How much money do you need to live in Slovakia?
First, let’s see the official figures. The minimum subsistence level in Slovakia is set once a year. From 1 July 2020 it makes €214.83. This indicator should not be confused with the minimum wage. In 2020, the minimum wage in Slovakia constitutes €580 per month. The statutory minimum wage for 2021 shell be set at the level of €623.
A Bit of Statistics
Slovakia is one of the cheapest countries among the European Union members – prices are 35% lower than the EU average. According to Eurostat, Slovakia ranks ninth in the ranking of low-price goods. Education, housing, communication services, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are cheaper in Slovakia than in neighbouring Czech Republic.
After Slovakia’s transition to the euro, prices in the country have increased by 17.9% over the last 11 years. Whereas in 2009, a family spent an average of €1,000, in 2020, the same consumption expenditures require €1,179. For comparison, in Austria, where the national currency is also the euro, prices have increased by 21% over the same period.
Interesting fact – before the transition to the euro, it had been assumed that the introduction of the new currency would become the main threat to the rise in prices in Slovakia. However, after introducing the euro, prices rose even more slowly than in the neighbouring countries which retained their national currencies.
Food, Clothing and Footwear
An average Slovak spends 17% of its budget on food – €187 per month.
The largest European grocery supermarket chains are represented in Slovakia – the German chain Lidl, the British Tesco, the Austrian Billa, the Hungarian CBA, as well as the Slovak chains, such as Coop Jednota, Fresh and Kraj.
There is no shortage of clothing and footwear stores both in the budget and in the luxury segments. The most famous brands have their offices in Bratislava: Max Mara, Lacoste, Versace, D&G, Armani, Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy, Chloe, Valentino, Kenzo, Elle, Timberland and many others.
Furniture and Household Goods
In Slovakia, there is a wide selection of shops with household goods, for example, Ikea, Bauhaus, Obi, Kika, Asko, Möbelix. It is profitable to buy furniture, household appliances and similar expensive items during the promotional period usually held for Christmas, New Year, and other holidays.
There are many transport companies in Slovakia. This niche is competitive, so carriers offer favourable rates and discounts for client’s loyalty.
Owners of private cars can check the current fuel prices here.
If you prefer a taxi, you can install Bolt and Uber apps on your phone. The prices for one trip are quite affordable. You can pay online through the application.
The minimum package price with the largest mobile operators in Slovakia is €10-15, the maximum price reaches €70 per month. For €22 per month, the 4ka mobile operator can offer the unlimited mobile Internet within the country and 3.38 GB in the EU countries, as well as unlimited calls and SMS to Slovak and European users. For €40, the O2 operator offers the unlimited mobile Internet (100 GB without speed limit), unlimited calls, SMS and MSS.
To buy a Slovak SIM card, only one document is usually required – a passport or an ID card.
Maintaining a Bank Account
Account management costs can range from €0 to €3 for a standard package (payment account with basic functions) and €6-15 for a premium package depending on the bank’s rates.
Maintaining a company account costs from €0 to €60 per month. In the majority of banks, quite functional packages for €6-15 per month are available.
Rental Prices in Slovakia
Bratislava – €350-400 per month for a studio apartment; €400-500 for a one-room apartment; from €500 for a one-bedroom apartment, from €600 for a large family apartment.
Košice – from €300 per month for a one-room apartment, from €400 per month for a two-room apartment.
Trnava – from €350 per month for a one-room apartment, from €500 for a two-room apartment.
In the suburbs of Bratislava and small towns, it is possible to rent a house. Prices vary from €300 to €700. The price often includes the utility payment. The price depends on the infrastructure and surroundings (forest, mountains, lakes, bathing places).
Housing is basically rented through real estate agencies. In this case, the services of a realtor are usually paid in the amount of one monthly rent. Most often, fully furnished apartments with household appliances are rented.
Buying Real Estate in Slovakia
Citizens of any country can buy real estate in Slovakia. However, such a purchase cannot be considered as a basis for obtaining a residence permit. It is also worth considering the possibility of taking out a mortgage to buy a house in Slovakia – the interest rate in various banks varies from 1.5% to 2% per year. The monthly payment to pay off your mortgage will be the same or even lower than the average monthly rent. To take out a mortgage, a residence permit and a stable income are required.
Medical services in Slovakia are covered by insurance. This means that all residents of the country are required to take out insurance. With health insurance, you can visit doctors free of charge, undergo inpatient treatment, receive big discounts, or get prescription drugs for free. The insurance does not cover plastic surgery and dental services. Commercial insurance for emergency cases costs from €200 per year. The cost of full insurance for an adult is about €800 per year.
Slovakia is a country with a good balance between wages and prices. A family with an average income of €1,500-2,000 for two adults can afford to rent an apartment in the capital or any other city, eat a variety of meals and enjoy entertainments. The exact budget will depend on the needs of an individual person or a family.
Written by Natalia Ilyina