Household Budget Survey Switzerland: latest results

The Federal Statistical Office has just published the results of the household budget survey 2020.

Why am I posting this?

  1. We are all interested to see how other people earn and spend their money. The numbers can’t get more representative than this. So, the average Swiss household of 2.12 persons earned CHF 9,800 and spent CHF 8,100 per month in 2020.

  2. Some interesting insight into changing spending patterns of Swiss households throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

  3. Tracking and sharing our expenses on this forum, we might look into the categories of the official statistics for ease of comparison. Here they are:

  • Mandatory transfer expenses
    • Social security contributions
    • Taxes
    • Health insurance funds: Premiums for basic insurance
  • Other insurance, fees and transfers
    • Health insurance funds: Premiums for supplementary insurance
    • Other insurance premiums
    • Fees
    • Donations, gifts and invitations
  • Consumer spending
    • Food and non-alcoholic beverages
    • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
    • Hospitality and lodging (aka restaurants and holidays)
    • Clothing and footwear
    • Housing and energy
    • Furnishings and current housekeeping
    • Health care spending
    • Transportation
    • Communications
    • Entertainment, recreation and culture
    • Other goods and services
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I find it particularly interesting that premiums for basic health insurance are listed as mandatory transfer expenses, just as social security contributions (1st/2nd pillar) and taxes. This might change the way I will calculate my savings rate, i.e. not treat the premiums as expenditure but as a reduction of income.

It’s best to treat the premium for mandatory health insurance as a social security contribution, since that is what it is.

Keep in mind that, unlike pillars 1 and 2 and taxes, health insurance premiums are not really income-dependent. While there are premium reductions for people with a low income, this does not apply to people that retire early (disqualified due to net worth). I.e. it will remain a fixed cost even after (early) retirement, and premiums possibly increasing faster than overall inflation.

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