How do you navigate costs in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

    Jul 30, 2018 @ 04:15 AM / by Meleah Paull

    Geneva, Switzerland as seen during an AIRINC cost of living survey.

    Geneva, Switzerland

    Best known for its banking sector and the numerous international organizations headquartered there, Geneva is also regularly cited as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Expatriates moving to Geneva may experience some sticker shock during their first days as they purchase groceries, furniture, meals out, and other everyday items. One way in which residents have stretched their money is to shop across the border in France, where prices have often been cheaper. In the past year, however, this tactic has become less attractive as the Swiss Franc’s value has dropped in comparison to the Euro. While 1 Swiss Franc could buy .936 Euro in May 2017, in May 2018 that same Swiss Franc bought only .842 Euro.

    Certain items may still be cheaper in France. The same table from an international furniture chain is 129 EUR (152.99 USD) in France and 169 CHF (169 USD) in Switzerland. For a shopper furnishing a whole house, it may make sense to shop in France. But for a single table, the cost and time spent on the four-hour round trip to the nearest chain store in France might not be worth it when the same chain has a store in Geneva. Either way, savvy residents will fill up their cars on the Swiss side, where petrol is cheaper. For the complicated global marketplace, AIRINC is here to advise you.

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    AIRINC's Data Points: Your Global Mobility News

    Want to learn more? The above excerpt is taken from Data Points, AIRINC's quarterly newsletter. Data Points brings you the latest updates from our Housing, Goods & Services, and Tax departments based on our expert international surveys, which are conducted by our global data collection team on-location.

    This quarter's cost-of-living surveys were conducted primarily in Europe, Asia, and mainland Southeast Asia.

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    Topics: Goods & Services, Data Points, Switzerland, Insights and Experience, France, Geneva

    Meleah Paull

    Written by Meleah Paull

    Meleah joined AIRINC in 2015 as a surveyor, became a G&S analyst in 2017, and since 2021 has managed the housing team. Her primary responsibilities include setting and maintaining all housing data and answering client questions. She received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington and her M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University.