal out, the odd day trip etc)....probably like most people.

Also, the company would provide a fully expensed car on top of the salary,so no car or transport costs to consider.
mafketis 34 | 11,657
10 Nov 2021 #26
Gdansk is the favourite as closer to her birth city.

Then go there.
jon357 70 | 19,668
10 Nov 2021 #27
1K GBP a month, which when you add in council tax and bills must be hitting 1.5K ish off the top of my head.

You will find accommodation costs in Poland much cheaper than that. Even in Gdańsk. Your wife should negotiate the house/flat though in order to avoid people trying to push the price up for a foreigner. Otodom is a popular website, a bit like Rightmove and I just had a look at Gdańsk; if you're looking to rent and don't mind a flat (most people in Polish cities live in flats), you will find somewhere probably nicer than what you have back home for far less money.

Think carefully about the area in Gdańsk. My personal favourite is the leafy bit of Wrzeszcz however there are other nice bits too. Sopot prices are pushed up due to being a weekend/summer place for affluent Warsaw people. There are quite a few English-speaking foreigners in Gdańsk, including Brits.

If you want to use a private school (there are English language ones of varying quality) that will cost, however they are much cheaper than in the UK.

bisg.edu.pl/admissions

I think you will have a comfortable life here in PL. It won't be any worse than back home; just be aware how long and cold the winters are in northern Poland!
cms neuf - | 1,919
11 Nov 2021 #28
One of the problems you will have is that the market for family homes to rent is small. Pre 1989 places are not comfortable and after that people started to build to their own weird specs and can't understand why you won't pay 7000 zloty to rent their dream construction.

Re your car be aware that there are some extra expenses here like winter tyres and that you will probably need to run a second car if your kids school isn't close.

And seriously get your papers in order or at least make enquiries - being married to a Pole will give you residency rights and I think you can work but I am not sure. Check it out because it can be difficult to fix those things retrospectively and COVID has caused long delays in the offices that issue those things.
Atch 17 | 4,014
11 Nov 2021 #29
@ Sportbilly, I'd also say go for Gdansk. The coastal location and the relatively clean air is pretty unique in Poland. Air pollution in Polish cities is the worst in the EU so with a two year old to consider, I'd go for the coast every time. Obviously, you've been visiting Poland for years so you must know a few of the ways in which it differs from England. For me, as an Irish person (and I've lived in England too), I'm struck by the lack of what you and I would recognize as suburbs. So for housing you're usually either going to be in a flat in the city or in a detached house some distance outside. There are increasing number of housing estates being built now, with semi-detached houses (probably as a result of Polish builders returning from the UK with English ideas!) but they're often out in the sticks with few amenities and no 'heart' or character, just houses plonked down in a field.

My main concern with the two children would be their education. I presume the older one speaks Polish which will be a help but the education system in Poland is so different to the UK. He's already in secondary school but will be going back to primary under the recently 'reformed' Polish system.
OP sportbilly 1 | 11
11 Nov 2021 #30
Sounds good (Gdansk). yes, the schooling is a worry but it's not an insurmountable problem.


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