Under Investigation: How much money to get settled in Prague?

How much money will I need to save up before I head out in November? This pressing question is best addressed as early as possible, if I can help it.

First, just to organize my brain a bit, a little list, of what I think I will need my start-up money for.

  • Remainder of my Language House tuition  €1300 – €300 deposit – €100 discount = €900 Euros = $980 USD
  • Accommodation fee during my TEFL course €275 for a shared room in shared apt, €450 for private room in shared apt = $300 or $490
  • Cash for food and transport and miscellany during the course: ???
  • Deposit for an apartment: ???
  • First month’s rent: ???
  • Cash for food and transport and miscellany for at least one month after the course: ???
  • Beginning the visa process: ??? (or should/can I wait until the first paycheck? How vital is getting started immediately?)
  • Travel/health insurance: ??? (another thing I need to look into – what’s necessary, normal, and required)
  • Teaching expenses: ??? (Is this a thing? My mom is teacher here in Texas, and spends money all the time on her class…yet another thing to look into!)

The biggest uncertainty seems to be: when will I first get paid? This depends on a lot of things I can’t possibly know yet. I don’t know if I will find a job that starts as soon as I complete my TEFL course, or if there will be an interim period of anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of job hunting after. And then once I have a job secured, I’ve read that most teaching jobs pay once a month, with no advance. Which means it could be up to a month after beginning work before I start getting paid. Which makes me nervous, and want to have enough on hand to live for two months – just in case it takes a few weeks to find a job, and then I have to wait for the pay period to roll around.

But even without knowing that, I can still at least find some general information on the topics above. Average rents, cost of living, etc. Emori on the phone told me about $3000 (USD)  would be a good amount to live comfortably and get settled, including the remainder of the course fee. However, on his blog, the director of the school Chris listed $3000 as a good amount not including the remainder of the course fee. A slight difference of $1000 is something I need to get to the bottom of, I think.

Looks like I’ve got plenty of research to do this weekend!

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12 thoughts on “Under Investigation: How much money to get settled in Prague?

  1. pickledwings March 29, 2015 / 3:33 am

    I’ve not lived in Prague, but those I know who have tell me the key to reasonably priced accommodation there is to not live near the centre. I’d ask your contacts there what the more reasonably priced yet still respectable districts of the city are next time you talk to them.

    As for the visa, you won’t be able to apply for a working visa without an employer secured. A work permit is part of the working visa application and it’s your employer who has to apply for the permit.

    If you’re here on a working visa, your taxes and health insurance are the responsibility of your primary employer.

    Conversely, you may chose to work on a business license. Be very careful about choosing to do things this way; the license will give you a lot more freedom in taking work, but it will also place the responsibility of taxes, health insurance and social insurance on you. You need to be sure you’re making enough money to cover those things or having the license can hurt you more than help you.

    Lots of schools will try to push you towards a business license as it saves them money and time. They can make it sound really good when trying to sell you on the idea, but you really need to make sure your finances can support it.

    Unless the law has changed since I got my business license, part of the application process for a visa based on the license is being able to prove that you’ve paid health insurance for the full period of the visa up front. It wasn’t until I got permanent residency that I was allowed to pay health insurance monthly.

    It was a tense year and a half between when I got my business license and when I got permanent residency because the most I could afford in the way of health insurance was glorified travelers plans, nothing really comprehensive.

    Though, as I said, that’s if the law hasn’t changed since I went through those steps. They are definitely subjects to broach with your Prague contacts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • czechlister March 29, 2015 / 5:41 pm

      Another great response – this is some great information, incredibly helpful – thank you so much. I don’t really have any contacts in Prague per se – just people I’ve met online through this blog and facebook. Luckily I’m not afraid to talk to strangers!

      In theory I’d prefer to have a business license, but I understand that’s because I’d prefer to be able to afford it. Which may or may not be the case. I’m considering pursuing a work visa when I look for employment after my TEFL course, as it may be simpler until I have a better idea of how much money I will be earning and whether I want to stay on a teach in Czech for years, or take my TEFl cert and go teach in Asia after a year. Still, i want to have as much knowledge behind me as possible when I arrive in Prague so I can make a sound decision.

      And health insurance is a whole new can of worms I haven’t even begun to dig into, but looks like I’ll have plenty to research there as well. Thanks again for the awesome response!

      Like

    • czechlister March 29, 2015 / 5:45 pm

      Thanks! I may shoot her an email with some questions, hopefully she won’t mind helping out. And her service rates look really affordable from over here, though I don’t know what is the going rate for legal assistance in Prague. It always helps to have people come with a recommendation, though, thank you!

      Like

    • czechlister March 30, 2015 / 12:04 am

      I’ll definitely look into it, as calculating cost of living is coming up to look into this week. I found a similar article for 2014, but 2015 is even better! Thanks again 🙂

      I’ve looked at a lot of articles on expats.cz, but had issues signing up for their forum – maybe it just wasn’t meant to be! Still, lots of interesting things to read.

      Like

  2. Evelyn April 9, 2015 / 6:06 am

    I highly recommend http://doubleczechvisa.com/ After having problems with another Visa agency in Prague, I switched to them and couldn’t be happier with the service they provided!

    Like

  3. Cynthia April 12, 2015 / 12:39 am

    Hi there, I do recommend trying to find a job while you’re still taking the TEFL course so you can start immediately after or there will definitely be a period of time that you are not bringing in any income.
    My story went like: Take TEFL course from mid-Nov to mid December, get hired beginning of February, receive first paycheck from new job in mid-March. Because language schools in CZ pay monthly, you can expected to be paid at some point in the month following the one you’ve worked. I definitely recommend bringing a bit of savings to hold you over during this time… as you can see, we went from mid-Dec to March without any paycheck and boy, were we broke then 😛
    I would set aside about 8,000kc for your first month’s rent and about half of that for a deposit, just in case.
    Good luck!

    Like

  4. bicyclebrno April 28, 2015 / 12:57 am

    I would say 10000,- as a monthly fee for an appartment. The deposit (you pay once in the beginning) means 100% of this, so prepare 20000 minimum from the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

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