When recognized as a Swiss person, people sometimes ask me how great it must be to live in the US as they assume everything to be much cheaper for me.
But. There are things that are more expensive in the US in comparison to Switzerland. Here goes a list of things I’ve come up with:
Going to Uni
If you’re planning to raise kids in the U.S. (that will later want to go to college), you’ll probably need to sell a few heirlooms first to save for their university fees. Think tuition fees in Switzerland are too high? In the U.S., it’s normal for twenty-somethings to leave higher education with a six-figure debt. HSBC published a report in 2016 stating that the average annual cost of tuition fees to study in the US is at an estimated $33,215. Obviously this estimate can have significant variations in either direction. At the very top-tier US universities (such as Harvard, Yale, Brown and other Ivy League schools), fees and living costs are likely to add up to around US$60,000 per year (see also my post on Harvard on that matter here) but it’s also possible to study in the US at a much lower outlay.
Those seeking a more affordable option may find lower tuition fees at US universities within the public sector, still those roughly CHF 700.- per semester really are nothing anymore in comparison to this, right?
According to the OECD, Americans spend about $9,024 per capita and year whereas the average expense on healthcare of a Swiss person lies around $6,787. Considering that the OECD average is $3620 we (as in we Americans and Swiss) seem to have to spend a whole lot more than the rest of the OECD for healthcare.
What is it that makes a gourmet item of feta cheese? Philipp reminded me not to only state this but also try and show you by real examples (that’s the researcher in him not standing when I just say things without the proper base). So: A package of Feta (200g) will cost you CHF 3.95 in Switzerland (at Coop at least), while the same amount will cost you $7.39 at a very regular supermarket (nothing fancy). Crazy, right?
(like real bread, you know me by now): While you can get a beautiful (and organic!) loaf of bread at Coop for as little as CHF 2.85, you’ll have to pay $6 upwards here. Why is that? I really would love someone explaining me because it doesn’t make sense to me.
As applies for the feta, muesli (not talking cereal here, those are cheap AF but more the granola crunchy style thingys), they also seem to be a gourmet item. While you can get a 450g package of crunch cereals in Coop for as low as CHF 3.30, you’ll have to pay starting at $5.49 upwards for the same amount of a comparable product here. Craycray! Enjoy your muesli is all I can say, if you’re a Swiss person reading this!
If you’re an expat currently living in the US, what are the things that are more expensive in the US in comparison to your home country? Or vice versa, if you’re an American living abroad, what are the things that strike you as pricier as back home? I’d love to know!
Have a great week!