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Created on 15.03.2021 | Updated on 07.09.2023

Rent, electricity and more: what is the cost of living?

Rent is often the biggest living expense, but certainly not the only one. We show you what other costs you need to bear in mind.

Do you actually know how much money you spend on living costs? We take a closer look at these expenses. After all, even after you’ve paid your monthly rent or your mortgage interest, that’s still nowhere near all your expenses covered. We show you what one-off costs and recurring costs you can expect. This should help you with your household budget.

  • Rental deposit guarantee

    A lot of landlords require a rental deposit guarantee to cover any damage caused by the tenant. This can total a maximum of three months worth of rent, and must be deposited by the tenant. In other words: this amount is tied down, and you will not have access to it until the end of your rental agreement. Alternatively, you can take out deposit protection insurance, for which you will pay a premium.


    In addition to your living costs, you will also have to factor in anything else you might buy for your home, for instance electronic appliances, kitchen utensils or furnishings. When you move, it’s fairly common that you’ll have to replace furniture, possibly because there is no room for your old furniture in the new place, or it won’t fit under the slanting roof. 

    Moving costs

    Anyone moving from their parents’ place into a new home should factor in the costs of the move, including the price of hiring a removal van or hiring a removal company, as well as the costs of moving boxes and hiring a cleaner if you aren’t going to clean the place yourself. You may also have to factor in paying double the rent if you start paying rent on the new place whilst still paying rent on your old place.

  • Running costs

    Running costs only include costs associated with the use of the rental property, such as:

    • heating and hot water charges
    • housekeeping costs, e.g. stairwell cleaning
    • garden upkeep
    • sewage fees
    • operation/maintenance costs for communal facilities (washing machine, tumble dryer, lift, etc.)
    • general electricity costs such as for lighting of communal areas

    Depending on the rental agreement you have, the landlord will either request payment in the form of a down-payment or a lump-sum fee.


    The use of electricity in the home does not count as running costs. This is where additional bills sent by your electricity supplier come into play, who will bill you according to consumption.

    Household and liability insurance

    Household insurance will cover you against any damage to your personal belongings. Your household inventory will essentially cover items inside the property, such as furniture, clothing and electronic appliances.

    Liability insurance will cover you against any personal injury, material damages or financial losses you yourself cause. For example, it will come into play if you damage a wall during the move.

    Internet, streaming services, TV and Serafe household fee

    It is also important to factor in fees for things like Internet connection, subscriptions to streaming services such as Spotify and television costs.

    You will also need to factor in the Serafe household fee, i.e. the radio and TV fee. This amounts to 335 francs per private household per year.

    Parking space/garage

    Do you have a car or motorbike and rent a garage or parking space in addition to the flat? If so, you will also have to factor that into your calculation.

Tip: how to keep on top of things and ensure you always pay on time

Here are some ways you can ensure you pay your rent and bills on time:

  • Set up a standing order for recurring bills such as rent
  • Use eBill to receive and pay bills electronically
  • Pay bills digitally in e-finance – the easiest way to do this is directly with the PostFinance App
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