If your company is relocating overseas, and they want you to join on the journey, you may want to ask for a raise or promotion or consider finding a different job. Maybe you just finished your bachelor’s or graduate degree and you found a better job across the ocean, and you’re thinking about job opportunities abroad. The reality is that millennials are relocating more than other generations.
So, how can you evaluate if the pay is high enough to afford a comfortable way of life in your new city? Well, you can use a cost of living calculator, talk with people that currently live there, or you can dive a bit deeper into what to expect before you dive into debt.
You will want to look at the area’s cost of living. Cost of living is the amount of money you need to earn in order to pay for your bills, groceries, housing, health care, and taxes. This number often fluctuates depending on the average income of the area and other factors.
Here are some things to look at beyond just the average cost of living calculation.
Find Out How Much a Few Different Homes will Cost
Rental apartments and homes can dramatically fluctuate in price depending on the neighborhood, amenities, and school districts. If you don’t have kids, this can be a great way to save a little money because it usually costs more to live in an area with top schools.
You can find the average house price of a city on Google, but you will want to more than just that. The price average will give you a good ‘big-picture’ look at how much an apartment may cost, but sometimes these are out-of-date and don’t reflect the real home price in an area.
Search for a cheap apartment and see what your money can afford. Make sure the place you find has the amenities you want and need.
How Much Did a Previous Reside Pay in Utilities?
If you’re moving to the United States, you can discover how much previous electric bills were in most homes. You will have to account for the idea that heating a home costs more than cooling it, and lawns and pool multiple water and electric costs.
When you learn this number, check a few other addresses to see how that house measures up. There’s a chance that the house you’re interested in is extremely wasteful when it some to energy.
Find Out How Much a Car Will Cost
If you currently don’t own a car, you may be surprised to find out that cars have many hidden costs. From repairs to gas to car insurance, make sure you know what you’re spending on your vehicle.
Get a quote online or by phone for your car insurance. You will have to note that this price often increases over time, so you may need to rethink your insurance carrier at some point in the future. You can price compare companies and other cities before deciding.
Preview gas prices, too. Across the world and across the U.S. gas prices vary greatly. If you have an idea of the neighborhood you want to live in, use an app to find out how much you’d pay in gas. Then calculate your distance to and from work to give you a clearer estimate of how much gas you’ll use.
How Much Will Groceries Cost?
Millennials are great at finding deals. We go to fruit stands and farmers markets, and we use coupons to cut down on cost. When looking into a new city, you can find out how much your groceries will cost before you book the one-way ticket.
Think about what you buy or eat on a weekly basis. Now, find a shopping app from a store in the city you’re considering. Add those items to your cart. This will show you what to expect your average weekly grocery bill should be. Include cleaners, too just to be safe.
Account for Fun
You can also account for your hobbies by going on Reddit and asking local beer connoisseurs or foodies have to say about the price of beer and dinners nearby. You can also look at a few different restaurants’ menus online to see what a good meal will cost.
You may also want to budget to check out local attractions like theme parks or monuments. For this step, make sure you reflect on your life and what makes you happy and make room in your budget for these activities.
So, before you pack your bags and say “good-bye” to everything you know for the most recent job offer, check into the financials to make sure it will work out for the long run. You may even want to request a raise to make up for the difference in the cost of living in your new city.