Cost of Living – How to Budget in Switzerland

So you are moving to the land of Swiss banking and you want to make sure you have your budgets worked out and your finances in order. The best way to ensure you stay on track is to know the cost of living in Switzerland. If you are sending your money to Switzerland from your home country, make sure you take the exchange into consideration when calculating the cost of goods. 

What does it cost to live in Switzerland?

Prices indicated below are based on a monthly average estimate and are subject to fluctuations. At the time of writing this article, 1 Swiss Franc (CHF) is approximately 1 USD.


Whilst a one bedroom apartment in the city centre costs around 1400CHF, a three bedroom unit could cost about 2600CHF. In rural areas these prices will likely be less.


Basic utility costs for an 85m2 home will be about 200CHF. depending on consumption. The cost of Internet is roughly 45CHF.  


Like most countries, the cost of food is greatly reduced when purchased from markets and grocery stores rather than dining out. Generally consumers can find most of their products for under 10CHF. The most expensive items will likely be meat, cheese and wine. Eating out in a restaurant is always a nice treat and the cost doesn’t have to break your bank if you want to sample Swiss cuisine. If you eat out at an inexpensive restaurant the cost per meal is about 20CHF, whilst a three course meal at a mid range restaurant could cost around 90CHF for two people.


In Switzerland the rough cost of a litre of fuel is about 1.6CHF.

Here are some of the tips on being a frugal consumer in Switzerland.

  1. Shop at local markets and grocery stores for food, instead of eating out.
  2. Opt for an apartment outside the city centres to save on rent costs.
  3. Rent a smaller apartment to save on utility bills.
  4. Utilise the public transit system rather than driving your vehicle around.
  5. If you dine out, pick an inexpensive place rather than a mid range eatery.


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