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The Ultimate Guide to POLAND
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Polska, Polonia, Poland
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Average monthly salary in Poland is around 1000 PLN (few hundred bucks).

PolReport     Apr 11, 2006, 12:05pm  #1

How do Poles manage to survive?

The Polish media state that the average salary in Poland is around 2500 PLN (2 tys. 428,12 before tax in July 2004, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics in Poland), but most of the Poles just shake their heads in disbelief. (Lies, bloody lies and statistics).

Krzysztof says:

"The media, you know, all the times says that on average people make between 2000 and 3000 PLN, but the truth is that most people make around 800 PLN. There are those that make more, even much more, but they are in minority."

Anna, a divorced mother, that lives in the capital, Warsaw, and makes 1000 PLN per month is not happy.

"I get also 250 PLN from my ex-husband for the kids support and 43 PLN family allowance from the state, which is a joke, really. I pay 700 PLN for the flat and the kindergarten is almost 300, bus and tram card is 66 PLN, phone bill 60 PLN. All that is left, less than 200 PLN for my and my daughter. When I think about it, I am in tears."

Anna's biggest problem is that she has to rent a flat on the open market and, thus, pay the market price. If she owned her own flat, the monthly payment would be much less, around 250 PLN.

If you can't make it on one salary an option is taking up several jobs: Antoni works three jobs 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day.

He says: "I make almost 3000 PLN a month, and we can afford quite a lot, but my kids cry when I go to work in the evening. You have to trade your leisure time for money."

Ala, his wife, complains: "The cost of living is very high. Bread is 1.60, milk in a carton 2.60, butter 3.40. It is very hard to make it on one salary."

Wanda has a tip how to save money: "I found a room close to the work place and simply walk to and from work. It takes no more than 10 minutes and it is good exercise. I save the money for public transport, which is a plus. I don't have a family; so making 900 PLN is ok, especially since the room I rent is only 300 PLN. And I save on the cell phone. I buy a card for 50 PLN and it lasts for three months, which is cheap."

Karolina has found another solution. She complements her low income by giving private lessons. "Three pupils a week, and my budget has suddenly improved a lot. It is all primary school stuff, so it is fairly easy. I do it, since I need the money."Unfortunately, most advertised jobs do not pay more than 1000 PLN, complains Alicia, although the demands are high. "They require you to have a command of English and Russian, availability 24 hours a day, and still the wage is low. Even a teacher with a university degree makes only 750 PLN, which is not very encouraging." She has a tip for low-earners: "Try to try to find a place with an older person and offer her or him your help with cleaning, shopping and so on in return for a reduction in rent."

Bogda has a pessimistic view on the subject: "Unless you are prepared to dress all your life in second hand clothes and eat bread with margarine, you can't possibly survive on such a low salary." She believes that "the best option for many Poles is to leave the country and seek better fortunes abroad although it is not easy to find a job abroad."

The fact remains that if you are a Pole on a low salary, although you might manage to survive, you won't certainly be able to afford a car, a wide-screen TV, or summer vacation in Venice. Who said that life was meant to be easy? Although, Poland is a member of EU, it is still the poorest of its members and it will take many more years before all of its citizens will have an acceptable living standard. Poles do manage to survive, but not much more than that.


Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 12:15pm  #2

...How depressing. I think that after reading those kind of texts I have no other option but to kill myself. Thank you PolReport you have opened my eyes do you have any more depressing new that you would share with us ?

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 12:58pm  #3

The truth hurts...

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 02:24pm  #4

...oh yeah, it hurts so much :)

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 02:39pm  #5

Quote:

"The fact remains that if you are a Pole on a low salary, although you might manage to survive, you won’t certainly be able to afford a car, a wide-screen TV, or summer vacation in Venice."

Yep, life is a hard if you can spend your summer holidays in Venice :(

"Although, Poland is a member of EU, it is still the poorest of its members and it will take many more years before all of its citizens will have an acceptable living standard. Poles do manage to survive, but not much more than that."

I think Latvia is poorer. And when it comes to the average wage, the average wages in Estonia and the Czech Republic as well as in most part of the new EU10.

btw. here is some data about minimal wages in Europe:

http://www.eiro.eurofound.eu.int/2005/07/study/tn0507101s.html

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 02:47pm  #6

860 zl is even less than 1000 zl a month then :). But the point is - it does not really matter how much you make - but how much you can buy for this money in this country. Maybe you'll earn less in Latvia, but you'll also pay less for goods.

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 02:47pm  #7

Another note to the author of this article...

Here is some info about wage levels in the new EU countries:

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/actrav/publ/128/8.pdf

(page 3)

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 03:06pm  #8

Guest 11 - see the provided link. page 3

In the year 2000 an average Pole could by about 2/6 more goods and services for his average pay than an average Latvian, not mentioned the other countries in EE. This has hanged slightly due to the recent economic boom in the Baltic States, but in average we are still earning more.

That 860 PLN isn`t much but you get 860 PLN after you have paid your taxes and social security. Keep in mind that (beside buying medicine) you don`t have to pay for your doctor visits nor for the education of your children (beside purchasing schoolbooks) from that sum.

Ofcourse, in 2000 you could afford 3 times less for that amount of money than an average EU citizen (page 3), but if you look at page 4 then during the the period 1992-2000 the average pay in Poland had risen by 58%.

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 03:12pm  #9

But then it's true you don't pay for elementary education and high school, but you it's not that pink as far as higher education is concerned. Also, you don't pay for doctor's visit - but how long have you wait for a fairly simple examinations, tests, or operation?

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 05:26pm  #10

Guest 11 Apr 2006 #9

Quote:

"But then it's true you don't pay for elementary education and high school, but you it's not that pink as far as higher education is concerned. Also, you don't pay for doctor's visit - but how long have you wait for a fairly simple examinations, tests, or operation?"

- The best higher education institutions in this country are State institutions. The education in those insitutions is being "free" (though if you`re paying taxes it`s not really free and in reality nothing in this world is being free). All students have a chance of being admited into those institutions of higher learning. Everything depends on their grades or the skill the have shown during the entery exams. A large part of the students is being admited and has access to free higher education while others, those with lower skills and lower grades, if they want to have an university diploma - they have to pay for their education.

I don`t see anything wrong with that.

When it comes to healthcare I can agree with you to a certain extent, but on the other hand everything depends where you live and where you are being registered (I.e. I`m registered on the other side of my city, though I have a clinic almost next door. I have to travel some 1,5h to reach the clinic in which I`m registered, but once there everything goes smootly and I have to wait only 10-20min for a doctor and less than a week for an specialist) Everything depend how you organize it and you`re not visiting specialist all the time, besides in case of an emergancy your treatment is always paid.

Guest     Apr 11, 2006, 06:02pm  #11

So in other words Poland is "the second Japan" already, correct? :) I'm sure you don't make an average salary, but keep in mind 70% or more people living in Poland have to live off 800-1000zl a month...

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 03:58am  #12

Guest 11

No, Poland is not a second Japan, but what you are doing here is showing a typical Polish (I am Polish as well and I must admit that this is our worst national trait) exaggeration combined with complaining becaouse.

- 800 PLN is omething you ge after taxation and paying your social security, and when you are getting 800 PLN into your pocket then then your pay is something around 1200 PLN
- As you can see from statistics the average pay in Poland in EUR is HIGHER than in all countries around Poland, beside Germany, and the average amount of goods that you can buy for that pay is only higher in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Quote

"I'm sure you don't make an average salary, but keep in mind 70% or more people living in Poland have to live off 800-1000zl a month..."

No, as you can see here: stat.gov.pl/opracowania_zbiorcze/maly_rocznik_stat/2003/rocznik6/wynag.htm

The amount of people who earns around 1200-1800 PLN (800-1000 PLN according to your definition of pay) is around: 19% (elementary occupations, agricultural workers, service workers) if you`d add the unemployed here (those who are not working in the black economy and who are earning less than 1000 PLN there + those unemployed who are living only from the benefits) you are going probably around 30-35% of the REAL working population.

btw. The average pay in Poland is around 2400 PLN ...so according to your definition it is circa 1400 PLN :)

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 12:09pm  #13

Quoting: Guest
1200-1800 PLN (800-1000 PLN according to your definition of pay)

So it still shows the government or other beaucracies take 60% of your money (very high taxation in Poland is another issue though). What will happen if Poland joins the Euro currency and all homes will cost as much as abroad? Do you think a family could afford to buy a condo for 300,000 zl making 2000 a month (all of which will go for day-to-day expenses)?

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 01:06pm  #14

- If you take into account the social insourance as well as the taxes then the taxation rate here is c.a. 40%. Which - ofcourse ought to be reduced - if the taxation made by the social insourence agency (ZUS) would be reduced by 1/2 then a lot of people would come out of the black economy.. the official unemployed numbers would be more adequate to the truth amd the agency would recive an equal amount of money... The courrent finance ministers has some plans that are going in that direction.. but how much of those plans is going to come to reality remains to be seen.

- A standard 65-70 m2 appartment costs around 120.000 PLN (for 300.000. PLN you can buy a nice 270-300m2 house). Which ofcourse is a lot of money for a young family. That`s why many young families take credits to be able to buy their first appartment.. well our government ought to definitely something about it by i.e. promoting cheaper chousing and guaranteeing at least part of the credit..

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 01:11pm  #15

The question is - what you have for the social insurance - not many benefits. Also, when you retire, it won't probably be enough money to live quite well.

Quoting: Guest
A standard 65-70 m2 appartment costs around 120.000 PLN

I know -- but I meant the prices in 2-3 years when Poland is a "full" EU member. I don't think you could buy a 65-70 m2 in Germany for 120,000 PLN now, would you?

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 01:28pm  #16

"The question is - what you have for the social insurance - not many benefits. Also, when you retire, it won't probably be enough money to live quite well."

Yes - I agree with you 100% here. But I don`t believe that the situation is permanent. The social security system undergos constanly various small reforms. I hope that Zyta Gilowska is going to manage to pull a serious reform of the system which would allow to lower the amount of money you have to pay to ZUS. And if not her then some future government is going to have to make that move.

"I know -- but I meant the prices in 2-3 years when Poland is a "full" EU member. I don't think you could buy a 65-70 m2 in Germany for 120,000 PLN now, would you?"

Well, we are full EU members - but if you mean the adoption of the Euro then we are going to adopt it around 2011-2012 - we are going to wait as long as possible. The prices aren`t going to increase here so dramatically over the next 2-3 years becaouse the inflation here since many years is below 1%.

The price increase in Germany (as well in all of the countries that had adopted the Euro) hasn`t been caoused by the Euro itself - it happened becaouse most business owners had rounded up all of the prices as well as at the beginning people weren`t used to use the new money and they didn`t knew the real worth of the new courrency - perhaps untill 2011-2012 we are going to find a solution that would prevent such things from hapening here.

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 01:32pm  #17

I've been undergoing several "Polish reforms" - starting in the 80thies until now. The Gilowska's reforms may be successful, but my generation will not be able to enjoy it since such reforms last so many years. But maybe our children will be able to live in better Poland.

Guest     Apr 12, 2006, 02:47pm  #18

^^^ com`on, how old are you 60-70 ? Sure, it takes a lot of time before you see the first effects of structural economic reforms ..but it`s usually 2-5-10 years. So unless you`re 70 and there is going to be a serious ZUS reform then you`re still going to experience its effects.

Dynka     Sep 10, 2006, 04:37pm  #19

I guess the average salary in Poland is higher now (about 1500 zl a month) - plus dollar/euro are cheaper vs Polish zloty.

lef Threads: 12
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  ♂   Sep 10, 2006, 05:20pm  #20

Where is Dobre Wujek he would have us to believe that the average wage in poland is 4000zl a month..

oklep     Sep 10, 2006, 05:27pm  #21

Quoting: lef, Post #20
4000zl a month..


maybe in warsaw (deduct 1500 for taxes so you get 2500)

lef Threads: 12
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  ♂   Sep 10, 2006, 05:29pm  #22

Quoting: oklep, Post #21
maybe in warsaw (deduct 1500 for taxes so you get 2500)


maybe for some people but not the majority of people working in warsaw, then what about people working in smaller towns..mmmm

plg Threads: 23
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  ♂   Sep 10, 2006, 05:30pm  #23

not much eh!!!!!!!!!!!!

krysia Threads: 26
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  ♀   Sep 10, 2006, 05:54pm  #24

More should invade England.

RX23     Sep 10, 2006, 06:33pm  #25

It seems the only place you can earn decent money and have more than average business opportunities in Poland is Warsaw. Kind of boring - what about the other parts of Poland?

lef Threads: 12
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  ♂   Sep 10, 2006, 08:20pm  #26

Try strawberry picking at 5zl an hour (if your lucky)

Swan     Sep 10, 2006, 10:22pm  #27

I used to go to Poland but it's so expensive nowadays (even with an "American" salary). Especially food and clothes.

paku     Sep 19, 2006, 07:56am  #28

According to stat.gov.pl/wyniki_wstepne/wyn_i_zatrud/2006/08/index.htm

Main Statistical Office an average brutto salary in August 2006 was pln 2611,93.
That's around $870, after taxes it's about 500-600 dollars.

iwona Threads: 13
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  ♀   Sep 19, 2006, 10:33am  #29

but it differs lots in different parts of the country.

Babylon Threads: 24
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Joined: Oct 9, 2006
  ♂   Nov 24, 2006, 02:46pm  #30

1500 PLN




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Average monthly salary in Poland is around 1000 PLN (few hundred bucks).

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