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Cost of Living

Old Jan 14th 2003, 7:57 am
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Question Cost of Living

Hey Everyone,

I've been reading your posts for the last couple of weeks and they are really helping us get a handle on moving over to the US. My husband has accepted a job in Dallas, Texas and we are moving over at some point in Feb.

My question would be, how does the cost of living compare to the UK?

We currently live in Bristol, England and the utility prices my husbands employer is quoting look around double what we are paying in the UK.

I know their petrol is cheaper! We have four children so our cost of living is already pretty high. American friends we have are constantly telling us how much cheaper things are in the States but is it really cheaper to live there?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living

Originally posted by snorkmaiden
Hey Everyone,

I've been reading your posts for the last couple of weeks and they are really helping us get a handle on moving over to the US. My husband has accepted a job in Dallas, Texas and we are moving over at some point in Feb.

My question would be, how does the cost of living compare to the UK?

We currently live in Bristol, England and the utility prices my husbands employer is quoting look around double what we are paying in the UK.

I know their petrol is cheaper! We have four children so our cost of living is already pretty high. American friends we have are constantly telling us how much cheaper things are in the States but is it really cheaper to live there?

Thanks.
Hi There,

I am from the UK, living and working in Dallas Texas.
I am currently trying to buy a house and although I do not know ultilite bills just yet, a friend told me a good rule of thumb would be

- if you buy a house thats say 2200 sq ft, knock a zero off and that would be a good guestimation for the summer months in Texas (remmeber it gets to 100 deg+ in the summer so the air con will be on ALOT)... so roughly $220 per month for electric (145 english pounds) I never owned a home in England, so I don't know if that is high price? it will be half that during spring and fall.

- The water bill is different in each city around Dallas, Mesquite and Garland run at $20-$30 per month.

- Petrol goes up and down all the time, but its VERY cheap to regards to the UK, thats why everyone drives around in V8 gas guzzlers. right now its $1.40 per us gallon.

- Our grocerie bill runs at $125.00 per week (4 of us) thats just for basics though, as we every week we have at least 1 take away, and we go to a restaurant friday and saturday.

- I find drinking beer at restaurants etc to be a little more expensive and of course you are expected to tip.

- Traffic fines are outrageous, I have managed to pick up a couple and so that has hiked my car insurance sky high, and believe me certain city's (GARLAND) will pull you over for the smallest of offences.

If you need to know anymore, just let us know.

Just one question for you....I was checking out house prices on the net in and around the southcoast area, are they really asking
150,000 pound for 2 bedroom 1 bath, with hardly any front/backyard.....for that money you can buy a $225,000 house here around Dallas that is VERY nice on a huge lot of land.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living

[QUOTE]Originally posted by southcoast

<<snip>>
- if you buy a house thats say 2200 sq ft, knock a zero off and that would be a good guestimation for the summer months in Texas (remmeber it gets to 100 deg+ in the summer so the air con will be on ALOT)... so roughly $220 per month for electric (145 english pounds) I never owned a home in England, so I don't know if that is high price? it will be half that during spring and fall.

<<snip>>

Just to clarify. 100 deg + referred to above is in Farenheit which is 38 Centigrade and above.



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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living

Originally posted by snorkmaiden
<<snip>>

I know their petrol is cheaper! We have four children so our cost of living is already pretty high. American friends we have are constantly telling us how much cheaper things are in the States but is it really cheaper to live there?

Thanks.
It is a good thing you mentioned you have children. The cost of a good education in the US is very high. I don't have children myself but even up to secondary school education, if you don't want to send them to state (government) schools, you'll pay a lot. As for sending your children to university, you pay for everything.

It's not unusual to hear people still paying off loans for their university education ten years after graduating. That's not even for the "Ivy League" universities either.

Hopefully parents with children will respond to your thread to give you more definite pointers.

Best of luck,


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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living

[QUOTE]Originally posted by NC Penguin
Originally posted by southcoast

<<snip>>
- if you buy a house thats say 2200 sq ft, knock a zero off and that would be a good guestimation for the summer months in Texas (remmeber it gets to 100 deg+ in the summer so the air con will be on ALOT)... so roughly $220 per month for electric (145 english pounds) I never owned a home in England, so I don't know if that is high price? it will be half that during spring and fall.


<<snip>>

Just to clarify. 100 deg + referred to above is in Farenheit which is 38 Centigrade and above.



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Quite right old chap.
(I am now used to working in Farenheit and I forgot that UK works in centigrade).

In laymans terms "ITS BLOODY HOT" so bring plenty of shorts and T-shirts.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living

Originally posted by NC Penguin
It is a good thing you mentioned you have children. The cost of a good education in the US is very high. I don't have children myself but even up to secondary school education, if you don't want to send them to state (government) schools, you'll pay a lot. As for sending your children to university, you pay for everything.

It's not unusual to hear people still paying off loans for their university education ten years after graduating. That's not even for the "Ivy League" universities either.

Hopefully parents with children will respond to your thread to give you more definite pointers.

Best of luck,


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My brother-in-law and his wife has already started a "UNI fund" for their daughter and she is only 3 years old. ..No kidding either...
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:34 pm
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Default small things

Just a few more thoughts

-Cable TV runs at $100 per month
-Dish direct (like SKY) $75-100 per month (that depends on which TV package you would like. I.E if you like sports/movies it gets more expensive)

- I used to pay 4.50 (pound) for a haircut, I now pay $15 plus tip.

so its swings and round-abouts really...

The BIG difference here is Medical and Dental Insurance....it pays to stay healthy here....
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: small things

Originally posted by southcoast
Just a few more thoughts

-Cable TV runs at $100 per month
-Dish direct (like SKY) $75-100 per month (that depends on which TV package you would like. I.E if you like sports/movies it gets more expensive)

- I used to pay 4.50 (pound) for a haircut, I now pay $15 plus tip.

so its swings and round-abouts really...

The BIG difference here is Medical and Dental Insurance....it pays to stay healthy here....
----------------------------
I live in North Carolina. Our cable provider is Time Warner and cable service is necessary to get any TV service. We pay $40 a month for "basic" and "standard" channels. This is about 50 channels in total is quite enough for my husband and I.

Back in London, my husband paid L18.00 for a haircut. Now he pays $14 plus tip.

Personally, I think a lot of fresh fruit & veg costs the same or even more than in the UK. I find this particularly odd because most of it is grown and shipped from within the US. e.g. lettuce, apples, green & red peppers.



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Old Jan 14th 2003, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: small things

Originally posted by NC Penguin
----------------------------
I live in North Carolina. Our cable provider is Time Warner and cable service is necessary to get any TV service. We pay $40 a month for "basic" and "standard" channels. This is about 50 channels in total is quite enough for my husband and I.

Back in London, my husband paid L18.00 for a haircut. Now he pays $14 plus tip.

Personally, I think a lot of fresh fruit & veg costs the same or even more than in the UK. I find this particularly odd because most of it is grown and shipped from within the US. e.g. lettuce, apples, green & red peppers.



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If they have kids then probably the basic channels will not be enough, if they are young ones they will want to watch cartoon networks, if they are teenagers they will want to watch MTV, MTV2, VH1 etc, then if you want to catch up on English soccer, Rugby, formula one etc, then you pay extra.

If you go to a Local or worldnation fresh fruit and veg stores, yes it might be a little extra, but we go to Walmart (they own ASDA),
their prices are really good.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 6:47 pm
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Wow, $100 pm for cable. We only pay $45 and that is for the basic 100 channels of nothing.

If you do have children it pays for them to be very smart or very athletic to ensure you can get some scholarships.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: small things

Originally posted by southcoast
If they have kids then probably the basic channels will not be enough, if they are young ones they will want to watch cartoon networks, if they are teenagers they will want to watch MTV, MTV2, VH1 etc, then if you want to catch up on English soccer, Rugby, formula one etc, then you pay extra.

If you go to a Local or worldnation fresh fruit and veg stores, yes it might be a little extra, but we go to Walmart (they own ASDA),
their prices are really good.
You'd be surprised at what's covered by just basic and standard service cable. We get MTV, VH1, the Cartoon Network, Disney TV (I think that's what it's called). The only channels we notice are missing are the premium movie channels but you can rent these movies. Also, we don't get the sports usually covered by British TV that you mention but that's no great loss.

We were able to see last summer's World Cup football live on three stations (one was in Spanish but the camera shots were better than on the English language stations).

As for groceries, I thought it was only Superwalmarts that sold fresh foods. The nearest SuperWalmart is at least 35 miles away and not worthwhile. We shop at the grocery chains such as Harris Teeter, Kroger and sometimes Food Lion.

At least in Texas I've noticed there are shops/businesses selling mostly British foods imported from the UK. Those kind of shops are few and far between in the South (only one within a 3hr drive).


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Old Jan 14th 2003, 7:08 pm
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Quote....
You'd be surprised at what's covered by just basic and standard service cable. We get MTV, VH1, the Cartoon Network, Disney TV (I think that's what it's called). The only channels we notice are missing are the premium movie channels but you can rent these movies. Also, we don't get the sports usually covered by British TV that you mention but that's no great loss.

I'm shocked....

Your telling me that watching the English Cricket team get beat by the Aussies..."is no great loss"

LOL...
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 7:15 pm
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Quote...

As for groceries, I thought it was only Superwalmarts that sold fresh foods. The nearest SuperWalmart is at least 35 miles away and not worthwhile. We shop at the grocery chains such as Harris Teeter, Kroger and sometimes Food Lion.


I have not heard of Harris Teeter or Food lion, I found Kroger to be expensive.

Walmart- pack of Pampers Diapers $9.99
Kroger- pack of Pampers Diapers $14.99

If your from London, you probably shop at the higher end of the market, us low-life country bumpkins, just have to make do.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 8:12 pm
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Just want to make sure that you have gotten into the habit of clipping coupons as it can save you a fortune. I only shop at supermarkets that double the coupons. I put the money aside and in the past 4 months I have saved $225 just by cutting the coupons out of the Sunday papers.
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Old Jan 14th 2003, 8:19 pm
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Originally posted by Vicky88
Just want to make sure that you have gotten into the habit of clipping coupons as it can save you a fortune. I only shop at supermarkets that double the coupons. I put the money aside and in the past 4 months I have saved $225 just by cutting the coupons out of the Sunday papers.
--------------------------------
Kroger supermarket/grocery stores also offer triple coupon days too! Also, there's a 10% discount on Tuesdays for elderly shoppers (those over 55?).


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