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Getting Disillusioned with Costs of Living Abroad

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Getting Disillusioned with Costs of Living Abroad

Postby rudder » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:54 pm

I've got a plane ticket to south America for next year, but I'm really questioning whether I will be able to afford to live there long term. It seems it's not such a cheap place anymore (are there any left?).

For example this website shows the low-end cost of living in a Bolivian city. http://www.southamericaliving.com/cost- ... a-bolivia/
I thought Bolivia was the cheapest country in South America, but this website breaks down that even the low end cost of living is more than $700. If I wanted to live long-term in south america I'd be working my ass off the whole time to make ends meet, and it wouldn't be much different from home in that regard.

What can a guy do these days? Is there anywhere that has reliable internet where a guy can live decently with an online income of less than $400 per month?
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Postby zacb » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:53 pm

Try off cities in Asia.
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Postby momopi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:06 am

How is your Spanish?
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Postby manly5000 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:24 am

I read on the expatforums that a guy supports himself, his wife, and their daughter on less than 200 bucks per month in the Philippines. Some area outside of Angeles City somewhere. They live in something called "resettlement housing" and own their house there but he said you can rent those houses for only 20 bucks per month USD.

The post talking about this was from 2010, not sure how much costs may have changed, but there you go. Living at such a low cost in any country depends on how much you are willing to live "like a local" which in many areas might mean in somewhat impoverished conditions... but if a very simple lifestyle appeals to you then it could work.

Hope that helps.
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400 a month?

Postby targetguy » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:42 am

8) The best advise anyone can tell a young person is get a education or skill and work where they pay a decent wage. Foreign countries are great if you are retired semi rich realestate investor or stock investor which few people are. Trying to make a living when they pay 5 us a day is all but impossible unless a business there is purchased and is doing well. I would not advise going to a foreign country without a retirement or form of support from the usa. There are not a lot of social missions for starving foreiners so many bad things could happen there if not prepared.
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Postby celery2010 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:47 am

$400 a MONTH????


Even at the ABSURDLY low rates:

$100-$150 for rent (this is absolutely rock bottom) ($3- $4 a day!!)

$1 per meal= $100 month (no money for drinks, no money for snacks, water or dessert)

Total: $200 to $250

That leaves $150-$200 for

transportation (buses, taxis, moto-taxis, etc)
entertainment
WATER!!
snacks (chips, fruit, dessert, etc)
cell phone
internet access fees
miscellaneous things you might need like toothpaste, tissue, shampoo, drinks
travel fees
alcohol
movies
dates

emergency expenses- health care, antibiotics, mosquito repellant, aspirin

I highly recommend you try to have a $750- $1200/month income befor you try to live abroad. Easy enough through even easy online sources of income would easily cover this.

Plus once you get abroad, you really want to cook your own meals, when it only costs $2 to eat out? Or take the bus, when a taxi ride home is $3? Or miss out on a night on the town that cost less than $10? Or not be able to go out on a date because your "budget" won't allow of it?
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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Costs of Living Abroad

Postby Rocky Top » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:42 am

rudder wrote:I've got a plane ticket to south America for next year, but I'm really questioning whether I will be able to afford to live there long term. It seems it's not such a cheap place anymore (are there any left?).

For example this website shows the low-end cost of living in a Bolivian city. http://www.southamericaliving.com/cost- ... a-bolivia/
I thought Bolivia was the cheapest country in South America, but this website breaks down that even the low end cost of living is more than $700. If I wanted to live long-term in south america I'd be working my a** off the whole time to make ends meet, and it wouldn't be much different from home in that regard.

What can a guy do these days? Is there anywhere that has reliable internet where a guy can live decently with an online income of less than $400 per month?


$400 per month? Are you 18-21 years old right now? That has to be the only reason why you have such unrealistic expectations if you consider $700 per month too much.
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Postby Ghost » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:52 am

My goal for anywhere in the world is to have a 'mere' $1000 a month from online and/or passive income. With that I could even live back in America. (Very frugally, but I was making less than that in the States with a job.) Focus on doing something like that and you can have a lot more freedom. If that's too much, just try to get to $500 a month. Then you can find a job like ESL teaching where ever you go. By the way, Asia is very cheap. I'm in a third tier Chinese city. With an ESL job, I can easily live on $400 a month. I could do even less if I wanted to.
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Postby rudder » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:27 am

You all need to take my posts at face value and not add nonexistent meaning to them. I don't say anywhere that I'm expecting to live that cheap. But for $1000 you might as well just live in the USA. I thought third world countries were so you could go there and live like a king on a foreign/online income.

400 is just a number I spouted off the top of my head. 200, 300, 235, who cares? I just thought there would be cheaper places in South America is all. The problem when debating this sort of thing is that some people expect to hold on to all their creature comforts and that's where you get the crazy estimates like $1500/month for living in some small third world city. If you live like a local but with your own one bedroom apartment and internet, I still don't see why it should be so hard to live on less than $600/month in a place like Bolivia. You could go move to South Dakota or something and probably live with less.

The thing that bugs me the most is that it seems like South America has stayed cheap for a very long time, but just in the past couple years (now that I've started wanting to go there) the cost of living has surged dramatically. It looks like I missed the ideal window of opportunity.
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Postby rudder » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:37 am

momopi wrote:How is your Spanish?


Fluent. But what difference does that make? I'm not a resident or citizen of any latin american countries.
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Postby Taco » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:54 am

manly5000 wrote:I read on the expatforums that a guy supports himself, his wife, and their daughter on less than 200 bucks per month in the Philippines. Some area outside of Angeles City somewhere. They live in something called "resettlement housing" and own their house there but he said you can rent those houses for only 20 bucks per month USD.

The post talking about this was from 2010, not sure how much costs may have changed, but there you go. Living at such a low cost in any country depends on how much you are willing to live "like a local" which in many areas might mean in somewhat impoverished conditions... but if a very simple lifestyle appeals to you then it could work.

Hope that helps.


$200 a month is what most Filipinos live on but its hard. For $500 a month you can live quite comfortably, that's what I spend, $800 a month is considered middle class. For $1000 a month you'll be living the American dream.
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Postby xiongmao » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:47 am

Been abroad for 8 months now. I've roughly been spending around $1000 a month in Asia.

Accommodation is $300 a month. It's possible to slash this by living in a shared house. Also note that I've lived in Guangzhou then Bangkok which are both more expensive than other cities in Asia.

There are jobs out here if you search. But then you'd have less free time.

I live a fairly frugal lifestyle. I don't travel much, and I've bought very little stuff that I can't eat or drink. But I have been out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the past 2 months! Couldn't do that back home.
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Postby djfourmoney » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:59 pm

rudder wrote:You all need to take my posts at face value and not add nonexistent meaning to them. I don't say anywhere that I'm expecting to live that cheap. But for $1000 you might as well just live in the USA. I thought third world countries were so you could go there and live like a king on a foreign/online income.

400 is just a number I spouted off the top of my head. 200, 300, 235, who cares? I just thought there would be cheaper places in South America is all. The problem when debating this sort of thing is that some people expect to hold on to all their creature comforts and that's where you get the crazy estimates like $1500/month for living in some small third world city. If you live like a local but with your own one bedroom apartment and internet, I still don't see why it should be so hard to live on less than $600/month in a place like Bolivia. You could go move to South Dakota or something and probably live with less.

The thing that bugs me the most is that it seems like South America has stayed cheap for a very long time, but just in the past couple years (now that I've started wanting to go there) the cost of living has surged dramatically. It looks like I missed the ideal window of opportunity.


If you want to live in a town of less than 50,000 you might be able to live on $1,000 provided you have your own car and its paid for in the US. Otherwise let's look at cost shall we?

Rent is SUPPOSE to be 30% of your income according to several well known economist, but that never happens. For many its close to 50%....

Define "Creature Comforts". I consider broadband internet and cellular bargain basement minniums. Do you have to own a car? No, but if you're looking to live cheaper and don't care about short dark skin women, then having no car will work for you. "Chicken" bus is ultra cheap since its geared towards the least of any country. Ride is about $1-2US and it doesn't matter how long you ride it.

Rent in much of Central America goes between maybe $200-$500. I've heard of living in a hut in Honduras for $350 and that includes electrical power and water. There is no wired internet, but there is 3G cell service.

The only way for that to work in America (living on $1,000 or less) is you better find a woman who buys into it. Early Retirement Extreme was lucky there, he found a woman his friends set him up with. They live on about $14,000 a year including a car (her idea) and a dog or so. He mostly lives on investments he made about a decade a go.

Kevin of Living In Brazil outlined perfectly how you can live in Brazil for $1,200US. I've personally got that down to about $1,000 a month, that is if you do the majority of your shopping back in the US, annual trips are recommended.

Personally less than $1,000 is the mendoza line of cost of living. In some areas of the world $1,000US goes pretty far.


http://earlyretirementextreme.com/how-i ... -year.html

http://www.cheapestdestinationsblog.com ... 2-edition/

http://www.hobotraveler.com/travel-jour ... e-usa.html

What's in Bolivia besides Evo Morales and Lithium?
Last edited by djfourmoney on Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby djfourmoney » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Taco wrote:
manly5000 wrote:I read on the expatforums that a guy supports himself, his wife, and their daughter on less than 200 bucks per month in the Philippines. Some area outside of Angeles City somewhere. They live in something called "resettlement housing" and own their house there but he said you can rent those houses for only 20 bucks per month USD.

The post talking about this was from 2010, not sure how much costs may have changed, but there you go. Living at such a low cost in any country depends on how much you are willing to live "like a local" which in many areas might mean in somewhat impoverished conditions... but if a very simple lifestyle appeals to you then it could work.

Hope that helps.


$200 a month is what most Filipinos live on but its hard. For $500 a month you can live quite comfortably, that's what I spend, $800 a month is considered middle class. For $1000 a month you'll be living the American dream.


You mean a new sub-division, late model car (less than five years old), wife, at least one child, cable tv, broadband internet and even a maid, for $1,000? Seems a bit low to me.
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Postby momopi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:11 pm

rudder wrote:
momopi wrote:How is your Spanish?

Fluent. But what difference does that make? I'm not a resident or citizen of any latin american countries.


Very important, as the best deals are often not advertised in English.
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