Deutsches Studentenwerk

What will my monthly outgoings be?

The cost of living depends on your lifestyle. However, you cannot influence the average rents or the cost of food and health insurance! So, just being thrifty is not going to help!

The largest monthly expense for students is the rent - mostly a third of their total cost of living.

Yet there are sometimes big differences in the cost of living within Germany. In the big cities such as Munich, Hamburg or Cologne the rents are the highest. Students pay on average 374 Euro per month there. In Jena, Dresden and Leipzig the average rents, at 264 Euro, are the cheapest. On the other hand, it is easier to find a job in the bigger cities.


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What do German students spend their money on?

On average German students have about 918 Euro at their disposal (source: 21. Sozialerhebung, 2016):

Monthly expenses  
Rent (incl. additional charges) 323,- Euro
Food 168,- Euro
Clothing 42,- Euro
Transport (car/public transport) 94,- Euro
Health insurance 80,- Euro
Telephone/internet/radio & TV licence 31,- Euro
Work/study materials 20,- Euro
Leisure activities 61,- Euro
Total 819,- Euro

Not included here are term fees which have to be paid on receipt of confirmation of admission. So, especially at the beginning of term you will have more expenses than usual. In many locations you may have to reckon with much higher rents. Rents across Germany differ greatly!

Mostly, international students have less money than their German counterparts and must manage on an average of 725 Euro per month.

1 loaf of bread 2,- Euro
1 kg apples 1,99 Euro
1 kg potatoes 0,99 Euro
1 litre milk 0,90 Euro
1 bottle of mineral water (0,75 Liter) 0,80 Euro
1 cup of coffee (at a café) 2,50 Euro
1 glas of beer (at a bar) 3,- Euro
1 pizza (at a restaurant) 4,- to 6,- Euro
1 lunch (at student restaurant) about 2,50 Euro
1 pair of shoes 30,- to 100.- Euro
1 t-shirt 10,- to 50,- Euro
1 pair of jeans 30,- to 100,- Euro
1 ticket for the movies (reduced fare) 6,- Euro
1 ticket for the theatre (reduced fare) 6,- to 30,- Euro
1 entrance into a museum (reduced fare) 2,- to 8,- Euro