How to Finance a Car: Germany is considered a country with one of the most stable economies. Here live people who know how to count money and manage it rationally. Smardart found financial features of German life, about which, perhaps, not everyone knows.
- 1. The Germans are happy with their financial situation: How to Finance a Car
- 2. Germany has high taxes
- 3. Dog owners pay another tax
- 4. Banking technologies are not very developed.
- 5. In Germany, free education
- 6. A monthly subscription to the fitness room is charged monthly
- 7. The Germans get married late
- 8. Many German couples have separate or mixed budgets.
- 9. Come to visit empty-handed – the norm
- 10. The Germans strictly sort the garbage
1. The Germans are happy with their financial situation: How to Finance a Car
This is evidenced by last year’s study of the leading association of German public law savings banks DSGV. Two-thirds of respondents call their current financial situation “good” and “very good,” and only 8% of those surveyed consider their current money affairs to be “bad” or “rather bad”.
Interestingly, the Germans, most satisfied with their finances, live in the federal state of Hesse, where the financial capital Frankfurt am Main is located, writes Deutsche Welle. 72% of its residents believe that they have everything in order with money, and only 4% consider their situation “pretty bad”.
2. Germany has high taxes
The Germans pay two types of taxes on wages: income tax and social contributions. The amount of income tax depends on the size of the salary. So, if a citizen has a gross salary (that is, before taxes) of 53,300 €, 42% is deducted from it. Annual income in the range of 9,100–18,300 € is taxed at 14–26%. Moreover, if the annual income does not exceed 9000 €, income tax is not applied at all.
Social contributions are paid from any income level, and they are distributed among 4 fixed assets. They are divided among themselves by the employee and the employer equally. The employee himself pays about 20%. The money goes to the Pension Fund, for health insurance, unemployment insurance and care insurance ( Pflegeversicherung ).
The latter allows a citizen to pay, for example, his stay in a nursing home. The amount of payments for such insurance depends on the level of care that a person needs – there are only five of them: from a slight decrease in independence to a very significant decrease in independence with special requirements for care. The population of Germany, like many other developed countries, is aging, so at the beginning of the year the rate for this type of insurance was increased .
3. Dog owners pay another tax
Dog tax is called Hundesteuer in Germany. It is calculated depending on the size of the dog, the degree of its potential danger and the city of residence. On average, the breeder pays 150-300 € per year. In a special category are fighting dogs, which can cost 600 € per year or more. In some cities, for each subsequent dog you have to pay more than for the first. The purpose of such taxes is to limit the number of dogs in localities.
Among the unusual taxes in Germany, precipitation tax (Regenwassersteuer), which is included in the rent, can also be distinguished. This money goes to repair and maintenance of the sewer.
Catholics and Protestants in Germany also officially pay the Church tax, which arose in the 19th century. By law, if a person is baptized, by default he becomes a member of the church and receives the obligation to pay this fee. You can refuse it by submitting an appropriate formal application, and even continue to attend church services, but in this case, the citizen will not be able to get married, baptize children, etc., and also lose access to some good public schools.
In 2014, the church tax was also levied on capital gains, and about 400 thousand Germans decided to abandon the church: German residents made this decision for financial reasons before, but the figure after the adoption of the law showed a significant increase – for example, for Protestants it was 62% .
4. Banking technologies are not very developed.
Such a concept as an SMS notification of a change in balance does not yet exist in Germany. For immigrants from Russia, accustomed to such notifications, this is extremely unusual and inconvenient. All bank accounts are sent by mail. More advanced technologies are mainly offered by fintech startups.
5. In Germany, free education
Education at school and in almost all higher educational institutions in Germany is free, including for foreigners. Students must pay only a semester fee, which varies from 100 to 400 € per semester depending on the federal state. Usually, such payment includes a single ticket for public transport, the ability to use the student cafeteria, dormitory, sports facilities, etc.
6. A monthly subscription to the fitness room is charged monthly
It is difficult to find a fitness club in Russia that sells subscriptions for less than six months or a year. In Germany, the card is charged once a month. And if the card does not have a sufficient amount on the day of withdrawal, a person may be charged a fine.
Interestingly, in fitness clubs in Germany, every person who exercises on the simulator must treat it after themselves with an antibacterial agent. Bottles with such means are installed in the same room.
7. The Germans get married late
The average age for a first marriage is 32 years for women and 34 for men, Deutsche Welle writes. Families usually have one or two children. The divorce rate in Germany in terms of 1000 people is significantly lower than in Russia: 1.85 versus 4. On average, couples in Germany divorce after 15 years of marriage, when they already have enough adult children.
By the way, since 2001 same-sex marriage has been allowed in Germany.
8. Many German couples have separate or mixed budgets.
Often, the Germans open a joint account for total expenses, where they are dumped at a certain amount per month and then spend this money on ongoing joint expenses, outings, vacations. Each person can also have their own account, where funds are stored for personal expenses, for example, paying child support, car insurance, etc.
9. Come to visit empty-handed – the norm
Bringing something with you is not accepted. And if you still want to bring something, you need to coordinate this with the owner in advance. The unauthorized appearance with food can be perceived by the Germans ambiguously – for example, as a hint that there is nothing to eat and drink in their house. At the same time, in Germany, there is a saying that contradicts this – “Kleine Geschenke erhalten die Freundschaft” – small gifts support friendship.
10. The Germans strictly sort the garbage
Nearly every home in Germany, you can see 4-5 garbage bins designed for certain types of waste ( food, plastic, paper, glass and the rest) . Accordingly, it is customary in families to sort garbage into categories. In the kitchens of the Germans, there are always several packages or boxes on which to distribute the waste.