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what's the cost of living in your area?
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject: what's the cost of living in your area? Reply with quote

I've always wondered how affordable (or not) life is in other cities. One way to get an idea is to compare the cost of living for basic needs like rent, groceries, dinner at a restaurant, gas, etc.

In Pasadena, a quiet suburb outside of Los Angeles, this is what you would pay for some common expenses:

Rent: $1,000/month for a one bedroom apartment (700-900 square feet)

Gas: $2.70 per gallon

Average cost of dinner in a restaurant: $60 for 2

Groceries for one: $80 / week

Street parking; $1.50 / hour

Movie ticket: $10

How does your city compare?
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anniston Alabama is about the cheapest location in the United States. The warm weather makes energy costs very low. My typical electric bill is $18/month and gas is about $20/month.

Property Taxes: $750/year for $100,000
Home Prices: $40/square foot
Rents: $400/month for a typical apartment
Gas price: $1.97 USD/gallon regular

Dinner cost: depends on where you go. $20-50/couple.

That's the good part of Alabama. I won't mention the NASCAR, red-necks and all the Baptist Bible beaters.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westhampton Beach, New York

average 700sq. ft. ,one bedroom apartment $1,200 to $1,500 a month

1/4 an acre $1,000,000 to 2,000,000 depending on if there is a view or not.

gas prices are currently around $2.30 for regular,( that is only because Sufflok county vendors are in some hot water after an expose done on price gouging. I'm not talking about gouging because of Katrina).

A trip to the store to grab a few forgotten items is never under forty dollars,

A cup of the worst coffee imaginable is .75

being insulted by strangers, free
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I can see I'm the first non-American to post, so my expenses should be a bit different...

Rent: Cheap, very cheap. $1000 a month will get you quite far in Haifa - as in, a big appartment or even a house in a very nice part of town kind of far. Tel Aviv is pricier, but still nowhere near American levels.

Gas: Like I can afford a car! Ha, ha. Apparently it's 5.5 NIS per liter, which according to my calculations is over $4 a gallon. But I could be way off. I tell myself taking the bus is good for the environment, and makes up for my not recycling like I'm supposed to.

Groceries for one: $25/week, but I don't eat (or buy, obviously) meat, and I get loads of produce from my family. A friend who does not reports an addition of about $10 per week, though note that this means zero splurging on fun stuff.

Movie ticket: $7.5, but I have a year-long pass to the local cinematheque, for about $60 - a very good deal if you don't feel a need to catch films on opening weekend.

Utility bill varies a lot depending on the season.

So, is Israel relatively afordable? Well, here's the catch: the average salary in Israel is well under what you have in other western countries. I think it's about $1600 a month in the public sector; not sure about private sector jobs. I knew I should have studied computer science at university.
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anna



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 45
Location: north carolina, usa

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Rent: my housemates and live in a working-class family neighborhood and pay about 1000 for a three bedroom house.

Groceries: about 50 per week but keep in mind i buy almost all organic or local which costs a good bit more.

Move ticket: 7.50

gas is down to 2.17!


not bad, but still hard to pull together for a lot folks i know...
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Zoe, are we living in different countries? Yes I know Haifa is a foreign country vis-a -vis Tel Aviv ( private israeli joke) but still...
I agree with you about the rent , and the movie tickets ( the same price all over the country) but 25$ for groceries, even without meat? I'm sure your family is very very generous, otherwise... Even with 10$ more, you really don't go very far... I mean, Falafel , the ultimate Israeli junk food ( very very tasty) + a drink costs 4$, I liter of milk 1$, a decent loaf of bread 2$, etc etc. A cup of coffee in an averace coffe shop is 2-3$, a portion of cake between 2-6$.
The cars are very expensive, about twice as expensive as in the US, because of the taxes, and assurance is very expensive too.
Israel is considered an expensive country in most domains, food included . Most people do eat meat, which is quite expensive, even chicken meat which is relatively cheap . Taxes are high, though medical care is cheaper than in the US.
As for restaurants, you can have a decnt meal around 30$ per person, but there are cheaper options too.
And the average salary is , as far as I know, far lower than 1600$ a month, more like 1000-1200$. Which makes life even more expensive - relative to the salaries.

No more war , more cheap champagne!
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tea leaves



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 57
Location: boston, the home of the bean and the cod

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boston area....only one word describes living here..outrageous.

2 bedroom rents $1800 to $2500 in the city, a bit lower elsewhere
Average house price $600K plus. Little teenie less than 1000 sq foot shacks sell for $300K within 40 miles of the city.
Gas, regulated by the state about $2.00 gallon this week. My husband and I commute together and combine public transit and 45 minute commute to afford a house
Booze, regulated by the state, no happy hours, and the biggest crime of all is not being able to ship wine in from out of state. Couldn't buy wine on weekends till last year.
The worst drivers in creation, average commute in boston is about an hour each way, depending on day of week.
Milk is regulated. I pay $3.59/half gallon for organic
Weather....hot and humid or cold and snowy. Spring and fall are what we wait for.
Outstanding medical, educational and cultural facilities. (not being a snob, just truthful)
Movies, about $10
Major sporting events...2 championship teams in 4 years have put us over the edge, bleacher seats at fenway ( the valhalla of baseball ) over
$50 for two
Dunkin Donuts coffee, best in the country, about $1.20 for 8 oz
Why do we live here....family we can't leave, friends, and two great jobs
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could get a rental apartment for NZ$1000 a month here but you wouldn't want too.
Gas is $1.31 a litre.
I spend anthing from $200- $300 a week for grocereis for 4 people but I don't scrimp when it comes to food.
Street parking I think is around $1 for 20 minutes and a car parking building in Auckland city is so expensive for a couple of hours parking (to go to the movies or the theatre) I take the bus into the city. Yet you can park all day in the building for $10 if you get there before the business day starts.
A movie ticket is $14 but we have Cheap Tuesdays where you can get a ticket for $9.
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Simona,

They are different countries! And I rarely head over to Tel-Aviv. Seriously, though, the differences between us shouldn't be that big:

I was referring to gorceries only, and that's buying pretty basic stuff, because I'm always aware that I'm on a budget. Have repeatedly gotten similar numbers from my friends - slightly higher because they have to buy some things that I get for free. Naturally buying more or buying coffee, falafel, cake etc. was not included. I also get the feeling it's more, per person, for families with kids.

Cars are expensive. Which is why I can't afford one Very Happy . My car-owning friends estimate at least 1000 NIS a month for car-related expenses, and that's without doing a lot of driving.

Average salary, as noted every month by the media, is in the low 7000s, public sectors - I worked that out to about $1600, the figure I quoted. I agree that many people are well below that, so the median is lower. I certainly haven't gone near it.

I agree that Israel isn't cheap in many regards, but the categories here do appear to be ones in which prices here are lower than elsewhere. The lower rents, to someone my age who's not looking to buy yet, is a huge difference. University tuition is cheaper here than in the US, too, though of course higher than in many places in Europe. Medical expenses, if you're not looking to get private care, are considerably lower than in the US.

So the bottom line is that we should be paid more...
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tea leaves,

Be thankful you can at least buy wine in grocery stores. I still get really annoyed at having to go to the liquor store for a bottle. That also means no wine from TJ's. When My good friend comes down from Boston she always brings me a few cases of wine from TJ's.
NY has recently made it legal to ship wine here.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is hard to believe that salaries are below $1600/month in Israel. That's really low compared to the U.S. and I think most of Western Europe.

Our average engineer at my company makes $50k to $70k per year in salary. Most engineers at bigger companies in the Midwest make more like $70k to $90k per year.

I read an article in a Vangard newsletter about a man and his wife approaching retirement. He was 64 years old and they had accumulated about $1,300,000 USD in net worth between their home and their investments. This man wanted to retire soon and he estimated that he would live modestly in retirement and they would spend about $85,000/year in retirement. I thought that seemed like an awful lot of money to live for two people in retirement.

I heard that the average white, American family has a net worth of $80,000 USD; the average black, American family has a net worth of only $8,000 USD. Huge difference in wealth between the races in the U.S.
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climbeyalex



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still living at home until I leave for Grad school. When I live on my own, rent for a two bedroom private apartment will cost something like SGD1,200 or more, depending on location.

I don't drive, it's a tiny country and I prefer to ride my mountain bike. Public transport can cost up to a couple of bucks a trip anywhere and you have to beware of bike theives if you have a nice bicycle. A car would cost you SGD50,000 and above, not including the SGD1.5(last time I checked) per liter gas, yearly road tax, vehicle inspections, insurance and god knows what else the government levies on car owners to cut down on traffic congestion.

Groceries for two people adds up to something like 30 dollars a week. More if we buy alot of the luxury stuff like strawberries, gourmet sausages, beef and stuff like that.

Eating out can be anywhere from SGD3 per meal for one person or hundreds of dollars per meal depending on where you go. Food centers usually give you a good meal for pretty cheap and the are resturants of all price ranges, so we have it good that way.

Movie tickets cost SGD5 on Mondays to Wednesydays, Thursdays cost SGD8, Thursday evenings and Fridays cost SGD9 and Weekends cost SGD9.5. So much cheaper just to rent the darn movie. And less annoying too.

The utilities bill (Water, electricity and something else, I can't remember) can go up to about SGD 200-300 a month for this three bedroom apartment. And We buy gas for the stove seperately, it costs SGD 21 for a 5kg canister.

Average salary here is something along the lines of SGD1,800 -2,000 but it's not unheard of for people to earn as little as SGD800 a month.
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Last edited by climbeyalex on Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dear climbeyalex ( very interesting nickname)
don't you think you went a little too far with your anonymity ?
How on earth is anyone supposed to know what SGD is, or what's the euro or dollar rate for a SGD . or what tiny country you're talking about. You don't have to tell us anything about yourself if you don't want, but if you decided to write, at least take in consideration that not everybody knows what you're talking about.
Anyhow, good luck in your studies, wherever in the world you live!
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape wrote:
It is hard to believe that salaries are below $1600/month in Israel. That's really low compared to the U.S. and I think most of Western Europe.


Oh, Sarape, you'd better believe it. And as you may have noticed from Simona's posts as well as mine, even that is more than many of us earn. Finding a good job with proper benefits can be extremely difficult without connections, depending on the field you're in. Minimum wage is officially a bit over $700 a month, and there are quite a few people who work close to full-time and are still under that figure. One of the issues being raised with the upcoming elections here is the possibility of the minimum wage being increased to $1000. We'll see.

Of course people in some sectors (e.g. hi-tech companies) make fairly decent salaries, but the $50-70k range is pretty much imaginary for most Israelis.

And on to another post: is SGD Singapore dollars?
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Pockymonkey



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 63
Location: Northfield, MN

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In upstate New York (and this is far upstate - well past the Hudson River Valley which is much pricier), the cost of living is pretty low. In Binghamton, rent for a small 1 bedroom apartment is costing me $320 a month (including utilities), and the general range for 1 bedrooms seems to run from $250 - 600, depending on how luxe the place is.

Groceries run me about $60-80/week (cooking for 2), but I don't scrimp and often buy interesting things that catch my eye.

Gas was running $2.26/gallon last time I filled up, and because things up here are spaced out quite a bit and public transport is middling, there's a lot of driving in my daily life - but because it's a rural area, driving is generally a pleasure (no congestion, nice scenery - put it on cruise control and go!)

Movie tickets run between $5.50 - $7.50 depending on the theater.

I'm not a home owner, but my impression is that $250k can buy a whole lot of house, and the median home price is much lower. Too bad I'm moving to a more expensive part of the country to take up a job! I won't be able to buy a house in my destination for at least a few years more.
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