Cost of Living in the United States

by Jose Marc Castro on August 10, 2009

costoflivingUSCost of living in the United States can differ depending on location and lifestyle. Big cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago tend to have high costs and quality of goods and other commodities but there are also a number of states offering lower standards of living. Several people from all over the world want to move into the country because of the very high salaries as well as the abundance of job opportunities. The United States is the richest and most powerful nation in the world. At present, it ranks 1st in terms of economy and quality of life. The current GDP of the nation is over 13 trillion euros with a per capita GDP of over 44,000 euros.

The United States has the 3rd largest space area in the world and although the cities are well-populated, there are still plenty of land in nearby towns, farms and the countryside. New York City is currently the state with the most number of people and is the most expensive city to live in followed by Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Cost of food, household items and entertainment can vary but overall, almost all people can afford these comfortably. Majority of Americans enjoy good quality of life with high net income. The government also asks for state and government income tax from all immigrants, locals and foreign visitors.

The country has been hardest hit by the worldwide recession but still remains an industrial power by sheer volume and economic size of the country.

Food and Drinks Costs in the US

There are a lot of cheap food and drinks in the United States. Most of these are in the form of fast food while others are sold widely with vendors such as hotdogs, waffles and pretzels. The average American spends around 5 to 10 euros a day on food.

Buying grocery items to be prepared at home will save more. Provincial states send in agricultural products like beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables to big cities for consumption. Buying these raw goods directly from farmers and fish vendors can be cheaper but traveling may tend to be tedious.

There are also several restaurants all over the country. Diners and coffee shops serve several American favorites like hamburgers, pizza, French fries, donuts and other pastries. A single meal in a middle class place can cost around 6 to 10 euros.

More luxurious places in the middle of the city and in hotels can be as hefty as 300 to 500 euros. Overall, food and drinks are plenty in the United States and all people get to enjoy the various tastes and brands of products. Most of the products are locally made but there are also a number of items imported from Asia which can cost higher or the same as others.

The current financial downturn though has put a damper on the seeming cornucopia of the great American way. As food prices increase, much of it has a great impact on the overall capacity of American families, especially lower and middle class families lower and middle class families.

Clothing and Accessories Costs in the US

The United States is one of the best places in the world to shop. New York City and Los Angeles are the top two cities offering great clothes at very affordable rates. There are 99-cent shops as well as flea markets, garage sales and bargain stores in every nook of major cities. Expatriates will find plenty of wares and cheap goods in factory outlets as well. As for accessories, there are plenty of locally made trinkets and gadgets sold by street vendors. A number of Chinese-made goods have also entered the scene and are sold at very competitive prices.

Designer brands and labels are found mostly in major cities in shopping malls and department stores. These are all up-to-date and rather expensive. Prices of bags, shoes and clothes depend on the maker and quality. Some can have price tags of over 5,000 euros but styles change every season and sales are more likely to come around every now and then.

Housing Costs in the US

Finding a quality and affordable apartment in the city can be quite difficult. Beautiful apartments and condominiums with great locations can change anywhere from 1000 to 2500 euros every month. Smaller rental spaces can be located farther from the middle of town between 150 to 300 euros monthly.

The more luxurious places usually cover electricity and water supply but less comfortable nooks exclude utilities. The suburbs are also great places to raise family or retire since there is more available space and the opportunity to own property is there. American citizenship however, is required before expatriates can fully own land or property.

Real estate agents are widely popular in the United States since they help very much in finding a suitable place for any immigrant. Hiring an agent can quickly process documentation, analyze current and future value as well as compute other taxes for building and maintenance.

Single rooms are also available in some parts of cities at affordable rates. Tenants however need to cover utilities as well as pay for repairs and other renovations indicated by the landlord. Dormitories are not as popular compared before but there are a number of hotels and hostels offering cheap package rates should expatriates plan to stay for months of years.

Though the property market has been said as the trigger to the current fiscal crisis felt throughout the world, as US homeowners have signified confidence that the market will rebound from the crisis of the last few years.

Services Costs in the US

The United States government provides a lot of opportunities to all its citizens and visitors alike. There are however, some income taxes and immigrant and foreigner fees which will depend on individuals’ worldwide income. Along with these are great advantages like insurance and liability policies, safety and protection policies, health care insurances and housing loans and benefits. The healthcare dilemma has been shared in America Expat Forum last March 9, 2009:

you’re normally better served by getting a group policy of some sort – if not through an employer, then through an association or there are even some civic and church organizations that offer group policies. But if you or your family has any pre-existing conditions, you need to consider carefully all the fine print and that’s best done one on one with an independent insurance advisor.

Education is also taxed but quality and service in all aspects is excellent. Job satisfaction is guaranteed and there are compensation benefits for health issues and the like.

The country has the most modern equipment and technology in the world. Communication links, postal service, telephone and internet service as well as transportation are ensured to be of the best quality. Traveling to any part of the United States is very easy and prices are fairly affordable. People get to enjoy quick response in terms of communication.

The country has the most modern equipment and technology in the world. Communication links, postal service, telephone and internet service as well as transportation are ensured to be of the best quality. Traveling to any part of the United States is very easy and prices are fairly affordable. People get to enjoy quick response in terms of communication.

Employment Costs in the US

America currently has an employment rate of 95% but with the current crisis has seen this numbers increase and with it the pressure on governmental finances. The government is actively supporting a number of programs to help fight the remainder of poverty-stricken citizens. Job opportunities are plenty for expatriates. At the moment, the country is eyeing on filling more vacant slots in the health care industry. The need for more health professionals is so great that the United States is offering several bonuses and advantages to people from all over the world to work in respective hospitals and institutions.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Russa November 28, 2009 at 6:25 am

I just came back from several weeks in US, I can tell you that the living cost there is so much cheaper than Australia and many parts of Asia. We have received comments like “This is even cheaper than in China!” Things like coach bags, jeans, and general clothing; even though they are Chinese made; are actually cheaper than in China! The general items in US is about 1/2 to 1/3 of what we pay in Australia, especially food.

Rental is comparable; but the avg. income in US is generally higher than Australia because of the lower tax rate. When comparing; you should not take exchange rate into account; what we use is the following:

1. The net income: For instance, an income of $100,000 in US, a guy takes around $80,000 home; but they will bring home much less in Australia (around $65,000).

2. Petrol is 30% cheaper in US than Australia, and probably 40% to 50% cheaper than Asia.

3. Compare price to your net income: Then you can see how much difference is.

In Australia, to live comfortably; you would need around $6,000 a month for a family with nothing left for savings (around $2,500 goes to mortgage or rent, $2,000 to essential items, the rest goes to medicine, education..etc).

You can live comfortably in US for about $4,000 based on our experience. (Rent is comparable, but the rest is much cheaper).

If you factor in things like Internet, Telephone or Cable TV; then US is certainly one of the cheapest places in developed world. Even healthcare is higher; the overall sums up is quite attractive.

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AussieExpatinUSA December 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

and health insurance is extremely high as are the total taxes

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Thomas February 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I’m an American living in Florida and the cost of living is as follows:
The Economic Crisis as lowered the cost of buying a home and rentals also over the past 3 years.
In New Port Richey, Florida one can Rent a one Bedroom Apartment with cable for about $550-$600 a
month plus another $100 a month for Electricity.
Healthcare or European style Healthcare would be very expensive, 50 million Americans do not have
Health insurance and another 150 million Americans only have partial Coverage with many people losing homes/assets and going into Bankruptcy even when they have Health Insurance-it does not cover everything, they tell the Doctors what they can and cannot do, does not Cover any Dental or Eye Care Usually and they have big Co-pays and Deductibles. My Mother was paying $1000/monthly for Health Insurance and had a $5000 Deductible plus no Dental or Eyecare. Also The Insurance Company would tell the Doctor what procedures could be performed or not.
Homes in Big Cities and Costs of living will be more then in Small Towns-the same across the Country.
Fixed Costs for a Small home is as follows(average costs) Taxes: 2000-$3000 a year, Water: $600 a Year, Garbage Pickup: $400.00 a Year, Insurance:$3000.00-$5000.00 a year, Electricity:$2000.00 to $3000.00 a year. This is Excluding a Mortgage. Mortgage for a $100,000 Loan: $650/monthly, $7800.00 Yearly.
College Costs: $10,000 Yearly to $60,000 Yearly Depending on the College plus Interest on loans. College Debts after 4-5 years: $50,000 to $100,000 average plus 7% interest.
Food(Good Food and not Junk Food or Processed):$4000.00 Yearly, Junk Food/Processed:$2500.00 Yearly
Medium Wages for New Port Richey/Holiday Florida: $10.00/hour, $8.00/hour take home or $16,000 a year.
Rent Costs with electricity Yearly: $7800.00
Home Costs($100,000) with Electricity, Taxes, Insurance,Water, Garbage Yearly:16700 Yearly plus another $2000 Yearly for Upkeep Total:18700 Minimum or $22,000 Maximum average Yearly.
The Mortgage is 650,000 monthly so by Traditiona Measurements the house mortgage should be no more then 20 % of Wages. So on a 100,000 Home a person should make $40,000 plus another $6,000 for taxes, Insurance so about $46,000 a year by Traditional standards.
College, Housing, Healthcare, Food, have all soared past wages.
Benefits have been cut down to nothing.
Some parts of the country have very high costs of living, higher then Florida and still the wages are only slightly above Florida wages while the benefits very weak or non-existent. And the Constant Threat of the Police State telling you to obey the Masters or Else! Tapping phones, Emails, Faxes, Opening Mail, Spying on Citizens, Opening Bank Accounts, etc. is not very Democratic. Using the FBI, NSA, CIA, POLICE, Homeland Security, The Judicial System, Schools, Media, Your Neighbors, ATF, etc to Spy on, Control, Imprison and sometimes Kill is something one would have expected in Nazis Germany.
With low wages and Weak Benefits our Quality of life as dropped like a rock the past 25 years or so.
Our live Expectency is ranked 50th and falling!!! It was 5th in 1980!!
Mecer Survey in 2006 stated that America was not even in the Top 20 Countries in Wages/Benefits included in this Survey was Cost of living, Taxes and Benefits. Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Australia, Canada, Japan were the top Countries.
France has been rated the country with the highest Quality of life in the world for 6 years straight now- Forbes, Internations living while Mercer Rates the higest Quality of life cities in the world and Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand Dominate.
Many Americans do not even receive Vacation Time at all!!!! No Sick Days!!!, No Paternal Leave!!,, No Government sponsored Daycare for Children- The average American spends $6000 a year per Child on Daycare!! No Retirement Benefits (Company or 401 K or other Retirement Vehicles) many people work as Contract labor and must pay all of their S.S. Because the company does not have too. Many are not covered with Workmans Comp or when they are are screwed by pro business environment when they are injured. Many more work for $7.25 to $10.00 an hour!! The US has not created any net increase in jobs since 1999!! We are 35 million jobs short of Population growth and Job losses.
The USA has 60 Trillion in debts(Government, Consumer, Corporate, State, Trade Deficits, etc) increasing an additional 3.5 Trillion a year every Year! Plus another $30-40 Trillion projected Shortfalls in Medicare, Medicaid, S.S. and other Trust Funds over the next 30 years!
A manufacturing base that’s been Decimated, a Huge Energy Deficit which we spend $Trillions on by Funding Wars/Military for the Oil Fields in the Middle East and elsewhere, Health Ailments from Fossil Fuels, Tax Breaks and Grants to Fossil Fuel Companies, Trade Deficits in Oil, Loss of Competitiveness because we are not an Efficient Economy using 50% more Energy per Unit of GDP compared to the Japanese or Europeans.
A populaton largely uneducated because of a weak K-12 School system (except for the top 20%) a very costly higher Education system, a very weak vocational/Trade/Technical Training system and a welfare safety net system which does not take care of most of the people’s needs nor provides them with a safety net. Everyone is one their own! You can’t make it- starve, be homeless, go to prison, perhaps fight in one of our wars or just Die!!
If you go against our Elitist System we have a Correctional System ( Prison ,Jail, Probation, Parole, House Arrest) which represents 40% of the World’s Total or 8 million people. Only Stalin’s Soviet Union and Nazis Germany had a Prison Population this big! Also while 120 Nations (including Russia) no longer use the Death Penalty the USA still does.
The Patriot Act along with other Governmental Policies have Weakened the Constitution and Bill of Rights along with making America a Police State while Trade Policies and Business Deals have sold the Country out to other Countries, People’s, Corporations around the world. I guess if your from Australia, Europe, Japan or a few other Countries with Powerful Economies, Rights/Freedoms, Money, Democracy and the like America or any Third World country would look Good since you can use the Native Populations as slaves, Serfs and Use them for your Gain while Keeping all you nice Wages, Benefits and Freedoms back home.
It’s called Neo-Colonialism!!!!
Yes Europeans Would travel and live around the Planet for hundreds of years. They would live in Africa, Asia, North/South America or where ever they liked. The populations of the host countries lived in Horrible Conditions and were invaded by the Western European Powers but the Europeans brought their Military, Technology, Money/Wealth and set up nice settlements, Towns, Cities to have nice lives while using the Native Populations as slaves. This is what Creditor Nations Do! America did it for a short time but now we have become weak and only a shadow of our former selves so the new Creditor Nations/Empires take over.
Ask the American Folks here about the Freedoms, Standard of living, Quality of live and you will not get a very pleasant answer. The 20% working with the foreign powers who are paid off and living the life- what a wonderful place! As they sell the other 80% off like slaves to the highest bidder while they build their homes, Mansions, and buy their Castles over in Europe and other places, waving the American Flag the whole time laughing at the Common American’s ignorance to what really is going on.
This is an Old Game but Americans not being Worldly, Educated cannot see what is happening!

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nik November 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm

dear thom plz tell me which is the chippest room rent in any state of us as i m the student frm india n want to cme n stdy but i m from middle clas family plz help me so i can adjust it n can i get a part time job..

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David February 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Thomas,

I'm afraid that you are greatly mistaken about the average "middle" class income. There is no middle class anymore here in the U.S. – only the rich and the poor. Don't believe me? visit places like New Orleans, inner city of any kind.

Just because Joe the plumber and the President get on TV and tell you this and that, do you really believe them? If so, brother, then you are exceedingly decieved. Poor greatly outnumber the Rich, but they don't want you to know that. Stop watching the TV bullshit, idiot. The U.S. government would have you believe that the unemployment rate is "X" percent when actually it's twice that, especially when you consider the number of people that are unemployed and are no longer receiving benefits.

America, love it or leave it was heard alot during the 1960's. Well, I'd say it's even more appropriate today even though we're not at war, Right? Just go back to living in your $100,000 +salary world.

BTW, you wrote a book that has no separation of thoughts/examples you might want to take a technical writing course. Didn't you even pay your own way through school or did your mommy and daddy pay it for you?

You're deceived…

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American Dream...Lol November 26, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Right.. just like Joe Blow at the top saying employment in the US is 95%…

I tend to think people are just getting dumber than dumb…

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Lori February 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

David, you're funny. You say there is no middle class and the proof is to go look at the poor people living in New Orleans? How is that proof? Unemployment is at 9% among everybody, but it is only 4.6% among college graduates. Our poverty level is 15% but the vast majority of the poor are single mothers with kids who get every kind of government assistance imaginable. You criticize Thomas for no separation of thoughts and examples, but neither do you have any. Everyone can come up with the sad anecdotal evidence, but it most certainly isn't proof that the middle class in America is gone.

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Lisa February 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I have heard that Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in. I have several USA friends that have recently moved to Toronto and Calgary. Can anybody tell me about how health care is as far as services and cost. What about salaries and housing? Thanks

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Angie April 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I don’t usually comment on these things…but that article is ridiculous!!! Amen to David and Thomas for trying to shed some truth out there, because the article is a huge…and I mean HUGE deception….

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Angie April 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Read the article in this link if you really want to know what is going on here….http://www.infowars.com/america-the-grim-truth/

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Sassy November 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

and how are things now Angie? Better than here in South Africa I bet …

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sunnyjane January 22, 2011 at 2:46 am

my dad is big in infowars and although I am sure some of it is accurate, most of it is not as well. things are bad in this country though.

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Thomas April 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

We moved to US from Australia because of the quality of life and cost, and I can tell you, although some in the article maybe too positive, it is quite true. Although Americans are complaining how tough life it is, it’s no where as tough as in Asia, Australia and most parts of Europe.

For one reason, in US, at least you can afford to live with your net income! It’s also the best place if you want to run business yourself.

Back in Australia, the mortgage is killing everyone, housing price is much more expensive than US unless you compare to NYC. I could buy a house in Orange County by selling a house in Australia! The mortgage interest in Australia is always 4% higher than US! Look, in US, you have different cities to go, if NYC is too expensive, you can go somewhere, you have choice!

Same with Asia, life is so tough there, housing price is beyond comprehension and pay is not even 1/1oth of average Americans. There are rich Chinese but that’s less than 2% of total population!

So Americans, stop complaining and be grateful how lucky you are! You have jobs opportunities that many can only dream elsewhere like IT, medical, environmental..you have food that can be 50% to 60% cheaper, go and live in Europe, Asia or Australia for 1 year, than you know what expensive means.

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AussieAmerican December 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm

and you're paying how much for health insurance?

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fed up February 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm

who gives a s**t about australia or other countries and how bad it is there…this is USA and we have been sold out by our corrupt government and CEO's….but somehow the common SOB hasn't got any balls to stand up against it…..hurrah for Egypt citizens for taking matters in there own hands….

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Lien May 3, 2010 at 6:02 am

Thomas, I have many friends in Australia who just visited me in California. They said that Australia is way much cheaper vs US. And your report above is a HUGE deception of the TRUTH in America. If you accumulate everyone's income and come with average, you will find that most Americans do not make $100,000/year income. Their average are maybe between $30,000-$50,000. You also need to take the consideration that each cities in US have different cost of living. Some cities in Florida are way cheap to live in but some, like Miami, St. Pete etc are much higher than the rest. In Australia, you can come up with only 3% down for houses and the houses there range between $200-$400 thousand that is in US dollar. In US, you have to at least come up with 10% down and the houses in mid range is about $300,000-$500,000. As far as running business in US, it is not that easy my friend. You have to have a lot of insurances, lawyers in retainers (in US you can file lawsuits for everything and anything), huge savings…etc. Unless you are running chop shop or black market, or have a load of money, it is not easy to open your own business in US. To tell you the truth, I haven't seen an apartment in the $800-$1000 anywhere, where I lived. My rent run about $1500 + cable, internet, phone $148 + water $30 + electric, gas $120 (and we are hardly at home), cell phones $150 + food + etc…. so you can not live on $2500 (after tax) / mth. If you do, you are barely making it. I lived in ASIA and have families in ASIA and the cost of living is much cheaper than US. That is the problem with America, we kept accepting illegal immigrants and they are taking away our jobs. If you are following the news, IT is scarce now in US, they moved them to India and part of Asia. Even living in Germany, Austria and Amsterdam, they are much cheaper than US. Now, if you are comparing cost of living in US vs England, then yes, the cost of living in England is very expensive. We, Americans, are not complaining, we simply want to you to see whats going on in our country. Maybe you got lucky and stay in the area in one of the many states in US that the cost of living is cheaper than the rest. Certainly, if you live in CA or NY, you wouldn't say the same 🙂 So, just be considerate when you say things, because living in US are not all CHEAP. It depends on where you live and what area you live in. And keep in mind, NOT MANY Americans get paid $100,000 + / year salary.

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Sassy November 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

Are you able to shed some light on what area's in the US have a cheaper cost of living? Where can one find that information?

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Jessica May 5, 2010 at 8:53 am

Having moved to the UK from the U.S. 6 years ago, I can concur that any American who complains about how bad they have it living in the U.S. is not only greatly misinformed but has a completely warped sense of reality. It is a matter of not just how much you make compared to how much you spend, but also the quality and quantity you get for your money. I can tell you for example, that even if the costs of living between the UK and the U.S. were fairly equal (and I don’t believe they are, but it depends greatly on where you live in the U.S.), what you get for your money in the UK is no where near what you’d get in the U.S. My apartment in the U.S. For example cost me slightly less and had two bedrooms. My house here in the UK cost me more and is a great deal smaller in overall space – and forget about storage room like closets! If I lived somewhere like London, I could understand, but I live in the countryside.

So to my fellow Americans…if you are disgruntled with your living conditions, try living in another country and then you might have a bit more perspective and appreciation for what you have!

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Gareth May 9, 2010 at 11:38 am

I am looking to work as a game designer in the US, i will make 60-70$ I want to know what kind of lifestyle that would give me before i go head first.

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cody grenseman February 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Well depends on what kind of games you want to design

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Deepti May 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Hello , I just want to chip in with my own experience of living in Dubai. I have tons of friends in the US and most are in good jobs and live quite comfortably within their means. I cannot, of course ,comment on those unfortunate people there who are unemployed or not making enough. However, if one wants to truly see how little one can get for your money..please do come over to Dubai. Here in the area I live in , my 2 bedroom flat costs me 80,000 dirhams( around 2300 US Dollars) a month…and this is just in a "not so posh expatriate" area….were I to live in the upmarket ,popular expat areas.. that would set me back by about 5000 Dollars/month. Education is not free..an average international school( public schools are not meant for expats) costs around $1200/month per child; average grocery bills per month plus utilities would be around $1000 ( excluding eating out), medical is pricey if you dont have insurance from your company, and overall even a salary of $10000 would leave you with no savings. .

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Austin September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

80000 Dirhams! Per Month! For a 2 bedrom, non-posh area? come on Deepti, I live In Burj Dubai and I pay 100000 per ANNUM, for a 2 bedroom flat, with a swimming pool on top, regs, Austin

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deepti May 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

So , that brings me to my next point…..how do people here survive? Does everyone have salaries above the 10 K range..well, if you look at the western expats..yes , there is racicm( not blaming the westerners/ whites, just stating a fact) and a US/UK/European passport does wonders. The company usually factors in all the above( rent/schoolong/expenses) and includes it in the 'expat package'..so most of them live the lifestyle they usually never ,ever dream of back home PLUS it's all tax free! OK , so you say…great no tax…so somethings gotta give..yes..but the no tax thing is an eyewash..we spend most of what we earn on BASIC NECESSITIES .What about the others ..labourers, blue collar workers..well, better not ask..survive on a meagre salary, usually scrimp and save to send back home, and might as well be invisible.

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deepti May 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

And when I see and interact with my friends who live in big homes for half this rent and generally enjoy a fulfilling life, with a decent salary..makes me wonder, whats the big problem you guys have in saving and making do with what you have….live within your means, dont max out your credit cards, dont spend all your money on coffee and eating out and Im sure things wont look so bad. After all, a big lesson is to see how , compared to the americans, the immigrants there, with their habit of spending wisely and saving smartly, are florishing. I apologise if i have assumed anything incorrectly or have oversimplified the situation..but this is the picture I get from my general interaction with friends in the US and elsewhere.

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rahul July 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm

It doesn't help by comparing average salary ..Better for one would be to see which profession he is in and which countries pay how much fot that role…Than check the costs for each of the things that you spend ( maybe every one doesn't need a car ) and see the savings made..also factor the climate and how much freedom one gets in day to day life…

Above should give you good picture where to move to

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JerryB August 2, 2010 at 12:16 am

Lots of back and foth claims regarding United States versus whatever country. Many of my childhood friends have moved out of the country to different areas of the globe. One thing they all have in common is that the quality of living is much much higher away from America. You can talk figures all day long and never meet in the middle. But NO ONE can dispute the reality that the overall quality of living in America is way below what it should be. SOme countries are poor financially compared to America. But their quality of life is way higher because of the values presented by their society. America is an extreme mess when it comes to living in society. Everyone here is divided. veryone thinks they are right. Its like an epidemic of BPD going around. A country full of narcissists. France sure as hell doesn't treat their people the way America does.

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Josh Catalano December 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Thank you Jerry. I'm an Aussie that moved to the USA to marry a girl there and she was BPD and I can say most of the USA is earning $10 hr or less. I hear so many complaining about life in Australia and boo hoo but they don't live within their means. Your post is very much appreciated.

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Kipbanaan August 31, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I'm am an european guy, married, and we live in a rented apartment for €410 per month (including heating), we earn €6,000.- a month before taxes (about 3,200.- after). All costs are around 1,200.- euro's a month. So we have about 2,000 a month to save. I think it is the way we live, and not how much you earn…

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Tanvir September 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Hi i am tanvir from Dubai.I want to move U.S.

Have any eassy way to move there?

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Chris September 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

Absolutely Kipbanaan….it doesn't really matter what you make. You can be as "rich" or as "poor" as you make yourself. Don't extend yourself above your means, shop around for deals, and wait for the off season to get clothing at a much lower price. I have to say Thomas…I don't know if you are a criminal or what, but I find that I have no problem with the FBI, NSA, State Police, or any other government agency. If you are doing anything that is against the law, then yes…you will have them breathing down your neck. I live in the western states and I find that my wage is decent, housing isn't too bad, the luxuries of cable/broadband and even premium movie channels can be found at a cheap enough price if you shop around. As a college student I ate food for a whole month on about 30 usd, granted it was top ramen or spaghetti, but I still ate. Life in America is wonderful if you are a law abiding citizen/immigrant, smart about your shopping for any service or necessity, and don't take hold of the American ideology of "I want it and I want it now!!! So I'll get everything on credit." That just isn't smart.

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Austin September 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Deepti,

I must live in a different Dubai than you. I pay( as I mentioned in comments) less than 100 K for my 2 bed in a decent area in Dubai. Rents have come down drastically over the last 2 years. Education costs 1500 dh ( 400$) per kid per month and overall, most people I know are able to get by fine on the equivalent of 2000-3000$ a month ( excluding rent, as this is paid my my employer and also by most of my other friends)

We save most of what we earn ( maybe 2-3K) and the tax free status is great. Gas costs more than in Saudi, and I do agree with invisible taxes like the EID cards and salik tolls, but, it isn't as bad as you made out!

Just my two bits…

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marian June 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

You all are missing the point it's how you manage what you have to spend, Senior 77 years old

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deepti September 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

sorry sorry guys …a mere typo..which caused a huge misunderstanding..i meant 80000 annualy..oops sorry..:)

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deepti September 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

Austin..i agree, and now that we have cleared up the misunderstanding on the rent..i will agree with what you have to say. What I meant was inspite of all these costs for , really come to think of it BASIC stuff..yes , we do still save and get by. And as Kipbannan has rightly put it, it all comes down to how money-wise you are. We can all save if we put our minds to it..the amount may differ but we can save. Period.
And as an afterthought…having ur rent paid for is a huge advantage.

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deepti September 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

But Austin I still stand by what I said about the miserable condition of the labourers..it's all fine to say 'oh, why have they come here then'…but it doesnt justify some of their living and working conditions. I think it would not be unfair to say we should believe in equal pay for equal work wherever we are…:)
My point is I think generally most Americans are putting the entire blame wherever they can rather than taking ownership for some of the mess they are in. They really do a lot of stuff way over in excess, beyond their means and expect somene to come and clean it all up.Saving is really just about simple and basic common sense in your spending habits. Its not as hard or self sacrificing as we think it to be..

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Gabriela October 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

Hi I am from SOUTH AMERICA and I have read all the comments plus the article. I have to say: WHY DON'T YOU COME HERE! IT IS WAY BETTER THAN THE PLACES YOU ARE DESCRIBING! I have been a month in China and it was hard, it's true. I spent another month in Europe and it was extremely EXPENSIVE! I don't know how you do it but I congratulate you for it 🙂 Then, how about considering South America? If you are well prepared and have studied a specific carrier, you can do it. Life here is cheap, food here is HEALTY and cheap. Advantages come along with disadvantages. But with a stable job you could easily get to the upper class status. It is not that hard. My dad did and he was really poor! He had a big family to take care of and his dad was alcoholic. He was the first son of 7 and he had it rough :(. But he studied and now I am grateful for what he did. I am studying now.

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gary November 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

hi i stay in south africa and would like to move to the states can someone correspond with me via email

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Sassy November 23, 2010 at 10:10 am

Where are you intending on going Gary?

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Sassy November 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

I would like to know from the ORIGINAL AUTHOR of this article how things have changed since August 2009

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UK2010 November 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Can anyone be clearer on the cost of living in California?
What is a salary range that is comfortable to live on with small family?
Typical costs of living:
Rent for 2 or 3 bed house?
Utilities?
TV / Phone
Running a car?
Food / month?

Any good details would be great.

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Mike December 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I pay $150 a month for cell phone service. Thats also with my wifes phone included. I pay approx. $1000 a month on a 3 bedroom home. The vehicle is kinda iffy…it depends on what you get, and how well you take care of it. I have a 2007 Ford F150 that I, (because of my bad credit mind you) pay $535 dollars a month on in payments. I did however buy it brand new. I also get the oil changed EVERY 3000 miles, and a full service check EVERY 6000 miles. But thats just me. I am a surveyor and I have to say, I live VERY comfortably on a yearly income of approx. $75,000. Mind you, I'm only 24 years old, and I never graduated high school!!! (Joined the Army instead) But thats just from my point of view.. Hope this helps you out!!!!

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farshid December 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm

lucky all of u!! this blood thirsty government and its stupid economical policy is burning people alive here in Iran. i am an aerospace engineer and i hold MSc, my income is almost 800US$/month and i pay 650US$/month for an average apartment in a low class neighbor in the capital Tehran.after 2 years of working as a full time job i still have to ask my father keep supporting me financially…be thankful for what u have and be aware of a nuclear iran 🙁

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suresh December 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Hi All,

We are moving to Chicago (Illious, USA). I am moving with my Family (me and my wife and son). what is the cost of living i mean, house rent, food and Play school.

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barry lee January 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

as an englishman and reading some of the previous comments I would suggest that most of you compared to the average brit is doing ok .The new government has just hiked sales tax (vat) 2.5% making it now 20 % on most things you buy our petrol and deisel costs are hovering around six pounds a gallon.They are in a process of cutting jobs and benefits to poor families whilst bankers and their cronies still get large bonuses The gap between the have and have nots is getting larger than ever.No wonder the exodus of british people to your countries is on the increase.

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English Lady January 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

Well my family and i are thinking for moving to Florda this year ( we have just received our visas) and I was under the impression that compared to where we live in the UK (Cambridgeshire) that we would be getting a better way of life, better cost of living, better weather, more for your money and more imporantly and change of life, which is why most people more to a different country. From the research we have done and the family we have living in both Florida and Seattle, I think that we would be making the right move. England is a very expensive place to live right now.

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TheBat January 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I'm writing from Europe, and you guys are from other planet.

I mean all the US citizens complaining above.

I was born and raised in middle-east Europe (European Union since May 1st 2004), but lived a few years in Germany, France, Spain and the UK AND…

American lifestyle is waaay different than ours. I believe you have been too RICH and now the whole society is just LAZY (by the way I see the same in some parts of Europe, especially Spain where unemployment rate is incredibly huge and it's almost impossible to find workers for agriculture for example).

Tell me the truth, is there a problem finding 8 USD/h job in the US? No? I guess so. But that's not ENOUGH for most of you folks. And that's the problem.

There are poor and rich and no middle class in the United States? There are lazy people taking government's cash and doing meth and hard-working well-educated people who earn hundreds of thousands. And the middle class doesn't exist because if you fire an IT specialist earning 90k + benefits he won't take 40 or 50k job, at least not in the first months or maybe even a year after losing his job! There is so huge problem with work places in the USA and all foreigners are getting your jobs but I have work offers from the US ALL THE TIME (I'm an IT guy, and they're willing to pay me, mostly 50k + benefits in LA area, anyways I never took these jobs because I'm working on my own and I'm good with it at least for now). So don't you think something is WRONG here? Something with you I suppose.

FOOD.

There is no such thing in countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania (…). We have McDonald's, KFC, Subway, but eating out = almost always cheap junkie fast-foods. To be honest eating out as a daily routine is not possible even in the richest European countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland. And by "eating out" I mean fast-foods! And far far away MILLIONS Americans do that!

Let me explain it using a simple example, from Poland (yes, that's in Europe, it's not a part of Alaska – I don't know why but especially Californians tell me that Poland is a "state" in Alaska :O). The average net income for 2010 here was 833$. In the US it was 3250$ (minus taxes, let's cut even 30%, it still gives 2275$). One sandwich in Subway costs 8$ in Poland. The price is almost the same or even lower in the US (depends on the state).

Imagine a Polish guy eating one sandwich daily per month, it costs him 30×8 = 240$. It costs American folk 240$ as well. The main difference here is the Polish guy spent 240/833 = 29% of his incomes on these sandwiches. And his American fellow 240/2275 =~10%. So eating in the US is in fact three times cheaper than here!

And I'm not even talking about restaurants! 50$? Nothing special, dinner for 2 people, decent place. 50×30 = 1500$ or 750$ per person monthly. And they earn 833$ if lucky.

COMFORT.

Cars. Believe me or not, but we use public transportation EVERYWHERE in Europe. And having 2, 3 or 4 cars (one per every adult family member) is totally uncommon. Oil prices? Average 3,5$ premium per gallon in the US. 6-8$ in EU. Beat that.

Housing. Most of European houses have no air-conditioning, almost none have pools (both things are luxuries in most of the countries). House prices are much higher than in the US, and I'm not talking about more expensive countries like the UK, but once again let me use poor Poland. In the US for 1m $ you get an amazing apartment around Central Park: http://www.elliman.com/listing/for-sale/manhattan… , in Poland it equals this ugly home around 1 hour from Polish capital city center – http://dom.gratka.pl/tresc/402-8857187-mazowiecki

In Europe we'd call this house a mansion: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/overseas-property/prop… and for you it's a normal 300k house. 300k $? In the place where I live this particular house will cost at least 1m – 1,5m $! 700 square feet flats in the middle of nowhere cost at least 100-150k $.

Food. See above. In Europe we cook. Personally I don't know a single soul who doesn't know how to. And I believe there are plenty in the US.

Ok, for now I'm done, maybe I'll write something more later, if you're guys interested how life looks in Europe let me know here & I will try to reply.

Anyways do your work, don't complain, think outside the box, and get used to new economic situation. Sell 2 cars, change house to 2 times smaller, don't eat out, and you will be happier, healthier, richer and still 2 times richer than an average European.

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Yani June 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Totally agreed. I am from Australia. Lifestyle in the USA is so much better and affordable…Americans complain too much, their life is too simple, too rich and too comfortable. They don't know how lucky they are. In Australia, tax is 40%, people on $13.00 per hour means they get $8.00 per hour, then they have to find 2 jobs at $15 to $20 per hour just to meet the bare minimals. Cars…most families just have 1 run-down car, in USA, they complain because he can't trade his 2010 car with a new 2011 one…we drove cars that are 10+ years, 15+ years, even 20+ years, and still cost more than US 2nd hand cars that are like 5 years old…..2nd hand cars, gas price, food, housing are so much cheaper in USA.

You are right – they get too choosy, seriously, many families can live comfortably with $3,000 to $3500 a month in the USA…that's the average people pay just on rent or mortgage in Australia a month, in middle-class areas.

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Ebrahim24 January 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Life in Stockholm SWEDEN

Minimum monthly-wage imposed by law 14000kr = 2088$

Buy and own a small 30-40sqm appartment cost about 1,400,000kr = 208,880$

If you own the place then the monthly cost of living there is 2000kr = 298$
Not buying the place, but paying rent for a 25sqm studion 4000kr = 596$ per month

Food costs per month 2000kr = 298$

Free university. . .

If you are lucky and tagged as being arab, black, somalian, you get the jackpot !!! Freaking Trully YEAH !!!
You stay at home and the welfare system gives you 3000kr = 447$ and pays your rent, cloths, medicare, driving licens !!!

NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL: Progressive Investmet In My Future !

Actually I never paid any rent since two years ago, I live for free !

You make the summing. . .

.

.

.

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Hhhjjhg February 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Let me break this down for you:

In the US if you live anywhere on a coast….. Forget living cheaply. It's not happening.

If you want to save money live in the midwest.

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rain001 February 22, 2011 at 5:49 am

After reading all the posts and all the associated costs of living in your area of the country, I have to say living in Canada has you all beat. I wouldn't live in the USA if you paid me! It's a corrupt and bloody expensive place to live, Far too much crime in even the small locales. Not for me thank you. The US health care is a nightmare. As your population ages, I have no idea how you are going to take care of your elderly, especially the sick and those that will need facility care. I will stay in Canada thank you and I don't even want to consider vacationing in the USA.

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TMART May 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Canada pays close to 40% icome taxes…mostly to support there weak to mediocre helth care system. buddy. have it and dont let the door hit you on the way out haha.
Oh and by the way I am an American and I pay $ 30 a month total for full health, eye and dental insurance through my emloyer. Isnt capitalism great. Just sayin!

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Jon February 23, 2011 at 8:25 am

Its called the "American dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it.

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John2 February 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My accounting professor spent a portion of each our classes identifying how numbers, graphs, tables and charts can lead to misinformation or at best partial information about serious issues. I have lived in the United States all my life and there is a kernel of truth to everything said above. Take healthcare for example, I am a diabetic and require insulin to live. If I don't have it I die. When I am on a healthcare plan through an employer, my insulin for the month costs $60/month, when I am unemployed and after 4 months become eligible for the State healthcare program my insulin drops to $6/month. When my wife got a job which makes us eligible for her employer's plan, albeit after two months, we are dropped from the State plan. Over those two months we either pay $660/month retail for insulin or beg for samples from a physician. The samples are free but limited. My point is all have different issues facing their monthly income.

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steve March 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

is it better to live in uk or usa mich???

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TMART May 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Doesn't get much worse economicallythan Michigan in the U.S.. Downslide of the American Auto Industry has lead to hard times there.

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ST98 March 25, 2011 at 6:52 am

How much does it cost to live and work in the US comfortably for a family of four with two kids? What's the monthly sum to set aside for a rented house, car, household expenses (i.e. eletricity, broadband etc.etc.) food, gas, healthcare, school fees (international school for 2 kids below 10 yrs old)?

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Yani June 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This question is hard to answer as it ranges so much in the US, like, it can be 3 to 5 times diff. Large cities are more expensive (NYC, Chicago, Boston, LA, San Francisco, San Jose) – then you can look at 2nd tier cities (like Washington D.C. Philly, Baltimore, Denver..etc)

I find Texas, Georgia, Florida very affordable; also North Carolina & South Carolina. California can be expensive but it's a huge state, again, depending on where you live.

If you narrow down to a few States to choose from – that will be much easier.

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Grant from Michigan March 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

@steve

I live in Michigan in USA, right now a lot of people are moving to other places in the USA because of a lack of jobs. Overall however, the cost to live in Michigan can be as low as any other place in the US. (as long as you're not living in big cities like Detroit.)

I have always been interested in Canada though. I wonder why there wasn't ever a "Canada dream"?

For those of you saying that there is "no such thing" as a middle class in America, don't be ridiculous. Yes, there is a 5% rich population, and maybe 5-10% poor at most. Where do you think the other 85% of the people are? The middle class has a large range.

Everyone that I grew up with in my small town high school was middle-class, except maybe 5% that you could call "poor", yet they were still attending high school. Everyone attends public school. And for rich… maybe 5%. It all depends on where you live.

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Al East Coast April 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I would like to add my two cents worth. Born and raised in U.S. I had the opporunity to travel to Spain and Sweden 25 years ago What I was able to see was a much calmer life style. At that time the U.S. still had a what's in it for us atitude. Unbeliveably that changed to a what's in it for me attitude. There is no savings for the average american the banks offer 2 % a year at best. Loans are from 10 to 30% unless you are rich enough not to need one. The cost of living increases at 4%+ a year in good times. By the way you have to pay additional taxes on intrest earned on those savings accounts. If you try to save money in a regular bank and not invest in the Stock Market that has it's own risks and costs, between cost of living, taxes and bank fees you lose. Average have enjoyed their standard of living by going it to debt. Every one owes and owes big. What I am trying to say is the grass is not always g greener on the other side of the fence. Each of us around the globe has good and bad in our sourndings either we accept them or not. I came across this site wile looking for work out of the U.S. you can guess my decision.

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Nanik Udassi April 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

After reading all the messages seriously…I am an Indian…..What I see is there is poverty everywhere in the world but Americans are reacting quite enough to it becoz its something new for them….they are still under recession at good life…Indians come n life in united states is not for standard of living actually ……the educated indians could have good standard in thier own country..but they come to have double income..yes double income ..by that i mean they could spend wisely in usa and can also send to thier family…..but that don continue for long ….they get habituated with thier americans people and start spending what they earn……..it may to hard to earn in usa but u can spend that money with good purchasing power for any place in the world…With my indian salary i cant even dream to fly by air…..but with ur american salry u r talking about how much u have to pay to fly…what ridicules…atleast u don think u can fly

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Hossam April 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hi guys, I'm Egyptian and i am planning to move towards U.S.A before 2012, and the main question : is it possible to find a job in the engineering field easily in U.S.A ,, specially in the construction field, and in which state it will be more easy,

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michael July 29, 2011 at 6:44 am

Yes you cant find enough engineers in the U.S.

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BrendaK July 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Engineer positions are in demand in the USA, so you shouldn't have much of a problem finding work.

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Nalin April 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

As an Asian I can tell the COL in Australia is not high as mentioned above for simple Asian like me. I was with my wife (unemployed) and two chilrens. I got a free house from the company I worked and $2000 per month. I did catelog delivery as a part time and earned 500 more per month. so I managed to spend about 1000 to 1500 and saved the rest..

My company paid 650 per week for my house. How ever if I had to pay there were houses for 350 to 400 as well.

But a real Aussie may need 5000 per month that is a differnt case..

Further I found some smarkets where I can buy a used Denim for 5 dollars. Who care if it looks nice.

All of the above, (I was in Sydney metropolitan) I collected many house hold items along the road side for no cost at all. I mean fridge, washing machine beds computers TV and everything. WHo will give me those free in Asia.

THAT"S THE TRUTH. So you have to take the abovecomments very carefully if you a are a man with simple life style.

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Craig May 6, 2011 at 6:03 am

US compared to elsewhere PART 1
All Americans should take notice of just how hard things can be in other countries, even those whose economy is supposed to be booming. I will use Australia as an example here.
House prices are anything up to 5 times the median of homes in the US. Sydney and Melbourne are probably comparable to NYC and SanFran, maybe more. The average rundown and aged home in Australia will be on a par with a nice average home in Orange County. add to that a stamp duty of 5% on the cost of purchase. Also, the interest rate is currently 8% and set to rise again.

We are told by our government that the economy is doing well, in fact we are exporting more raw materials than ever in order to satisfy China's demand, however the population is not sharing in this bonanza. Most people here would reckon that inflation is running between 8 and 10% whilst the government tries to tell us that it's 2-3%. That last figure, BTW is what you get as a cost of living increase in your salary. So we're all going backwards, sadly.

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Jess May 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Totally agree, and we are moving too…Australia is now the most expensive housing market and the grocery, and probably the utilities as well…

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Craig May 6, 2011 at 6:05 am

US compared to elsewhere – PART 2

You need $100, 000 here for a family of four just to pay the bills. Next year you'll need $110,000 to do the same (and you'll be getting $102,000) and there's no sign of any improvement nor relief from constantly rising prices.

Much of this inflation is difficult to understand given that we import so much and our dollar is currently very, very strong. It is probably due to excessive corporate profiteering. Much of our economy is dominated by only 2 players (ie two supermarket chains, only 4 banks, two main airlines etc. etc.) I've travelled overseas and found Australian products wine for example) much cheaper there than here. What we need here is more competition, but we need a strong government for that, and sadly that's not the case.

Basically we're all doing it harder and harder here, God help us all if we actually join in the world recession that the US and the UK are experiencing. I beginning to think that after 25 years in Oz , it's time to leave. The US (despite the recession) is beginning to look good. (My wife and I are are doctor and nurse respectively)

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Craig May 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

US compared to elsewhere – PART 3

In it's favour, Australia is not as repressive as the US seems to have become. We don't yet have the enforcement agencies raping us at airports, but there is a strong right wing element here that would like to see the same brought in. On the flipside, there is virtually no consumer protection here and little respect for any dissenting individuals. Our media standards are on a par with the USA (ie really, really bad) – one has to look to Al Jazeer and Russia Today nowadays for any real perspective on the world. I would also say that Oz is still a lot safer than most places in the US.

All in all, the Americans still have it good, not as good as it was, of course, but still much better than Australia. Count your lucky stars.

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Jess May 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

As I have said to many of my American friends – in the US – you can choose which city to live in, and the type of style. I lived in North Carolina and Texas before, modest life, but good housing, good schools, they would costed less than $4,000 a month…in Australia..what do I get, a tiny 3 bedroom house, I could not afford to fix roof and windows as they cost a fortune. Grocery is going up every month, Americans are complaining about their gasoline price, try get some gasoline in the UK and Australia or New Zealand…in fact, the only place that is cheaper is probably Middle East.

Count your lucky stars indeed, go and live somewhere else, even lucky country like Australia, that will be enough for you to see how fortunate you are.

Lots of Americans think they live a shit life, why so many people still want to move there? Even strong economies like Chinese, which leads in terms of immigrants to US every year..

Why? Simple…Cost of living, less complicated living, and to be honest, the quality is not bad in most cities.

I am moving back next year from Australia…relax in North Carolina, buy a house for around $200,000, which is not even enough to buy a 1 bedroom apartment in country town in Australia.

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Lisy May 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

hi jess, may u give me information about living in north carolina? im about to do my study in US, but still wondering about the living cost. do you know about the regulation for foreigner with student visa, can i looking for part time job there?
thx

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Imelda June 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hello Jess, I was just reading all the very negative post and came across yours. My family and I are thinking of moving to N.C. from Ireland before the end of the year. My sister-in-law lives in Wake County. We do not know where to move to as Do not really want to move in with in-laws, not long term anyhow. I was looking at Cary. do you know anything about the area and schools. Any feedback would be great. My family consist of husband, myself and 3 children. Age 11, 9, and 6.

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James June 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

It's funny to see these comments: Immigrants are finding USA affordable while local Americans are finding the other way.
That sums the American society very well.

Life is always full of challenges: Jobs, living cost. In USA, jobs is the biggest challenge, in other parts of the world: even if you have a job, rising living cost is another problem to deal with.

The world is an interesting place, travel around and 2 things will happen: 1) You will find a place you like and then settle there or 2) You become much more appreciated about your life and you will complain less.

We were lucky to have opportunities working in different places, and certainly call USA our home now.

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Anand June 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Have lived in Asia, Australia, Canada, USA…it's interesting to make a comparison.
American life – people are not very wise on money in USA – as there are too much temptation – yes, cost is very low compared to other parts of the world, debt is easy to get – you have to discipline yourself.

Luckily/unluckily – for many immigrants like us – for those from Asia, Europe and Australia – saving money was never easy – either because of the high tax, high living cost or low wages – people from outside USA have to learn to be more disciplined.

If you are a discipline spender – then American life is a very good life especially if you can own your own business. Jobs are hard to find everywhere in the world, and the same happens, if you live in a cheaper state, your income is naturally lower. Not so if you have your own biz, whether it's a work-from-home or a shop – your income is uncapped, then you can live in Texas, Florida, NC, SC, where housing and living cost are cheaper..and quite comfortably, diff. story if you are in NYC or course.

While we are here, we get invitations all the time to apply for credit cards, yes, we do have credit cards but we never spend more than what we need. They are very good solutions when you need big updates like changing windows..etc, but always pay them off. My fellow American friends get into financial troubles because they carry 10 credit cards, change a new car every year…

So understand your money sense, value and be disciplined, then America is really a good life.

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