How much do “ordinary” Swiss earn, how much money do they spend, and what does it go on? Money diaries gives us an insight. 

This content was published on December 23, 2019 - 11:00

The average gross wage for a full-time job in Switzerland is CHF6,502 ($6,638) per month, according to the federal Statistical Office. The lowest paid employees in the bottom 10 percent earn less than CHF4,313 per month. In 2017, the average household had disposable income of CHF6,984 per month. 

Contributions for pensions, accident and unemployment insurance are automatically deducted from the gross salary. Whatever is left over afterwards is known as the net wage. Unlike in other countries, taxes and health insurance are not automatically deducted from wages in Switzerland. These costs are therefore not taken into account in the Swiss net salary. Contributions for taxes and health insurance vary greatly according to the place of residence. 

The cost of living is very high in Switzerland. As well as taxes and social security costs, one must also take into account accommodation, health costs and childcare. 

The latest survey of household budgets by the Federal Statistical Office shows that spending on accommodation and energy, at about CHF1,463 a month (14.8 percent of gross income), represents the biggest expense. Another important item is transport costs (7.5 percent), while the average household spends CHF636 per month on food and non-alcoholic drinks (6.4 percent of gross income). 

From time to time, we ask people in Switzerland to keep a diary of their expenses over a week. These people also tell us what their income and fixed costs are. We publish the results without giving their names. 

The Money Diaries are designed to give readers abroad a picture of wages, expenses and the cost of living in Switzerland. 

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