Sunday, 17 February 2013

'Cheaper' doesn't mean 'cheap'

Just a little vent here. A moan, if you will.

Why oh WHY does hardly anyone believe me when I say that my expenses have actually gone dramatically down since moving from London to Copenhagen? I'll be writing a full blog post on the cost of living in the next installment of my "English Expat: a series" but this has been irritating me recently. I've had a few conversations with both fellow expats and Danes in response to me saying how much cheaper it is in Copenhagen in comparison to London, said conversations go along the lines of "Copenhagen isn't cheap". No, it isn't. I never professed that it was. For you see, the words "cheap" and "cheaper", although born to the same lexical family, are different.

For our flat in East London we paid just over £1,000 (c. €1,160/ 8,650kr) for a small one-bed flat (c. 55m2) where we could hardly breathe. To get to the bedside cabinet next to the bed, one had to crawl onto the bed and ninja roll down. Or take a run up and ninja jump over the mattress. Our kitchen was in the same living area as the living room and was a strip of lino with all your necessities. Our bathroom was ... cosy. But, you know, you could see the Olympic Park - surely that was the reason as to why I paid so much? Not really. Our landlord was actually not allowed to raise the rent that much for the Olympics plus I did some serious haggling in order to keep it as low as possible.

Anyway, onto Copenhagen. For a large flat (c. 65m2) with large kitchen slash eating area, decent sized living room with two sofas and, ok, a just about bigger bathroom, we are paying just over half of that. Admittedly we do have a good deal with reasonable landlords but having completed quick and dirty research by comparing properties on (London) to (Copenhagen), one cannot say that either city is cheap, however one can say that Copenhagen is cheaper, at least in this regard.

Of course, having just quickly looked at the first website I saw for Berlin properties and I wanted to weep into my leverpostej.


English Expat in Denmark: Cost Of Living will be published on Thursday 21st February 2013.