How much money do you need to move to Germany?

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Written by
Team Worldify
Published on
May 2, 2023

Moving abroad is an adventure that requires a lot of preparation and planning, especially when it comes to finances. An obvious question that will arise is, "How much money do you need to move to Germany?"

How much money do you need to move to Germany?

Germany is known for being a prosperous country with a high standard of living, making it a desirable destination for many expats. But what are the costs of living, and how much money do you need to move to Germany?

In this post, we'll break down the cost of moving to Germany and provide some tips for making the move as affordable as possible.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Germany

Before we dive into the cost of moving to Germany, it's important to understand the cost of living in the country. While Germany is a prosperous country with a strong economy, living expenses can vary depending on the region you choose to live in. Generally speaking, living in major German cities like Berlin or Munich is more expensive than living in smaller towns or rural areas.

However, the cost of living in Germany is generally affordable when compared to other Western European countries. This is due in part to the country's robust social welfare system, which provides a safety net for its citizens and helps to keep the cost of living down.


When it comes to housing, there are a variety of options available in Germany. Renting an apartment is a popular choice, with many landlords offering fully furnished units. If you're looking to buy a home, be prepared for higher prices in major cities. However, there are also many affordable options in suburbs, smaller towns, and rural areas.


Food is another expense to consider when living in Germany. While eating out at restaurants can be expensive, there are many affordable options for cooking at home. German supermarkets offer a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, and dairy products at reasonable prices.


Transportation costs in Germany can vary depending on where you live and how you choose to get around. Public transportation in major cities is generally reliable and affordable, with many cities offering discounted monthly passes. If you prefer to drive, be aware that gas prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany, but the good news is that the country has a world-class healthcare system. Most people are covered by public health insurance, which is funded through a combination of employer and employee contributions. If you're self-employed, you'll need to purchase private health insurance.


Finally, taxes are an important consideration when living in Germany. The country has a progressive income tax system, with higher earners paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes. However, the government also offers a wide range of tax deductions and credits, which can help to lower your overall tax bill.

While the information above doesn't answer the question, "How much money do you need to move to Germany?" directly, it's important to factor those overall costs of living into your calculations and budgets. Overall, while the cost of living in Germany can vary depending on where you choose to live and your lifestyle, the country offers many affordable options for those looking to move here. With a strong economy, excellent healthcare system, and robust social welfare programs, Germany is a great place to call home.

How much money do you need to move to Germany? - Financial requirements and implications

Are there financial requirements for a German Visa?

The financial requirements for obtaining a German visa depend on your country of origin and the purpose of your stay in Germany.

Resident Permit / Blue Card

If you're moving to Germany with a secure job in Germany, for example, you’ll typically need to show pay slips from your previous and new employer, or else bank statements from your home country proving you have financial cushion.  

Student Visa

To obtain a student visa, you'll need to provide proof of your acceptance into a German educational institution, your qualifications, and your ability to support yourself financially while studying in Germany.

Freelance / Self-Employed Visa

Freelancers and those who wish to be self-employed must show a financial plan for their business, and also show that they can be financially stable while they get themselves set up. While there is no defined financial requirement, having a cushion of savings will certainly help your application succeed.   

Costs of Applying for a German Visa

The costs associated with obtaining a residence title in Germany can vary, but generally range from €60 to €110. This fee is non-refundable, even if your application is denied. It's important to note that the application process can take several weeks or even months, so it's best to apply as early as possible.

What financial documents do you need to prepare before moving to Germany?

As mentioned above, you may need to provide proof of financial means to support yourself while living in Germany. Before you leave your home country, it’s good to prepare some financial documents, in case they’re needed or requested. These include:

  • Employment contract (if available) with salary amount included
  • Previous employer payslips (up to six months prior to departure) 
  • Bank statements (up to six months prior to departure) 
  • Additional income proof (ie: housing, investment statements, etc.) 

As you may not have access to a printer when you first arrive in Germany, it’s a good idea to have these printed and carried with you.  

What are the tax implications of moving to Germany?

When calculating your future financial situation in Germany, it's important to understand the tax costs associated with living and working in the country. If you plan on working in Germany, you'll be subject to German income tax, which is based on a progressive tax system. The amount of income tax you'll need to pay depends on your income, with rates ranging from 14% to 45%. Beyond income tax, you'll also need to pay social security contributions, which are approximately 20% of your gross income. To help you plan, we recommend using a tax calculator to forecast your income after taxes.

Be advised, depending on your home country and income in Germany, that you may need to pay taxes at home as well. Failure to do so could result in financial penalties back home, so stay on top of it! 

How to find affordable accommodations in Germany

One of the most significant expenses associated with moving to Germany is housing. Fortunately, there are several ways you can find affordable accommodations in the country. One option is to use websites like Immobilienscout24 or to search for apartments or shared housing. Additionally, many communities in Germany offer social housing*, which is affordable housing that is subsidized by the government. To qualify for social housing, you'll need to meet certain criteria, such as having a low income or being a student. 

When renting, keep in mind that most landlords will expect a deposit of 1-3 months rent when you move in. Depending on the cost of your rent, this can total 2000€+. As you’re planning your financials before you move, make sure to factor this into your cash budget, as you’ll likely need to pay this before you start working in Germany. 

*If you’re applying for a visa, keep in mind that subsidized housing might not be an option for you. 

Are there financing options for moving to Germany?

If you're worried about the upfront costs associated with moving to Germany, there are several financing options available to you. One option is to take out a personal loan from a bank or financial institution. Some employers may also offer relocation benefits, such as a stipend for moving expenses.

Moving to Germany can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's important to understand the costs associated with the move. By answering the question, "How much money do you need to move to Germany?", you can gain a better understanding of the financial requirements before making the move. With careful planning and research, moving to Germany and living here long-term can be an affordable and enjoyable experience.  🔵

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