Friday, 1 March 2013

English expat in Denmark: Cost of living

I am surrounded by shopping receipts. Because of this I have just found out that we were accidentally not charged for the 500g bag of basmati rice that we bought (well, more like 'took' as it turns out) from Netto yesterday. Feel a bit bad but hey, these things happen. All in the name of research. Which brings me to ...

... the cost of living. I touched upon it briefly here. Such a common discussion amongst expats here in Copenhagen. It's been documented more than once that Denmark is one of, if not the, most expensive country in the EU*. I can vouch for this. A half litre of Tuborg, for example, in the cafe bar round the corner from me in Vesterbro costs 40kr (approx £4.50) - which actually isn't that bad by Copenhagen standards. However the actual cost of living, not including what I class as luxuries such as going out to drink/eat, is working out to be cheaper for us than it was living in London. I have lost count of the number of people who have told me that London is far cheaper than Copenhagen so, I've been doing what I do best and playing with numbers.Take a look below.

DKK converted to £ on 
The above table displays outgoings based on how much the above would cost on monthly. Note that utilities are paid quarterly and food weekly; I have therefore worked out what the figures would be on a monthly basis. I have also tried to be fair in comparing food shopping: fellow Brit expats will know that it would not be fair to compare Waitrose to Netto, so I've compared similar supermarkets (Waitrose v. Føtex for example). 

What a difference. And maybe surprising? The reason my transport is so little is because I walk everywhere. A three zone klippekort lasts me for two months, maybe even longer. London Underground, on the other hand, I totally relied on. We are lucky enough to be able to survive on one salary in our apartment here. That's something we never could have done in London without really struggling. Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, the point of this blog post is to hopefully show you that living in Copenhagen doesn't have to be that bad. It's not all wallet draining. At least from a British expat point of view, I admit.

Oh, and I forgot: add another £88 onto the London total.

Completely forgot about council tax.


Have I been fair in my calculations? Have I missed anything vital? If you think anything could be presented differently please leave a comment below. It's such a common subject amongst expats and open to debate.