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Living in Katowice (programmer, 3000 PLN) - is it enough?


Rafel 1 | 2
2 Oct 2013 #1
Hi All,

I am working as a programmer in a reputed international bank in Katowice. I will be getting 3000 PLN after tax deduction.

Would it be enough for me to live a descent life in Katowice? I am bachelor and I don't smoke and drink.

Also, can someone tell me where to seek for cheap accomodation and breakup of rent, bills and other expenditure ?

Thanks !!
Monitor 14 | 1,820
2 Oct 2013 #2
You can live sparingly with this money, but you will not save much. Regardless it's a normal salary for a programmer with not much experience in Kraków. Rent something short term through: airnb.com or lokalo.pl and when living in Katowice find something through gumtree.pl with help of some Pole (for example work college).
OP Rafel 1 | 2
2 Oct 2013 #3
Thanks Monitor for your reply !!

I don't want to save money. As I will be getting 2000 PLN additional pay as bonus which will be paid after 6 months, meaning 12000 PLN after 6 months, so 3000 per month is just for me to spend :-)

Considering that, will it be good money to live a OK life, like visiting some places in a month, eating out, living in shared accomodation, internet bills, grocerry etc.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
2 Oct 2013 #4
If you want to live in shared accommodation then it will be enough for eating out in cheap canteens. Even own studio shouldn't be so expensive. Katowice is one of cheaper big cities in Poland.
OP Rafel 1 | 2
2 Oct 2013 #5
Monitor,

I don't want to own an apartment. Just wanted to know if I can eat well and live well.

As i believe some of the money would be required for urgent and emergency purposes like health issues, urgent travelling etc.

I believe, 3000 PLN is enough for a single bachelor and as you mentioned it is cheap city. So other things like clothes, bus and train fairs and other daily needs would also be cheap!! Isn't it ?
malnie - | 2
2 Oct 2013 #6
I'd say 500-600zł monthly for food, 1000zł (max) for rent with all the bills, and clothes... well, let a guy answer you. Welcome to Katowice :)
guest00 - | 14
3 Oct 2013 #7
Rafel, could you please identify yourself, your nationality, ethnicity? Why would you like to work in Poland for 3000 PLN?
p3undone 8 | 1,135
3 Oct 2013 #8
Guess00,why is ethnicity or race necessary?
smurf 39 | 1,981
3 Oct 2013 #9
I will be getting 3000 PLN after tax deduction

Should be plenty for a single man.
Rent will cost between 800-1000 for a decent place, you'll live OK, you won't be throwing dosh around like a mafia don, but you'll be OK.

I survived my first 2 years here on less so you should be fine.
DominicB - | 2,684
3 Oct 2013 #10
I'd say 500-600zł monthly for food, 1000zł (max) for rent with all the bills, and clothes... well, let a guy answer you. Welcome to Katowice :)

Probably 50% more. 1500 PLN for a studio apartment with utilities included, and a bit more than 600 PLN for food, unless the guy cooks all meals at home himself from scratch. Clothes are going to cost extra. 3000 PL a month netto is going to be a frugal existence with no chance of luxury or savings, but doable and tolerable in the short term.

Guess00,why is ethnicity or race necessary?

Guess did not mention race. He mentioned nationality. The answer is going to be be very different, for example, for a UK national (go ahead and give it a try, but expect to be slumming it), and for a US national (forget about it, you will lose out financially on the deal with having to pay for travel and residence permit).

As it turns out, the OP is from India. Basically depends on what type of existence he can eek out in his home country, but overall, I would say that there are better places to try than Poland, especially for those wages. Try Canada or Australia, for example. Moving to Poland would be simply putting his life on hold for a year or two. He would not be able to save up much, and the experience he gains will not be worth more than experience gained elsewhere. At best, he would break even. At worst, he would lose a couple of years of prime career-building time.
henk99
3 Oct 2013 #11
DominicB

Yes i agree, i'm also a programmer living near amsterdam also not cheap but the salary is much better.
I get about 3400 euro a month. even with living more expensive here i can save more.

thanks

Also i'm reading this post, because i met this nice gril living near warschau.
and thinking of moving there.
But i have no idea about cost of live there and salary.
so i think i can better work 1 week a month near amsterdam ?
sobieski 107 | 2,128
3 Oct 2013 #12
Two observations here. This forum is recently flooded by people claiming to earn much more as the average Jan Kowalski and then asking what they have to do with this money. Second, they are all from India, Turkey, Pakistan. Third. Soon the question follows how to get a permanent residence permit, and if they can work in other EU countries.
DominicB - | 2,684
4 Oct 2013 #13
sobieski

I've noticed that, too, and am undecided whether it is trolling by a single troll, or genuine questions from unsuspecting victims of a scam artist who provided them with the link to this site. There are apparently lots of scam artists that advertise Poland as a back door to the EU for residents of third-world countries.

Also i'm reading this post, because i met this nice gril living near warschau.
and thinking of moving there.

The classic "foreign boy meets Polish girl and moves to Poland to be with her" story. The ending is usually quite tragic. Plenty of stories in the archives of this forum. The reality is that Polish girls very quickly lose interest in foreign guys who don't earn well. As a rule, Polish girls are far more mercenary than their western counterparts (and I don't blame them for that). As another rule, high-quality Polish girls (those who are ambitious and earn well themselves) are very, very mercenary indeed. If you're not at least pulling your own weight, they will drop you like a hot potato without batting an eyelash or shedding a tear.

But i have no idea about cost of live there and salary.

Warsaw ain't cheap. If you're not making at least 5000 PLN netto, forget about it. There's little incentive to move.

so i think i can better work 1 week a month near amsterdam ?

A common strategy here in Poland. At your current rate of pay, that would give you about 3000 PLN, depending on taxes. Not enough on its own, but a nice supplement.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
4 Oct 2013 #14
@henk99. If you get 3400eur net in Netherlands, then you will earn much less in Poland.
henk99 - | 3
4 Oct 2013 #15
@Monitor and others,
i don't want to spoil the thread in this form for others,
I'm just intrested in salary and live in Poland.

@Rafel,
If you want better salary you should indeed check other options.

Also this girl, is all ready living with me and working here in amsterdam, for about 6 years.
But only about 7-8 months a year. She wants to quit her job and settle again in Poland.
What i can understand, leaving your home country for longertimes is not that easy.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
4 Oct 2013 #16
But if you were earning 3400net in Netherlands and it is as I think above average salary, then you have chance for above average salary in Warsaw. And median Java programmer gets 10 000 pln gross, C++ 8000, database administrator 7000, web designer 8000. So earning 2000 eur net in Warsaw is possible and it's not so different from 3400 eur in Netherlands as long as you spend all this money in Poland. At least according to this website:

You would need around 8,308.67zł (1,977.15€) in Warsaw to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 3,700.00€ in Amsterdam

henk99 - | 3
4 Oct 2013 #17
@Monitor,
Yes i found indeed similar salaries for Poland. Also on this forum.
I only work 3 or 4 days a week for this salary.

@Rafel,
I think you could do better, and look around, there are quite some international corporations looking for programmers,
that have better salaries.

Also for my situation, my house here is much more expensive here than a house in poland,
because this polish girl, has all ready a house with no mortage.
DominicB - | 2,684
4 Oct 2013 #18
Also this girl, is all ready living with me and working here in amsterdam, for about 6 years.
But only about 7-8 months a year. She wants to quit her job and settle again in Poland.

Her chances of making a go of it and advancing herself in the Netherlands far exceeds your chances of making a go of it and advancing yourself in Poland. By several orders of magnitude.

You might last a year here, but long-term life here is going to be rough. Unless you land a cushy, well paid job for an international company, my advice would be to continue building a life in common in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the West. Both of you should constantly further your education so that you can increase your earnings. Then you can afford to take extended vacations for her to be with her family in Poland, and increase your chances of landing a cushy, well paid job for an international company in Poland.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
6 Oct 2013 #19
do not want for mine to be mass murdered and killed off, or replaced (silently) while others, the well-defined culprits,

Please define. Maybe you mean the 70% who do not vote for PIS ?
henk99 - | 3
8 Oct 2013 #20
Actualy i found some jobs in Warszawa,
that should pay better than the 3000 Zl, that is Rafel is talking about.
I think some offers are not to bad.
But experience is important.

Mabey for Rafel best is, take this job, and continue to look for other options ?
BreakingBad 1 | 6
8 Oct 2013 #21
Hi. I would like to ask you that do you think that Katowice is a good idea to open a small kebap shop? I just think to do a small business, btw I am from Istanbul. Thank you for your e-mail.
DominicB - | 2,684
8 Oct 2013 #22
Mabey for Rafel best is, take this job, and continue to look for other options ?

Actually, that's a pretty bad strategy. The danger of getting stuck in a job that doesn't pay enough to cover anything more than a very frugal existence is too high. Best to find a good-paying job BEFORE he comes. Like I said, life in Warsaw is expensive, and anything less than 5000 PLN netto is not enough to justify moving to Poland, rather than trying your luck back in the Netherlands or in another western country. The critical factor is how many EUROS you can put away at the end of the month, which should be AT LEAST 500 Euros (2000 PLN). Even at 5000 PLN a month, it's going to be difficult to put away 500 Euros per month, unless you live really frugally in a shared apartment.

For orientations sake, your monthly fixed costs (housing, utilities, internet and bus/tram ticket) will range from 1000 to 1300 for a room in a shared apartment, from 1500 to 1800 for a studio apartment, and from 2000 to 2500 for a basic one room apartment.

For a single male, food can be done for 600 PLN a month if you cook practically always at home from scratch and eat a mostly vegetarian diet based almost entirely on potatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, apples, dried beans, macaroni, rice, flour, bread, yoghurt and eggs. During the summer, your range of vegetables will be a bit larger, but during the winter, things like tomatoes and peppers will be a luxury. An occasional chicken breast or can of tuna fish will be a special treat, as will a cup of coffee in a cafe or a bottle of iced tea, for example. You eat a bit healthier because you're going to cut way back on sugar and butter, and other high-priced processed items. The types of sausage that you can afford at this level are all pretty much inedible. You're going to be spending a lot of time shopping in various stores, markets, vegetable stands and bakeries to get the best deals.

Otherwise, it's going to cost you quite a bit more, expecially if you eat out. Unless you're frugal, it can easily exceed 1000 PLN a month.

Drinking and smoking (tobacco or otherwise) are significant expenses that will drastically cut back on your ability to save, and may even sink your budget deep into the red. Same with entertainment expenses.

Don't forget about set-up costs, which can range anywhere from 1000 PLN minimum to several times that for one-time items like furniture, bedding, cookware, paper supplies, computer equipment, bicycle (a cheap one, with a serious heavy-duty lock; bicycle theft is the number one sport in Poland, and any bike that isn't cheap will quickly be stolen), and, of course, the deposit on your room or apartment. Nor about reoccurring expenses such as clothing, household items and replacement bicycles for the ones that get stolen,

Nor about the cost of (hopefully) occasional trips to the doctor or dentist. Don't let preventative care slip even if the money is tight; you can't afford an extended illness or expensive medicines or treatments. For God's sake, make sure you get your flu shot; six weeks at home in bed can ruin your budget for many months.

Also, even if money is short, get some sort of physical recreation: swimming, squash, whatever, even jogging. And some cheap or free cultural stimulation as well; standby tickets for the theater and opera are quite inexpensive, and if you make friends in the arts community, they can even weasel you in for free. It's probably the cheapest way to add variety and spice to an anotherwise frugal and monotonous existence.

A big money saver is knowing the local language well and networking with graduate students, who know the secrets of living cheap in the city, like where the Hare Krishnas will be passing out free food. All of your spare time should be spent beefing up your Polish. Sadly, it still happens that unscrupulous merchants take advantage of clueless foreigners (rare, but it happens). Getting "adopted" by a Polish family helps a lot, too, and very few people over forty speak English.

You might scrape by on less than 5000 PLN a month for a year or so, maybe even two, but you'll be burned out at the end, and have little if anything saved up. All in all, it will probably not have been worth your time to come to Poland in the first place.
babsetta 6 | 6
16 Oct 2013 #23
I tend to disagree that 3000 PLN is not enough to pass by in Warsaw.

Me and my partner lived for one year with 2500 PLN per month. We rented a room in Powisle and shopped at Carrefour and Biedronka. We used to go out for drinks twice a month. We has a regular subscription with a nearby pool. We used to shop for clothes at Factory in Ursus. We always had money to buy pharmaceutics and to go to the doctor. We were also able to go on a holiday twice in that year.

We were always comfortable, however, with 1000 PLN more every month I think we would have been able to move to a studio flat, and maybe indulge ourselves in more costly food. K

I know students who manage to get by with 1000 PLN per month, so I think 3000 PLN is quite enough for one person.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
16 Oct 2013 #24
Student is not regular person ;) And not everyone considers studio as acceptable minimum living space.
majority - | 1
8 Nov 2013 #25
Actually 3K is pretty bad, if u're foreigner.
After that goes 22% something taxes and rent would be also. So u can get something like a 1000 pln to spending and living.

Local programmer salary is something like 5000-7000 pln... And foreigners get more.

Monitoring level1 salary is in my company 7500 pln + bonuses.
jon357 63 | 14,255
9 Nov 2013 #26
I tend to disagree that 3000 PLN is not enough to pass by in Warsaw.

Wait a minute.....

Me and my partner

We rented a room

We used to go out for drinks twice a month.

We always had money to buy pharmaceutics and to go to the doctor

with 1000 PLN more every month I think we would have been able to move to a studio flat, and maybe indulge ourselves in more costly food.

That isn't really "enough" is it, if a couple can only afford to rent a room in someone else's home, can't pay for health insurance and can't afford to go out. Like something from the Great Depression.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
9 Nov 2013 #27
Monitoring level1 salary is in my company 7500 pln + bonuses.

We are talking about Katowice and average. If you work in Warsaw and probably bigger and international company then salary is bigger than average. You're talking about your experience. I am talking about statistics.
kauhuk - | 3
18 Nov 2013 #28
Merged: Job offer in Katowice, Poland. What is it like to live and work there?

I have recieved a job offer (which I have accepted but not signed) to work in Poland. The city I'm going to be living and working is Katowice. How is Katowice as a city? I can't speak polish at all so is it going to be a problem there? Any other things I would need to know? I can still refuse this offer.
Harry
18 Nov 2013 #29
What's the salary? That tends to make a big difference to how easy and enjoyable Poland is. And is it you only or you plus family?
DominicB - | 2,684
18 Nov 2013 #30
I have recieved a job offer (which I have accepted but not signed) to work in Poland. The city I'm going to be living and working is Katowice. How is Katowice as a city? I can't speak polish at all so is it going to be a problem there? Any other things I would need to know? I can still refuse this offer.

Katowice is not an attractive city, by any stretch of the imagination. Not speaking Polish will be a problem, of course. As for whether or not you should accept the offer, it depends on what the offer is, what your personal circumstances are (age, sex, citizenship, education level, qualifications, experience), and what you expect to get out of it (a year of experience while slumming it, or a serious long-term career). Why Poland? And why Katowice? If you want to get a useful answer, you have to be pretty generous with the information you provide.


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