Financial Models for foreign Travel and Living
One of the biggest deterrents to traveling and living abroad is the assumed cost. People always think and talk about travelling, and they instantly assume it’s unaffordable. Most think the costs are simply too high, both financially and professionally. One of my biggest goals with BudgetGlobetrotting is to prove that this type of thinking is flat out wrong.
People normally disregard travelling because ‘it’s too expensive.’ If it’s not too expensive, it’s ‘unrealistic’ or just ‘stupid’ due to its perceived costs financially or in their professional life. “Can’t afford a week off of work”, “can’t afford time off between jobs”… Well, productivity doesn’t require a job, my friends.
Following these type of conversations, aforementioned people go buy a $2.50 coffee in the morning and a $7 burrito at Chipotle at lunch. After work they’ll drive 10 miles home ($3.50 daily for gas, $8+ daily for car payment and insurance) to a bar for a few $3 happy hour drinks ($8 minimum, you must tip!)….and all of a sudden, look at that, you spent quite a bit of money today. Weird.
Add in rent, insurance, clothing purchases, car repairs, movies, ‘special nights out’, unforeseen medical costs, new furniture, etc. etc., and it can really, really add up. Some of these costs follow you regardless, some don’t.
How Much does it Cost to live in America?
Considering the above, the question really becomes, how much does it cost for you to live every day in America? In the US, I’m afraid the actual cost is higher than the perceived cost once you account for your daily, weekly, and monthly expenditures. Add them up. Taxes, payroll benefits, insurance, vehicle registration, city fees, blah blah…everything. Surprised? Don’t be.
How much does it Cost to live elsewhere?
Over the numerous months ahead, I hope to answer this in many different fashions. It’s up to you to answer the question of “how much does it cost to live in the US.” You should be fiscally responsible enough to do this regardless, so I’ll just be helping with question number two.
I will try to answer this both qualitatively and quantitatively, so if you don’t agree with my qualitative experiences, refer to my and others’ spreadsheets. I imagine my findings may reveal that a few ex-US destinations are cheap to visit, live, and work in, but my my research will be unbiased.
“Do I want to live elsewhere?” The Travel Premium
This is the question you need to answer alone in a corner with a bottle of whiskey. Don’t ask me. Do you want to live in America, or do you want to live overseas? Think about it as an equation:
Cost of Living in US > Cost of Living/Traveling Abroad + Travel Premium?
Do you value going overseas? Then the Travel Premium will be positive, and may offset any extra costs from traveling overseas. Or maybe you want to stay in the US so the travel premium is negative, but not enough to offset the Travel Abroad value. (you get the picture).
But silly algebra aside, this is the question you must answer yourself. But assuming your Travel Premium is atleast slightly positive for a reasonable duration, you may want to stay tuned for some Foreign Travel and Living models I’ll be publishing over the next year.