Potential move to Amsterdam

Old May 31st 2018, 3:59 pm
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Default Potential move to Amsterdam

Hi everyone,

I am in the middle of securing a job with a company in Amsterdam and have a few questions I hope you might be able to help with. If all goes well, I'll be moving from the UK in the next 2 months. The pay they specified amounts to 2,400 Eur monthly, after tax, and wanted to find out if this is something I would be able to live off? Is it worth moving for this amount? I must say I am not moving for the money but I need to be able to support myself as I do not have networks there. I am a 28yo single lady and have no dependants. Rent seems to be the most expensive; I do not really mind where my apartment is as long as it is in a safe area and easily commutable to work. With that amount would I be able to secure an apartment on my own or would I have to share with people? Also, does anyone have any idea how much student finance UK would be deducting from this monthly as I want to factor it into my expenses? Would I be left with anything to save? I have had a look at other sites and they say it is possible but those estimates are from years ago and would like a current view. Thank you!
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Old May 31st 2018, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Originally Posted by Thul
Hi everyone,
The pay they specified amounts to 2,400 Eur monthly, after tax, and wanted to find out if this is something I would be able to live off? Yes, you can live well as a single person on that take home pay: Make sure it's Netto and not Bruto (gross). Check also they provide travel to and from work allowance - and 8% vakantiegeld - these are standard. The first is a tax break for the employer so they don't mind reimbursing your commute costs - meaning you can live further away from the city if needed. The second makes the taxman happy when he takes 52% off it because its classed as a bonus. (oh yes, this is why we never bother with paid overtime, or take unused holidays in cash - the taxman gets richer than we do).

Is it worth moving for this amount? I would say yes, if it's not just about the money.

Rent seems to be the most expensive; I do not really mind where my apartment is as long as it is in a safe area and easily commutable to work. With that amount would I be able to secure an apartment on my own or would I have to share with people? By rights the first, in reality, the latter. Housing IS that hard to secure in Amsterdam. You should be able to find a studio apartment outside Amsterdam, but inside or even close, it's nigh on impossible right now to get somewhere to yourself. It's not getting easier - with housing currently in demand, many of my colleagues feel they are being forced out by landlords wanting to sell, and with apartments selling for 15 to 30% over the asking price right now, they'd be mad not to. It leaves private rented in very short supply. What do you call 'commuting distance'. There are towns and cities such as Hilversum, Leiden, etc within a 30 min direct train ride; the beautiful Utrecht is not much further. If you're going to stay in Amsterdam, you're going to pay a kings ransom right about now (total opposite of 3 years ago). I would advise you to get the bus timetable out and see what towns and villages lie at the end of the all-night bus routes, if you think you want to be in the city for the nightlife - the further out, the cheaper to rent is a general but not exact rule.

Also, does anyone have any idea how much student finance UK would be deducting from this monthly as I want to factor it into my expenses? Can't help you there, sorry.

Would I be left with anything to save? That depends entirely on your lifestyle (and what you pay for rent) - if you're eating out a lot, buying lots of clothes and shoes, then probably not. Eating out is not cheap. You'll find clothes expensive here and ... lacking in ... yeah, well, you'll find out. Save for shopping trips home The weekend markets however are colourful and cheaper!

I don't want to put a downer on things - it's an awesome city that I fall in love with every time I travel through it - and with that salary you will find some place to live (only the poor are homeless in Amsterdam) because you wont qualify for social housing without 10 years on a waiting list - and wouldn't qualify with your salary, most likely . I'd advise you to look at sites like jaap.nl and kamernet.nl which offer a larger range of studio rentals than funda.nl if you're determined not to share. Join Facebook groups too for Amsterdam to get some insight into what sharing opportunities are available, if you're open to that: Woning te huur in Amsterdam is one such, and Facebook is so smart /ironyoff that it will soon suggest other similar groups. Know that most landlords won't entertain you until you're already working here with a contract, so budget for possibly a few weeks in a serviced apartment or cheap hotel while you make viewings. You can get a Dutch sim card at shops just about anywhere, including at the airport.

Your first year here will be expensive while you get used to the fact that everyone wants a piece of your bank balance, from the gov't downwards. We had a gardener try to charge us three times more than he charged our Dutch neighbour (sorry mate, we've been here too long and got the T-shirt) - it's a national sport because they all think (western) expats come here for high paid work and they are entitled to take their slice. But we all learn fast.


Edit: Due to the nature of the housing market here, as in London or other big cities, if an advert looks too good to be true, it probably is. Housing Fraud is rife. If you see a studio for the same price as a room in a shared place (currently 600+ for just a room in Ams' centre), have your alarm bells set to ring at the slightest abnormality. Don't hand over money without going in to view it or without a contract with traceable contact details such as a permanent address or company email rather than a gmail/yahoo address.... Don't pay via untraceable means such as Western Union, or to accounts in foreign countries (including the UK!) Read the information on the Government website about the law around tenancies.

Thank you!
Welcome

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; May 31st 2018 at 10:13 pm.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Re student finance - as my daughter found out, they can't take anything from your Dutch salary; 2 years on, she is still negotiating with them on how to pay it off.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

I can help in response to the student loan question:

I've lived here for 8 years, and worked for 7 years. For those 7 years I've made payments every month to the Student Loan Company (SLC) for the amount that I owe. If you inform them that you have moved abroad then the typical process is:
* once per year they will send you a letter asking for information of your income
* you return this to them with evidence of the last three months payslips, or a copy of your pay agreement.
* they will calculate the amount you owe, using a fixed exchange rate for the year, and using a fixed "cost of living adjustment".
* you can then chose to pay the full year by cheque, or leave a direct debit on your UK bank account and send money to your uk bank account every month.

the amount you will pay depends if you are on a plan 1 or plan 2 student loan:

Plan 1
Repaying from Overseas
Repayment Thresholds

Plan 2
Repaying from Overseas
Repayment Thresholds

Basically, what you do is convert your annual gross (before tax) pay into GBP using the exchange rate listed on those pages, deduct the threshold from that value, and you will pay 9% of the balance.
€2400 netto income converts roughly to around €3300 brutto income (source: https://www.berekenhet.nl/werk-en-in...brutoloon.html)
Annual income = €39600
Converted to GBP @ 0.872486 = £34550
Plan 1
Threshold = £18,330.00
Balance = £16220
Student loan @ 9% = £1460
Per month = £122
Plan 2
Threshold = £25000
Balance = £9550
Student loan @ 9% = £860
Per month = £72

These are of course rough calculations and your own brutto income should be checked.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Originally Posted by StevieLW
I can help in response to the student loan question: ........
Thank mate; very useful, I've forwarded it to my daughter.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Thank you for your in-depth response Red_Wine_Fairy Yes, you can live well as a single person on that take home pay: Make sure it's Netto and not Bruto (gross). Check also they provide travel to and from work allowance - and 8% vakantiegeld - these are standard. The first is a tax break for the employer so they don't mind reimbursing your commute costs - meaning you can live further away from the city if needed. The second makes the taxman happy when he takes 52% off it because its classed as a bonus. (oh yes, this is why we never bother with paid overtime, or take unused holidays in cash - the taxman gets richer than we do). This makes me feel much better. Yes, the salary is netto and not bruto. I'll definitely be reading the contract closely to make sure these are included.

By rights the first, in reality, the latter. Housing IS that hard to secure in Amsterdam. You should be able to find a studio apartment outside Amsterdam, but inside or even close, it's nigh on impossible right now to get somewhere to yourself. It's not getting easier - with housing currently in demand, many of my colleagues feel they are being forced out by landlords wanting to sell, and with apartments selling for 15 to 30% over the asking price right now, they'd be mad not to. It leaves private rented in very short supply. What do you call 'commuting distance'. There are towns and cities such as Hilversum, Leiden, etc within a 30 min direct train ride; the beautiful Utrecht is not much further. If you're going to stay in Amsterdam, you're going to pay a kings ransom right about now (total opposite of 3 years ago). I would advise you to get the bus timetable out and see what towns and villages lie at the end of the all-night bus routes, if you think you want to be in the city for the nightlife - the further out, the cheaper to rent is a general but not exact rule. One of the things I'd like is to live alone after having shared for the past 8y. Thank you for suggesting those locations and websites, I have had a look and Utrecht seems closer to the job location and reasonably priced so, I might focus more on that area. I don't have an expensive taste so, I should be able to minimise my spending in terms of going out and buying clothes frequently.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Thank you Cynic and StevieLW I'm glad you were able to give an idea and a break-down on the student finance issue. The gross salary is, in fact, €40,000 and unfortunately, I am on Plan 1 so I'd be paying about €140 monthly (if I manage to sort it out). I'll try and sort something out with them when that time comes. Thank you again!
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Old Jun 3rd 2018, 9:12 am
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

How easy would it be to obtain a BSN, I have read how difficult it is. Would my employer help with this since I am being recruited from overseas?

Regards,
Tope
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Old Jun 3rd 2018, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Getting a BSN is not difficult; you may need to make an appointment, but you just need to go to the Gemeentehuis (Town hall) that covers the region where you live and register, you should receive your BSN within a couple of days. You'll need to show a valid passport.
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Old Jun 4th 2018, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Potential move to Amsterdam

Thank you Cynic, I'll bear this in mind. There are so many things to think about but it's all part of the fun.
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