Know The Local Cost Of Living To Staying Within Budget

Written by: Samuel Gregoth

One of the first habits a person seeking to live within their means is to figure out or calculate what is their local cost of living. Of course, you may be wondering how can I figure out my cost of living if I just moved here? This is the case of many young professionals who have successfully finished college, landed a professional job and finally just relocated by their company to a locale unfamiliar and new to them. I’m reminded of a friend who recently landed a job teaching in English in Turkey, which he’s never lived. 

First Steps

The first steps of breaking down the cost of living is to learn from others in your local stores, shops, and places you meet. As of today, there are many good websites that can help a person figure out their cost of living. If this is to be a successful and a calculation that comes close to the ballpark to where you presently live your calculations need to be based on accurate information. The more accurate costs of your shopping costs are the better you can come to a reasonable and safe prediction to what you may want to put aside for certain things in your local economy. 

Easily Manageable Parts

One of the reasons why it is very difficult for some to get a handle on their cost of living is because they may or may not know what their spending habits are from month to month or their taste change and spend sporadically on many gifts, tokens, souvenirs and things that are not staples of their way of life. Some suggestions that are helpful for most are to put different kinds of your spending into compartments. For example, eating out, grocery shopping, transportation, utilities, entertainment, clothing. The positive thing about approaching your cost of living this way it can be an exercise in keeping an ongoing tab both on what you spend and what you decide to be your budget. After a month or so a person keeping this kind of tab can tailor his budget to meet the things he has come to calculate accurately until it get closer and closer to your actual budget. 

Questions about budget

If there is no need to question the amount of money you spend perhaps this list may not be as practically important as it would be for someone who is living within a specific salary and wanting to make it fit his spending habits. If this is closer to what you are experiencing then here are some more tips. Even for those who have fewer concerns about budget and cost of living at this time in their life may be able to pick up a tip or two on what may later come in handy for a later season.

First challenge

The first challenge you may face in coming to a reasonable understanding on the differences between what money is coming in and what you want to leave your pocket as compared to what you intend to have after all your necessary expenses are paid. In order for this to happen may require some expanding and building up some financial skills that have yet to be developed in your previous life somewhere else. This is normal for anyone who has moved to a new location. And this is also why a cost of living calculator is very good at comparing the cost of living in one major city over another. Major city economics reflect the entire economic situation of the city. 

Comparing City and Urban Prices

Economic changes from one part of the city to another can be difficult to calculate. You may remember that in one city where you lived you could pay one price for a cold drink, but twice the cost in a more upper scale part of the city. This brings me to one of the final points that need to be made. The cost of living will always be changing in almost every city and country because economies change and prices fluctuate for every kind of product. The goal is not to get a fixed cost of living, but one that fits within your needs and spending habits within a specific geographical location you are living. In time, after spending at different restaurants, entertainments and grocery outlets you can get an educational estimate of what you might spend on a given night out on the city and what you are comfortable spending for a week of groceries at your local market. If you find that magic number that fits all your needs then you are getting closer to your cost of living. 

What Works for You

The major cost of living calculators depends largely upon honest feedback from people who are living in these areas throughout the world to help others who are moving there or considering moving to places they want to live. BY providing these practical costs among many areas of costs as mentioned above, then a median of costs can be obtained by comparing all the costs contributed to the calculator. Unless you actually know someone who lives in the city you now live in and is willing to help you with calculating costs for your needs it may be difficult to come to a clear understanding of your cost of living. 

I Didn’t Plan That

Furthermore, things like emergencies, changes in the economy, changes in management may cause other changes in costs that can affect even your best calculation of the cost of living. One small example would be living in an area where tomatoes are abundant compared to another location where fruits and vegetables are only seasonal, could effect a budget for a single person or family anywhere between $4-10 (US Currency) a month. While working toward a reasonable and practical calculation of your cost of living takes time and patience the result will save you from miscalculations of your budget and spending. good habits will solidify your plans for keeping more money in the bank while being able to live the best quality of life anywhere in the world and enjoy your stay there.


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