When you’ve decided that you want to live overseas – perhaps for a job opportunity or maybe just to retire, your research is going to have you looking at each country’s indexes and rankings.  Think of the indexes as guides to help you compare each location. These indexes will provide you the ranking of each country in terms of the following sectors:

  • Real estate prices
  • Health care systems
  • Transportation
  • Internet500country-signs
  • Schools

With these indicators, you can learn which country would best meet your individual preferences and requirements.

However, when it comes down to the “cost of living”, things are not so black and white. The reason is that the amount of money you spend doesn’t really equate to the actual cost of a product. No, it’s has more to do with your “wants” and the amount of money you have no problems parting with.

Basically, once you have taken into consideration the fixed costs for everybody living in the location, you can decide on just how much money you actually want to spend.

For instance:

In the city of London, everybody must deal with the high costs of rent, real estate and utilities. However, if you live frugally – walk the neighborhoods, watch people pass by and take part in free events, living in London doesn’t have to be that expensive.

If you decide to live in Cayo, Belize, you’re going to find that the Cayo real estate market is one that is extremely affordable, allowing you to easily live on $1,100 a month. However, if you want to do more than explore the landscapes and people watch, then going outside the area means a rise in the amount of monthly income you’ll need. After all, Belize has been a haven for offshore, tax and retirement accounts, and there are a lot of things that you can do.

2 Things That Dictate Your Budget

Basically, how you’d like to live and how you need to live is going to dictate how much money you really need each month. Many items on your budget list will have a fixed costs. However, there are many items on that list that don’t such as entertainment, food, home furnishings and travel.

This is why it’s so important to really consider what you need to be happy if you plan to move overseas. Just because you want or used to getting something doesn’t mean it’s necessary.  If the goal is to save money, you really need to know what the needs and wants are and how you’ll handle them in the country you move to.

For instance: if you have a favorite type of peanut butter and it’s a must-have, you better make sure you know you can attain that peanut butter brand in your new country and for how much. Many U.S. peanut butter brands can cost upwards of $10 in some areas.

Now, this goes for everything you want or need.  The cost of living you experience is going to reflect all this. And, don’t fret too much if you’re unable to make a compromise of things that you have to have to be content. After all, each person has their own “Must Have To Be Happy” list.

Just remember that the happiest people don’t go with quantity of things. Instead, they focus and adapt their quality of lie by where they live, the people they get to know and come into contact with and the adventures they get to enjoy!

The biggest way to control your cost-of-living budget is to adapt.



drew carlyle overlooking volcano

About Author

Globe trekker, aspiring to be a polyglot, and volunteering for good causes.

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