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Getting Disillusioned with Costs of Living Abroad

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Postby djfourmoney » October 24th, 2013, 7:41 pm

celery2010 wrote:$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?


99% of Latin America can be done for $1,000-$1500US EASY!

That includes all the above. Fuel in some countries isn't subsides so it will be about the same as it is here or even more possibly, so add about $500 for a car including payments, insurance and maintenance.
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Postby MrPeabody » October 24th, 2013, 7:54 pm

During your first year in a foreign country, it can be expensive, especially if you are renting from people renting to foreigners. Plan for an expensive first year. Some countries can be really hard to rent in. For example, Colombia requires a co-signer on your lease and there may be other restrictions depending on the country. Check out your country to see how hard it is for a foreigner to rent an apartment there. If you get a girlfriend, she can help you find out how to live like a local and your bills will go down. I currently live in a fully furnished apartment for $300 a month in Mexico, with Satellite TV and a private parking space included.
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Postby tre » October 24th, 2013, 8:21 pm

Low-end USA living (in small city, west coast):

Rent: $600-$700 (3 bdrm, manufactured home or 2bdrm apartment)
Utilities (Water, Trash, Sewage, Electricity, Internet., Phone): $300-$400
Car Payment: $300-$450 (depending on what car)
Car Insurance: $100-$200 (depends on age, location, level of insurance).
Gas: $150-$400 (depending on how far you have to drive to work)
Food: $300-$900 (depending on 1 or 2 people and how healthy)

Total monthly price of the above is $1750-$3050. This does not include misc items, shopping, entertainment, dates, or health insurance. This is living a simple life in small town USA (and it sucks). I could live in Singapore for $2500 by myself (if VERY frugal) or $4000 for me AND my GF (not as frugal). I've done it before, but one MUST have a workers pass in order to get an apartment to rent. I suppose you could live in cheap hostels in the Red Light District areas, but I wouldn't do that. This would include health insurance for us both as well as some entertainment, dates and other extras. Rent would cost a bare minimum of $1900/month (including Aircon and Internet) to have my own (very small) place...but clean and in a good area. You SAVE money in Singapore over the USA through public transportation, health insurance and possibly food. We are talking about Singapore too...a country considered to be one of the most expensive in Asia. I think I could have the same quality of life in Bangkok, Thailand for around $1500 for two people...total. It would go down quite a bit if I lived in smaller towns on the outskirts.

It makes complete sense to move abroad for those that have income that is coming in no matter where they live. The problem is for those that have to make $$ where they work....that's the challenge.
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Postby davewe » October 24th, 2013, 8:58 pm

There are threads galore here and on every expat forum about how cheap or not cheap it is to live abroad. After a while it becomes a foolish discussion.

The bottom line is if you want to live a Western life style abroad - it's not gonna be that cheap. So if you need a condo + a nice car + entertainment costs + you want to eat like an American with your fave foods and the weekly steak - then it will cost.

As Taco says, the average Filipino lives on $200/month but do you want to live like the average Filipino? And if you want to live in a major metro area like Manila or Cebu, you won't save any money.

So you have to determine what lifestyle you want and go from there. It also is age dependent. I can't believe how little I lived on when I was young, but then I lived in cheap apartments with roommates.

So start with what you need to be happy, and what's a nice to have and then create a plan. And assume, just as anywhere else in the world, that whatever your plan says, you'll need a little bit more.
Last edited by davewe on October 24th, 2013, 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Banano » October 24th, 2013, 9:32 pm

davewe wrote:There are threads galore here and on every expat forum about how cheap or not cheap it is to live abroad. After a while it becomes a foolish discussion.

The bottom line is if you want to live a Western life style abroad - it's not gonna be that cheap. So if you need a condo + a nice car + entertainment costs + you want to eat like an American with your fave foods and the weekly steak - then it will cost.

As Taco says, the average Filipino lives on $200/month but do you want to live like the average Filipino? And if you want to live in a major metro area like Manila or Cebu, you won't save any money.

So you have to determine what lifestyle you want and go from there. It also is age dependent. I can't believe how little I lived on when I was young, but then I lived in cheap apartments with roommates.

So start with what you need to be happy, and what's a nice to have and then create a plan. And assume, just as anywhere else in the world, that whatever your plans says, you'll need a little bit more.




Very well said

In a nutshell, for those of you who want to live western lifestyle it wont be any or much cheaper than your home country.

Meats(Steaks, lamb, etc), pizzas, fast food (KFC, burger king, mcdonalds), western food restaurnats,starbucks coffee, juice,bread, petrol, cars, computers,phones, nightclubs, condoms, jack daniels, vodka can cost you more than it would in US.

You will hear how locals live on 200 bucks, yes they do 'live' on that but how many of westerners can live that lifestyle?
Do you wanna share flat with 4 other people?get food from street vendor on a daily basis, you think they wash their hands after going toilet?

Thailand is one of the cheapest countries in the world and its still hard to get by on $1000; I can spend $200 bucks on cheese.
:lol:
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Postby MrPeabody » October 24th, 2013, 10:12 pm

The one thing that tips the scale for living outside the US is the medical system. Under Obamacare, there are now guys paying more than $10,000 a year for insurance, and that includes a $5000 deductable. In Thailand, if you put that $10,000 in a bank account it could cover your medical costs for years with enough left over for a serious operation. You can self-insure. You have to include medical costs in the total costs.
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Postby celery2010 » October 26th, 2013, 12:57 am

It is totally possible to get by on $500-$700 a month.

But my reiteration is that when eating out only costs $2 vs .75 a meal to cook, do you really want to try to save that money?

And do you want to take the bus when a taxi ride is $2-$3? (the same price as a subway or bus ticket in the west)

In other words, because certain things are so cheap-- you'll want to take advantage of them.

Examples:

Cheap nights out
Maid service
Cheap taxis
Snacks that are very cheap
Other stuff i can't think of off the top of my head

For example, for some people, a nice night on the town in an expensive city like NY, Las Vegas or London can be $100 a night, even #$200. How often would you go out at night? But in SE Asia, it might be $10, maybe $20.

Plus you might get homesick for some western food once in a while-- at greater expense, but it will be worth to some people. So instead of $2-3 a meal. You'll be willing to pay $7-$15.

So you might be spending MORE than you thought-- because it's so cheap.

Other examples--I'd never get a message in America, but in Asia, one can be had (45 minutes) for just $5. If you're sore or your back is hurting-- it might be worth $5, but not $85.
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Postby skateboardstephen » October 26th, 2013, 1:58 am

celery2010 wrote:$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?
I live "like a local" but it is really not as bad as i thought it would be and i live off of about $500 a month. My wife brings in about $300 a month.This is U.S.D. i'm talking about here and if i lived alone making what i make i could easily pay my own rent and still have a good social and dating life for sure but of course i'm looking to make money online or to have other incomes besides teaching and i could be making a lot more than what i'm making teaching were i'm teaching.My school is shitty and it is run by a women that has no idea how to run the place and has not been paying the teachers on time like she should.Plus when you first start out have some money all ways stacked in a bank account this way you are not living from check to check.$2000 reais a month which is about $1000 U.S.D. you'll live OK in Brazil for sure.
se eu soubesse o que eu sei hoje, teria mando mulheres americanas para foder-se há muitos anos.que deus abençoe o brasil!
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Postby djfourmoney » October 28th, 2013, 2:29 am

MrPeabody wrote:During your first year in a foreign country, it can be expensive, especially if you are renting from people renting to foreigners. Plan for an expensive first year. Some countries can be really hard to rent in. For example, Colombia requires a co-signer on your lease and there may be other restrictions depending on the country. Check out your country to see how hard it is for a foreigner to rent an apartment there. If you get a girlfriend, she can help you find out how to live like a local and your bills will go down. I currently live in a fully furnished apartment for $300 a month in Mexico, with Satellite TV and a private parking space included.


I highly recommend Mexico for cheapskates. For $350 I could get an unfurnished apartment in Playa. In TJ, its about $300 for the same apartment.

For about $500US you could get an apartment that would rival anything available in upscale areas of Los Angeles or San Diego. $750 will you a condo in Mexico and in much of Latin America if you look hard enough, off the tourist trail and away from typical vacation spots and retirement communities.
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Postby djfourmoney » October 28th, 2013, 2:43 am

MrPeabody wrote:The one thing that tips the scale for living outside the US is the medical system. Under Obamacare, there are now guys paying more than $10,000 a year for insurance, and that includes a $5000 deductable. In Thailand, if you put that $10,000 in a bank account it could cover your medical costs for years with enough left over for a serious operation. You can self-insure. You have to include medical costs in the total costs.


All ACA or Obamacare is doing is what the Tax System does. You make more, you pay more. No single person is paying $10,000 a year for health insurance but a family of four in the 100,000 and up bracket I can understand. Sucks to be them, but I don't pay anything. Why? Because I make nothing.

I live in urban no-man's land. IE, there nothing but housing subdivisions and the businesses that serve them. I don't have a car and public transportation for anybody that's had to use it in Los Angeles know its a bit of a running joke.

I am living at home on about $500 a month, with $200 of that EBT. So my health care is completely subsidized and I am enrolled into Medicaid actually when I couldn't get it when I applied for EBT originally in the Spring of 2010.

Health insurance is cheap in Latin America and if you can't afford that, you can use the public system which is overburdened but unless its serious it's likely okay for the basic check up and bone fractures.
Last edited by djfourmoney on October 28th, 2013, 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rocky Top » October 28th, 2013, 3:20 am

djfourmoney wrote:
MrPeabody wrote:The one thing that tips the scale for living outside the US is the medical system. Under Obamacare, there are now guys paying more than $10,000 a year for insurance, and that includes a $5000 deductable. In Thailand, if you put that $10,000 in a bank account it could cover your medical costs for years with enough left over for a serious operation. You can self-insure. You have to include medical costs in the total costs.


All ACA or Obamacare is doing is what the Tax System does. You make more, you pay more. No single person is paying $10,000 a year for health insurance but a family of four in the 100,000 and up bracket I can understand. Sucks to be them, but I don't pay anything. Why? Because I make nothing.


I make around $100k with no kids or wife and paid just under $20k in Federal taxes last year. Luckily, Tennessee doesn't have an income tax. On top of that, I also threw away the money that went to SS taxes that I will never see a return on. I didn't just fall into a $100k job, I had to drop out of school, regroup and return 3 years later after working fast food jobs. I then had to work 2nd & 3rd shift jobs while I went to school during the day. Out of the 15 people in my electrical engineering class, there were only 2 blacks, and we came from modest backgrounds... not from aristocratic families.

Why should I be penalized simply for making the sacrifices I needed to make to get where I'm at now... and for some to live off of my labor without a thank you?
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Postby T Rex » October 28th, 2013, 3:27 am

celery2010 wrote:It is totally possible to get by on $500-$700 a month.

But my reiteration is that when eating out only costs $2 vs .75 a meal to cook, do you really want to try to save that money?

And do you want to take the bus when a taxi ride is $2-$3? (the same price as a subway or bus ticket in the west)

In other words, because certain things are so cheap-- you'll want to take advantage of them.

Examples:

Cheap nights out
Maid service
Cheap taxis
Snacks that are very cheap
Other stuff i can't think of off the top of my head

For example, for some people, a nice night on the town in an expensive city like NY, Las Vegas or London can be $100 a night, even #$200. How often would you go out at night? But in SE Asia, it might be $10, maybe $20.

Plus you might get homesick for some western food once in a while-- at greater expense, but it will be worth to some people. So instead of $2-3 a meal. You'll be willing to pay $7-$15.

So you might be spending MORE than you thought-- because it's so cheap.

Other examples--I'd never get a message in America, but in Asia, one can be had (45 minutes) for just $5. If you're sore or your back is hurting-- it might be worth $5, but not $85.


Those of you who are acting like its a wash to live abroad probably havent lived abroad. Celery2010's list is fairly spot on. $1000 a month, at least in Asia, can pay all bills, have a nice apartment, allow you to eat out a lot, and even have a few massages. Its completely doable.

The key is to not buy a lot of unnecessary 'stuff'...obvious right? If you keep it simple, you can splurge on food every now and then and be perfectly fine.
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Postby djfourmoney » October 28th, 2013, 4:52 am

skateboardstephen wrote:
celery2010 wrote:$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?
I live "like a local" but it is really not as bad as i thought it would be and i live off of about $500 a month. My wife brings in about $300 a month.This is U.S.D. i'm talking about here and if i lived alone making what i make i could easily pay my own rent and still have a good social and dating life for sure but of course i'm looking to make money online or to have other incomes besides teaching and i could be making a lot more than what i'm making teaching were i'm teaching.My school is shitty and it is run by a women that has no idea how to run the place and has not been paying the teachers on time like she should.Plus when you first start out have some money all ways stacked in a bank account this way you are not living from check to check.$2000 reais a month which is about $1000 U.S.D. you'll live OK in Brazil for sure.


You just created a job for yourself. If its obvious your boss doesn't know how to properly run a business and you do. Then see what it takes to start your own school by first giving private lessons on the side.

I agree that you should have money stacked to make the transition smoother. Its going to take at least a month to find where you going to live, in the case of Brazil, getting your CPT card is paramount otherwise you likely can't find somebody to rent to you and you can't open a bank account without one either.

Stephen like I said, I admire for what you have accomplished because you started with much less than most of the whiners around here. I am estimating my cost to be about $1200-$1300, since I won't be budgeting for clothes, they are much too expensive in Brazil. Its also likely I won't be purchasing much beef which will reduce my food cost overall.

At $1,500 makes living in LA challenging since your rent could easily top $1,000 for a place that you feel safe parking your car overnight. At $700-$750 it got me a one bedroom apartment and my car broken into twice, including a broken window ($125 to replace in 1999) in North Hollywood...

This is the report that really sends the message about this no job recovery and how the middle class is being hollowed out and those less than that are being blamed as moochers - http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/ ... s_full.pdf

Philly Lower End housing cost $749
Los Angeles Lower End housing cost $838

In some cases its higher or just about the same - http://www.apartmentguide.com/apartment ... icelow-asc

$200 is what I get from EBT and I spend all of it. If I remove the $30-$40 my mother spends on it every month and lived alone, I could likely squeeze in some animal protein (Turkey, Chicken, Ground Beef).

So that's $1,000 before you got to stuff you likely want like cable tv or broadband internet. You spend less most countries on internet and get much faster speeds without the legacy issues in America. Cable TV is a luxury item in most countries but not really, its affordable, about $50 for all the channels.

BUY ALL YOUR ELECTRONICS IN AMERICA! In Europe you'll pay VAT in much of South America you have tariffs for things not made locally.

If you don't mind owning a used car, then you'll find some bargains in most countries. New cars are another story. Credit is EASY in America, its not that credit is non-existent in developing countries, its a bit harder to get. Though being a "Gringo" credit is likely to be extended to you if you want it.

Living on $400-$500US is possible but like I said, creature comforts will be voided and the majority of women you'll have access too will be short and dark.

If that doesn't bother you, then forget anything we're sayin and GET IT DONE!
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Postby djfourmoney » October 28th, 2013, 5:04 am

Rocky Top wrote:
djfourmoney wrote:
MrPeabody wrote:The one thing that tips the scale for living outside the US is the medical system. Under Obamacare, there are now guys paying more than $10,000 a year for insurance, and that includes a $5000 deductable. In Thailand, if you put that $10,000 in a bank account it could cover your medical costs for years with enough left over for a serious operation. You can self-insure. You have to include medical costs in the total costs.


All ACA or Obamacare is doing is what the Tax System does. You make more, you pay more. No single person is paying $10,000 a year for health insurance but a family of four in the 100,000 and up bracket I can understand. Sucks to be them, but I don't pay anything. Why? Because I make nothing.


I make around $100k with no kids or wife and paid just under $20k in Federal taxes last year. Luckily, Tennessee doesn't have an income tax. On top of that, I also threw away the money that went to SS taxes that I will never see a return on. I didn't just fall into a $100k job, I had to drop out of school, regroup and return 3 years later after working fast food jobs. I then had to work 2nd & 3rd shift jobs while I went to school during the day. Out of the 15 people in my electrical engineering class, there were only 2 blacks, and we came from modest backgrounds... not from aristocratic families.

Why should I be penalized simply for making the sacrifices I needed to make to get where I'm at now... and for some to live off of my labor without a thank you?


Did I say I agree how it came out? I don't agree, single payer is the route we need to go and there really should not be so much discussion about that.

Your Federal Taxes would go up marginally with it and out of pocket cost would be extremely low like it is in the countries its been implemented. The most recent example of is Singapore and its considered the best and echoed in this post as low out of pocket cost.

What was the point of identifying two Black students in your class????

The point of single payer is EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT. Not like Germany where they let the Rich opt out and stop whining- http://www.bankrate.com/finance/persona ... ore-1.aspx

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real ... o-live-in/

The most money I have ever had in my possession at one time was $66,000 so you make that, plus another $40K every year. Do you see me complaining?
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Postby Jester » October 28th, 2013, 6:11 am

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