'Vienna prices with Czech salaries': Expats share how they're handling inflation woes

The majority of Expats.cz readers polled said they are 'very concerned' about the rising cost of living. Here's how they are coping with the price crunch.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 31.08.2022 16:23:00 (updated on 31.08.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Many experts are currently speculating about what inflation means for markets and the economy. The inflation rate in the Czech Republic is among the most dramatic among the developed countries: it rose from 17.2 percent in June to 17.5 percent in July.

Meanwhile, inflation's immediate effect on the population is rather straightforward – its effects are felt most in increasing living costs. We recently asked you to share how the cost of living increases has affected your life in Czechia and what you're doing to save.

Majority of expats polled 'very concerned' about inflation

Among the 158 responses received, 78 percent of people said they were "very concerned," about the current inflation rate in Czechia, 19.5 percent voted "somewhat concerned," and only 2.6 percent of the respondents said "not very concerned." In July, the inflation rate rose to 17.5 percent.

More than 98 percent of the voters said they noticed signs of higher prices in the Czech Republic, and only less than 2 percent believe the prices remained the same.

For many inflation presents financial setbacks

More than 67 percent of those polled said inflation has had a big impact on their long-term financial goals (e.g. plans like buying a home, paying off debt, or the ability to retire comfortably) and 23 percent said the impact of inflation was felt but without significant effects. Less than 10 percent said they have not felt the effects of inflation yet.

Among those people who have been planning to buy real estate, almost 64 percent said they will not carry on with these plans in the near future. Meanwhile, 30 percent said they are still planning on buying real estate but had to postpone their plans. Less than 6 percent said they will carry on with their plan to buy as originally planned.

Several respondents said they have taken a proactive stance to protect their finances by investing in stock and/or bonds. "Moving traditional bank saving to more investing in precious metals," said reader Phill Bee who added that he tends to go out less opting to eat in the office at lunch to save money.

Where does inflation hurt most?

Respondents said that they encountered the most striking increase in prices of petrol, gas, electricity, rent, and groceries. Some specific examples include butter and other dairy products, cooking oils, bread, fruit and vegetables, lactose-free and gluten-free products.

"[I've noticed] a significant increase in the rental amount listed in my rental contract and continual increases in monthly payments for electricity and gas."

Anonymous Expats.cz reader on inflation in Czechia

Reader Diana has noticed that "Most food now at a discount cost more than the full price previously." An anonymous reader points to other impacts felt in the kitchen, saying: "Gas prices mean the water temperature has had to decrease and cooking has been swapped to slow cooker."

Cutting out fun helps cope with rising costs of living

We also asked our readers to share their strategies for offsetting rising costs. Among the most frequent responses were reducing recreational and social activities, changing food habits, optimizing electricity and energy consumption, searching out promotional items, and buying in bulk.

"I've cut down expenses like restaurants and bars. I mostly cook and have the Albert application and DM card (I gather credits for discounts). Also, use Slevomat for activities and restaurants as well as Sodexo benefits."

Anonymous Expats.cz reader on scaling back in Czechia

The most popular way of coping with rising prices among respondents is cutting back on discretionary products (62 percent) and using savings (26 percent). Less than 4 percent said they got loans to cover the increase in price. Some said they have not made any changes in their lifestyle, while others said they increased their working hours or got a second job.

One reader is looking into "asking for a raise or temporary 'hardship' financing, possibly changing careers, or leaving the country."

Another reader, Arjun Sengupta said, "not working for Czech-based companies but German/Swiss companies and getting paid a liveable non-Czech salary" has helped him stay afloat.

Stay or go, inflation is universal

Several readers admitted that they are considering leaving the Czech Republic or have already done so due to the rise in the cost of living. Others said that as the inflation crunch is being felt everywhere they're staying put.

"I sold my flat at a big profit, sold my company, and left the Czech Republic. The market is now totally overpriced and heading for a fall," said Peter H. Others are considering doing the same. One reader who didn't wish to give their name said:

"It’s not worth staying here anymore. Having Vienna prices but Czech salaries and Czech service is not worth it." Yet another commented that they're considering moving back to the U.S. because "salaries here are too low to survive the inflation with dignity."

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more