Managing Money in Germany as a Migrant

Managing Money in Germany as a Migrant

Moving to a different country comes with a whole set of challenges, one of them is learning how to manage your money in a new place while still taking care of your finances back home. If you’re considering going to Germany to work, it’s important to learn about managing your money there. Let’s take a closer look at the average cost of living in Germany as well as some money management tips you can use.

Living Costs in Germany

First things first, you probably want to know how much the living costs in Germany amount to. The cost fluctuates between around €850-€1,000/month at least, or possibly higher depending on what city you live in. Here are some average prices you can expect to pay when living in Germany, to give you an idea:

  • Rent: between €300 (for students in dorms) – €700 for a one-room apartment
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €10
  • Beer: €3.50
  • Bus ticket: €2.80
  • Milk: €0.88
  • Eggs: €2.28
  • Gas (1L): €1.42
  • Monthly utilities: €250 (including electricity, heating, water, and internet)

Most Expensive Cities in Germany

Your cost of living can increase significantly if you’re living in one of the more expensive cities in Germany, especially if you need to live in the city center. Here are some of the most expensive cities in Germany you can live in:

  1. Munich
  2. Frankfurt
  3. Stuttgart
  4. Hamburg
  5. Heidelberg

Rent drives up the cost of living in these cities, making them more expensive than other German cities. For example, Munich has a very high rent cost at around €1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment but also has jobs with higher salaries than other cities. It’s important to find a balance between a city that you can afford to live in and one where you have enough job opportunities. If you want to live in a major metropolis, consider Berlin, where rent prices for the same-sized apartment are closer to €1,000 and there is plenty of work to be found for migrants

Cost of Living in Germany for International Students

Typically, student accommodation is cheaper than rent for an apartment, if you’re looking at student housing such as dorms or shared living spaces. Other costs will depend on where and what you’re studying, but here’s what you can expect to pay, on average:

  • Semester fee: €200-500 each semester
  • Accommodation in halls: €350
  • Room in a shared house: €500
  • Tuition: varies widely from around €1,500-€30,000

Tuition fees are unique to each institution, with public universities being a lot more affordable than private ones. Master’s programs are often more expensive than Bachelor’s programs, but overall, Germany is known for its affordable tuition as compared to other countries.

Tips for Managing Your Money as a Migrant

Here are a few things you can do to bring down the cost of living in Germany as a migrant and save money while working abroad:


  • Set a budget. Create both a monthly and annual budget to help you plan out your expenses and to see what you can afford to be spending each month.
  • Cut costs. Eat at home, use public transportation, and purchase things second-hand, like furniture or books you might need for school.
  • Connect with other migrants. Get to know the migrants in your area to get their insights into managing money in Germany. 
  • Cut down on money management fees. Whether it’s looking for bank accounts with low fees or finding affordable online international money transfers, always look to cut costs when handling your money.

Final Word

Germany is a relatively affordable place to live as compared to some other European countries, and many migrants find it possible to live and work there comfortably. Still, always consider the cost of living in each city before deciding where to move, especially if you’re on a tight budget.