Unrealistic savings goals


Sure numbers are thrown around but don’t take it to serious unless you know the situation of the guy. Family is different then couple w/o kids then single living alone in flat also it largely depends on the job / income. In my point of view we should stop talking about savings rate but spending amount per month and household size to get a comparable picture.

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Paying over 50k per year for daycare (2 kids) is currently killing our savings rate. That is also an unavoidable expense if both are working.

In the thread there is a lot of discussion about living further away from work (1h commutes) to get cheaper rents. Might work nicely when you are single and have plenty of free time that can be spent commuting. With a children and both parents working, it would almost be impossible to have such a long commute.


One way you can avoid it is hire a girl in her early 20s as a nanny to live with you. She will need a room, some food and 1000 chf per month. She can also clean and cook.

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True, however to fully replace daycare with an au pair would kind of be illegal in Switzerland. They are only allowed to work 30h a week and it is specifically mentioned that they should not cook or clean but take care of kids (if I recall correctly).
The host also needs to pay for a language course and your apartment needs to be a bit bigger to have an own room for the au pair as well, + the 1000
Chf “salary”.
These all push the monthly costs probably above 2k already.
So one is able to cut the “daycare” costs in half, but you need to break the law, have your kids full time taken care of by an uneducated stranger and have said stranger live in your house. For the moment we opted for daycare :slight_smile:

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I used to know a few nannies in Zurich area, they were of course all expats but they were nice girls. I guess it helps to have a house, then you both can have some privacy. So, sure, it’s not for everybody and it’s not immediately much cheaper.

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850 Rent
500 Food and drinks (can vary)
400 Health insurance
250 Commuting (whole canton of ZH)
200 Clothing, electronic and household appliances, furniture (guesstimate)
100 Electricity / TV license / Garbage disposal fees / Washing machine, Household & Personal hygiene consumables
65 Fitness / Gym membership
55 Mobile phone & tablet internet (Sunrise QoQa)
40 Haircut
30 Cable internet
10 Web hosting & bank account fees
= 2500 CHF monthly expense budget

Which would be without

  • taxes (though these are a function of income)
  • holidays
  • hobbies (besides sport)
  • leisure activities
  • going out
  • educational budget

So yeah… 60% or 80% savings is out of reach for me. :neutral_face:

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I fully agree here – if FIRE really matters to you it is a super rationale thing to move to ZG/SZ. That is especially true for singles. That train ride along the Zurich lake isn’t really that horrible :slight_smile:


I need to review my health insurance costs: the two of us pay more than 8K/year for Assura IIRC…


The prices change in every canton even with the same company, but you can probably save with a higher deductible.

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Coming back to the topic of living in ZG/SZ. I know it’s not mustachian at all, but does anyone of you have the situation of having two flats?

At the moment, I do have my own flat in a high tax canton, and a room in Zurich (due to my projects there). So basically I’m a “Wochenaufenthalter” (staying there during the week).

I hope my income stream will continue as it has the first four months this year, but if it does, I really have to consider moving to a lower tax canton. Otherwise I’ll pay a lot of taxes, especially when compared to places like Zug.

Does anyone of you know how strict the authorities are when checking where you are living? Theoretically I could switch my address to the Zurich one, or rent a flat/room somewhere in Zug or Schwyz.

Any input very much appreciated.


The authorities in the place u wanna “only” be a Wochenaufenthalter in (ZH in your example) requires you to convince them that your Lebensmittelpunkt is somewhere else, and that you are only there short-term and from Monday to Friday, because it is closer to your work & wud be a painful commute each day. Reasons can be having family, owning a house, etc in another place. The distance has to be at least an hour per way, as a rule of thumb. I doubt Zurich-Zug combination will work, would be interesting to hear if someone can do this on the forum. They rarely check once convinced, or only re-check after a few years, to see if things may have changed.
If you have a room in A and a big flat or house in B, then B tends to be the logical main living place. Having a wife and kids in B also.
A room in Zug and a room in Zurich near your work, with no previous long personal connection in Zug probably isn’t going to be convincing to allow you tax residence in Zug & Wochenaufenthalter in Zurich.


I’m not talking about Zug / Zürich, but my flat in the current canton (about 1h from Zürich and 1.5h from Zug).

I don’t have children or family, so there is no clear Lebensmittelpunkt. The combination of flat in my current canton and room/flat in Zug would be the interesting one.
For the Zurich room: I only have this one due to projects I currently have there. It might change once those are over, and I have projects somewhere else (e.g. Geneva, St. Gallen).


zg and sz may prove more expensive when it comes to rent. not that you would not find cheap flats but then the quality you get for the money you pay will be really low.


They do check every year and they do insist once you do if for a while. At some point they might ask you for your living costs in Zurich (like how much you spend in electricity) and decide with that. On my case they told me that I consume too much electricity for a WA, even if I was really a WA, going back home every Friday afternoon and coming back on Sunday evening.

I don’t understand why you keep two apts though. Are you going to sleep in Zug and then live/work elsewhere, probably most of the time in St Gallen or wherever you have your friends?


I’m not sure the logic makes sense. To me it doesn’t right now.
Let’s say you are currently renting a flat in tax-hell Basel, and have a room in Zug (cos your job is in Zug).
Then you will be WA in Zug (Mo-Fr) and pay tax in Basel. The other way round, to be WA in Basel doesn’t make sense. At least you’ll be allowed to deduct some amount for your room rental from your income in the tax declaration in Basel.
To get to be WA you have to have some ties to your weekend home, that is difficult for a freshly arrived foreigner, I reckon you’d at least have to live in the flat with your “girlfriend” (any living partner will do of cos), to show that your Lebensmittelpunkt is at the tax residence/weekend home.


They can ask for many things, car mileage, train tickets, even can do door knocking at your WA place on a weekend… Electricity I hadn’t heard of, that’s clever even though a bit random, you could have a cannabis plantation at your WA place which has to be heated and lit 24/7, right? :wink:
One can object to their decision to not allow WA status within 30 days. I find a decision based on electricity useage leaves enough grounds for an objection. They may grumble but accept status for another year or two. Only people working there doing their job & extra work to deal with your objection. It’s always worth a try.


I lasted several years with train tickets and GA/AG. Once they took a final decision, you can only object with a lawyer. Anyway now it’s not my case anymore and I don’t want to try just for saving money. I wouldn’t sleep at nights.


I found a 50m2 flat in Zug old town three weeks ago for 1.2k
The walls would have had to be painted, but it would have been ok.
Only I didn’t get the flat


Yep, that would be the case. It would still be cheaper to have two flats and officially live in the low-tax canton.


My projects are all over Switzerland, so the Zurich room was just an example. I could have another project in Ticino in two months.
Regarding girlfriend: do you have to make a common tax declaration then?