Uneven Geography of Minimum Wage and Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Europe vs. Cost of Living in New York …. hmmmm Share your thoughts; especially with regards to the Cost-of-Living in The Netherlands!

Z Geography

A recent article in The Baltic Times inspired today’s post on minimum wages and the cost of living. According to the article, Europe’s Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have some of the lowest minimum wage rates in the European Union. Latvia, in particular, has the third lowest rate (287.07 euros/month). The lowest rates are found in Romania (157.26 euros/month) and Bulgaria (158.5 euros). In contrast, tiny Luxembourg sets a standard of 1,874.19 euros/month. In U.S. dollars, the Luxembourg rate equals 2,510.29 U.S. a month (a nice sum of money). The Romanian standard is equal to 210.63 U.S. (a not as nice sum of money).

Naturally, I started thinking about cost of living between these countries and dug a little bit deeper and found a few surprises. I pulled data on cost of living (as of 2012) from numbeo.com, not familiar with this site but it offers a variety…

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A Canal Tour of Amsterdam (A Photo Anthology)

Enjoy images of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

New Mexico to Italy

Ciao Readers!

Today I am going to take you on a photographic tour of Amsterdam as seen through the window of a canal boat (and on a mostly sunny day no less!).  If you’re not familiar, the canals in Amsterdam (the Netherlands’ capital and largest city) were man-made, mostly during the 1600’s, and take up about 25% of the city’s space.  Many of the wobbly-looking houses with interesting shapes you’ll see on the tour also date back that far.  (We’ll also pass some of the even-more-wobbly 2,500 houseboats docked along the canals.)  To me, a boat tour is the most picturesque (and lazy) way to see this incredible city.

But before we begin our tour, a little housekeeping….  As you may recall, I had said we were going to travel to 3 countries; as you also may recall, I broke my little toe a few weeks ago.  It was originally…

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Something to be aware of International Exchange Students studying in The Netherlands!!! Please read and be aware of this Fraud taking place with Exchange Students in the United Kingdom. You never know if it can happen here. Please inform your fellow students!!!

Dalia Garcia Aquino

As an international student, having problems with your visa is something common, but what happen if someone supposedly from the UKBA calls you asking for money in order to avoid deporting you?

That is the speech used by telephone fraudsters, which since few months ago have being making calls to international students around the country.

Read more about this story and know students and staff’s opinion clicking here.

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The Netherlands, is it really a Tax Haven for Expats?


The Dutch are all about lists and rankings; for this reason there is a yearly magazine Quote 500 that is dedicated to the Top 500 Most Influential Nationals.  Interestingly for the first time in March 2012, The International Correspondent, a Dutch (English Language) magazine made a tribute to: ‘The 50 Most Influential Internationals residing in The Netherlands’, many of whom have high positions within The Top 100 companies in The Netherlands.

So why refer to these 50 Internationals and why should you as an Expat even care??? There have been some politically incorrect comments and a general feeling among some other countries that The Netherlands acts as a Tax Haven for many International Companies, which take advantage of so-call loop holes within The Dutch Law. But what about the individual relocating to The Netherlands, do you also get to take advantage of these so-call loop holes or are things different for you Expat?

One of the most important Personal Finance item an Expat should know about when in The Netherlands, is The Dutch 30% Tax Ruling: verzoek_lh_premie_volksverzeker_toepas_30_procent_regel_lh5981z81fol (A pdf file from the Tax office in Dutch). 

So what does the 30% ruling mean and what if you are from a country that does not recognize this Dutch Tax Ruling? For instance does the FACTA supersede this Dutch Tax legislation? FATCA stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The legislation was passed into law in the United States in 2010 as part of the unrelated jobs legislation known as the HIRE law.

For more customized information regarding your situation, please contact DExpats and we can get you the help you need!

Week #6 Question: Is that price tag CORRECT?

cost-of-living-ID-10069228-300x300  price tag with copy space

Every Wednesday, we will be asking  a weekly  question!

This weekly post allows Expats, Exchange Students or anyone to share how they are managing with ‘Cost-of-Living’ in The Netherlands. You can share your experiences and/or start a discussion… We hope you make this segment as interactive as possible!!!

This week’s question ask: Is that price tag CORRECT? We are sure you have gone shopping and found something that cost an outrageous amount in The Netherlands compared to the price in your country of origin.

So let us know:

–          What it is

–          Add a picture if possible

–          How much it cost in NL

–          How much it cost at Home

–          And if there is an alternative



What would life…

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ~ Vincent van Gogh

There is a euphoria when relocating to another country!!!

Most relocate for love, work or study and during this time the only questions on your mind starts with when, where and how….

But there is an important aspect that many tend to leave either just before and/or after they have uprooted themselves. What is the problem?…  What about assessing what will happen to your Standard-of-Living compared to what you are leaving behind? If you are coming because of love: have you enough savings, how long will it last. Maybe you are an entire family relocating, which city will give the best value for money or you are an exchange student who is not allowed to work, then what?….

All these scenario can in a few weeks cause any euphoria to turn into a feeling of frustration, being homesick and even more so the urge to pack up and leave. STOP & RELAX!!!

At DExpats, we specialize in advising and assisting our clients before, during or after their relocation. We help you figure out what to expect your cost-of- living to be while in The Netherlands (Europe). We also work with partners specialized in:






Advising you how to start your own business in The Netherlands

So what’s your Standard-of-Living???

Amsterdam in the Evening