What does student life cost?
Living expenses for students can be anything from several hundred euros to more than a thousand euros per month. Below, we offer an insight into the most important costs and share some valuable tips for saving money.
Depending on where they live, students in Germany spend between €150 and €380 on accommodation on average. A box room in a shared flat in Munich can cost as much as a two-room apartment in Nordhausen, Thuringia – or even more. Then there are the additional costs for furniture and fittings if the room or flat is not furnished. Rent increases can also be expected in boomtowns like Leipzig.
The price structure here at Staytoo is clear and transparent. We offer you an all-in-one package at an affordable, fixed price based on the selection of your fully furnished apartment and including all additional expenses and Internet.
Whether it’s travelling to uni, going to the library or taking a trip home: most students have travel costs to cover. Those with their own cars usually have higher costs to cover than those who take public transport.
However, it also depends on the type and frequency of use. An Intercity Express (ICE) train ticket for €150 can be the equivalent of three full tanks of petrol. Generally speaking, it is important to keep track of travel costs and ideally keep all receipts and tickets, as travel costs, like accommodation costs by the way, are tax deductible.
The cliché of frozen pizza as a student’s staple diet no longer applies: a study conducted by the University of Maastricht and constata revealed that 82% of the respondents cook several times per week or even on a daily basis. Only 18% of students regularly eat ready meals.
The myth of fast-food deliveries every day is also not true: just 3% of students use delivery services multiple times per month. As such, healthy eating is at a premium. No wonder: according to the study, Diet and Cooking was the second most-important area of interest behind Sport and Leisure.
A healthy diet is varied – and does not come cheap. At least €150 per month should be included to guarantee a nutritious diet.
Leisure and free time
After work comes play: hard-working students deserve a hard-earned trip to the cinema or a bar. Money must also be planned in for sports club memberships, clothes and household needs. Healthcare similarly brings with it additional costs: medicine, plasters, etc. As such, at least €100 per month should be planned in for pastimes and leisure activities.
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Even students need a range of insurance policies. The most important are:
- Health insurance
- Personal liability insurance
- Household contents insurance
- Accident insurance
Other insurance may be required in individual cases, like car insurance, for example. Some students also take out disability insurance.
Depending on the insurance company, the costs can easily reach three figures. There is some relief where health insurance is concerned: Students under 25 are covered free of charge by their parents’ dependent insurance. Students under 30 are covered free of charge by the family liability insurance in accordance with the same principle.
Communication and learning aids
Nowadays, a laptop is an essential piece of equipment for every student. It doesn’t need to be top of the range, but students won’t be doing themselves any favours at uni by picking the cheapest option. Video lectures, zoom calls, work with different tools: the laptop should at least meet minimum requirements – decent models are available for €500-600.
- Tip: High-speed Internet is available in all Staytoo rooms. Simply log in to the Internet service provider ask4 and start surfing. Guest access is also available for your visitors.
No student should be without a smartphone either. Okay, it’s not technically a learning aid, but it is essential for communication, not only, but of course also among young people.
The same things apply as for laptops: please don’t just look at the price tag, but instead check that apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, etc., run smoothly and without any issues. Cost-effective mid-range models are available from €250.
Other important items and costs where communication and learning aids are concerned include:
- Mobile phone contract
- Optional Wi-Fi dongle for the laptop
- Pens, folders, notebooks, writing pads
- Laptop bag / briefcase
- Subscriptions for online tools
- Television licence (household fee)
Tuition fees are practically non-existent in Germany. However, some universities do charge administration or semester fees, generally in the region of a few hundred euros per year. There are also some usage fees, for example for the library.
Costs when studying: an opportunity to manage your finances
Most students don’t have much money available to them in this stage of their life. This can be annoying but can also be a fantastic opportunity to manage your finances properly. Seize the opportunity to install a finance app and develop a feeling for your expenses and income from your part-time job. We wish you a lot of success and cost-effective studies!
Tips regarding costs as a student in summary
- Special expenses are tax deductible. If this is your first qualification, you can deduct up to €6,000. However, to do so, you must be able to provide proof of taxable income in the same year.
- Travel costs can also be deducted – €0.30 per kilometre and €0.35 per kilometre as of the 21st
- Keep household accounts in order to keep track of costs and identify potential savings.
- Second-hand items are a wonderful way to save money – pre-owned clothing, dishes, textbooks: such items are considerably cheaper when bought second-hand.
- Also look for platforms with free offers: The Internet is full of portals and groups where people can swap and give away items, even fresh food.
- Eat in the refectory (Mensa): Students can get nutritious meals there at low prices.
- Compare service providersfor mobile Internet, telephone, insurance, etc. There are a range of service portals which allow you to compare services and companies in a matter of minutes and save money by changing.
- Look out for discounts and special offers: Avoid impulse buys and instead pay attention to which products are on offer when shopping.
- Submit a tax declaration: Tax declarations aren’t only good for those in full-time employment – students can also deduct special expenses and get a rebate from the State.
- Students receiving German student loans (BAföG) can also apply for exemption from the household fee.