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5 important cost decisions when moving to the Netherlands

Published on : 16-03-2015, 09:48 by Sara Hoeksma

Moving to the Netherlands is an exciting new step in life. Below we have outlined some important cost decisions that may be encountered. For any further information regarding life in the Netherlands, please take a look at our expat information page!

1. The cost of education in the Netherlands

The education of the children is often a primary concern when moving to a new country with a family. This decision does not merely depend on the type of education and the curriculum, but the costs may also vary significantly. Many factors come into play, among which the language of instruction. The Netherlands offers a wide range of educational programs in English, from very expensive international schools to more affordable and subsidized international schools. Of course there is also the option of choosing for a Dutch school, which is free of charge. In this case the language of instruction would be Dutch, and the integration into the Dutch community would be more of a focus point. If you would like another language of instruction, there are also a number of Japanese, French and other international schools available in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam.

2. The cost of location

The Dutch market is a complex one to say the least, but the main thing to keep in mind is that big cities all charge on location. Please do take into consideration that the perfectly central, spacious and relatively cheap apartment will be very hard to find. Read up on the best neighborhoods in Rotterdam, the popular areas in The Hague, and Amsterdam's diverse neighbourhoods and find out which suits you best.

3. The costs of social life in the Netherlands

The Dutch are big fans of their social life. It will take some getting used to, but it will be a charming new way of life. They love to go out for a drink and it will be hard to find an empty terrace on a Friday afternoon. Because the eating out costs are relatively high in comparison to other countries, it is not something that is done frequently. Going to a nice restaurant is usually done on a special occasion in the Netherlands. Of course there are plenty of budget restaurants available, and some great take-out from all sorts of delicious cuisines!

4. Public transport costs VS car costs

Having a car may seem like the easier and more convenient option, however depending on where you live in the Netherlands, this can be very costly as there is a road tax and BPM. Luckily, public transport in the Netherlands is available at a relatively low cost. Depending on which city you will be situated in, parking can also be something to look into, especially parking in Amsterdam. Be sure to look into the parking opportunities, costs and the public transport options when choosing your new home in the Netherlands!

5. Food costs in the Netherlands

Though this is a decision that will become significant sometime after the move, it is good to be informed about the eating habits of the Dutch and how this will add to the cost of living in the Netherlands. Eating at home is always a more cost efficient option in the Netherlands, but this doesn’t have to limit the variety of choices available. There are a number of big supermarket chains in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn being one of the more pricey ones but with nearly everything in store. This is one of the more popular supermarkets.  There is also the possibility to opt for a more budget supermarkets such as the Aldi or Lidl. They offer products of good quality, though there is less choice compared to the bigger chains such as Albert Heijn. As part of the cultural diversity here in the Netherlands, there are also a number of independent supermarkets with an exquisite range of products available that can make for some delicious meals! 

6. Cost of Internet, TV and other utilities

Don’t forget the monthly costs for your internet provider, phone and TV connection, sometimes these costs are included in the rent but often you have to find the best one yourself, eitherway it's worth checking, if you can save on this for your landlord he might lower the rent! Last but not last your Netflix subscription, as Dutch TV is just horrible.

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