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Cost of Living in North America

Cost of Living in North America

Old Nov 23rd 2015, 12:24 pm
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Default Cost of Living in North America

Good afternoon folks,

As per usual this is a very broad question

How much does it cost to live in North America today?

1. I may have the opportunity to move to the U.S with my family and take up a position in my area of expertise. I hope to acquire a visa which will allow my spouse to work.
2. We are a family of 5. Our kids are aged between 6 and 10 so we will be looking for them to attend a good school in the area as education and their future development is very important to us.
3. We will most likely need to rent both a home and a car etc as buying anything in the U.S can be unwise until you are actually a permanent resident not to mention not having a credit history.
4. We would like to live in an area close to services but which will still be a sensible commuting distance for me as I will have a job serving the farming community.
5. Let's say for talk sake that my job didn't have healthcare. How much would it cost for this per month for my family and who would you recommend.
6. Can anybody put an educated guess on food shopping for the month. My wife is brilliant when it comes to home baking and cooking with fresh ingredients (she runs her own catering business here).
7. Obviously we will have State and Federal taxes to pay what is the monthly spend for Wisconsin?
8. In terms of other items which I would call essential what do cell phone contracts cost per month in the U.S (suggestions please). Can you get a package which covers Cell, Broadband and T.V? (The Premier League Soccer which my son and I are nuts about would be a must).

Obviously I will have left a lot out here that all you guys will be able to bring me up to speed on. I am trying to ascertain how much it costs a normal family of five to live comfortably today.

Thanks for your help.

Farm boy.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

It's way too broad to elicit any useful information. Buried deep down is a mention of Wisconsin - narrowing that down to a city/ area would help people give more useful advice.

Is this an in-company transfer; will it be an L1 visa? That would get you a spouse visa that permits working, after about 3 months of applying for EAD.

It would be staggeringly unusual to not have healthcare included for a relocation; you'd want to seriously consider not coming. But around $1k a month would cover it (it'll vary by state; I was paying $715 for 4 in Arizona, with a deductible of $6k individual/ $12k family, i.e., that's what I would have bad to lay before the insurance even kicked in).

Federal/ state tax - there are payroll taxes too (like NI). Assume you'll lose 30% of gross pay.

Food costs vary. I mostly cook from scratch, and can get down to about $800 without the family noticing (family of 4, but my kids almost 16 and almost 12 so eat more than adults). $1k a month is my 'not thinking too much about it' running cost; I could probably do $650 if I had to and we ate a lot of soup and jacket potatoes. (Includes cleaning supplies, and packed lunches for school for both kids.)

You could get an unlimited everything cell phone plan for 5 phones for around $120 from T Mobile, not counting buying the phones.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

North America includes Canada ... are you asking only about the US? A lot of the questions you have asked can be ascertained online, i.e. cell phone costs, etc.

In the US you not only pay state and federal taxes but you have social security deductions and in some areas city taxes as well and don't forget about sales taxes.

Most cable services will provide television reception, internet hook-up, and landline. Some also will include cell phone charges.

As for healthcare, we have Obamacare for now which you can dive into online for a look see for the State of Wisconsin. If you don't have healthcare insurance you pay a penalty in addition to your regular federal taxes.

Can't understand why someone would buy a home right away as you really need to live in a place for a while in order to find the best areas to live in and which school districts are the best for your children.

Last edited by Rete; Nov 23rd 2015 at 2:11 pm.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

If you will be living in small town/farming area I would contact a realtor in the town you will be living. They can provide a lot of information about the area in addition to the housing market.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Hello, I have recently undertook the move with a family of 4 to Alabama.... if you have any further questions please ask me... hope the answers below will help.

Thanks Nick

2. We are a family of 5. Our kids are aged between 6 and 10 so we will be looking for them to attend a good school in the area as education and their future development is very important to us. We have just moved to the USA my kids are fitting in well the education system is good, but its diffrent
5. Let's say for talk sake that my job didn't have healthcare. How much would it cost for this per month for my family and who would you recommend. I would highly recommend if its your employer wanting you to move get them to provide you with insurance it can be very expensive...mine is provided by my employer...but i know your looking around $700-1000 per month for your family
6. Can anybody put an educated guess on food shopping for the month. My wife is brilliant when it comes to home baking and cooking with fresh ingredients (she runs her own catering business here). Me and my wife spend $1000 and we are in Alabama for a family of 4, this is living like we lived at home with fresh home cooked food.
7. Obviously we will have State and Federal taxes to pay what is the monthly spend for Wisconsin? Not sure on the tax situation in Wisconsin but you can find tax calculators online...
8. In terms of other items which I would call essential what do cell phone contracts cost per month in the U.S (suggestions please). Can you get a package which covers Cell, Broadband and T.V? (The Premier League Soccer which my son and I are nuts about would be a must). You can get cable tv which will supply Cable TV, Home phone and Internet... this will include NBC SPORTS NETWORK which shows premiership games even the 3pm KICK OFFS! I prefer the coverage Cost of this $129.99 per month. Cell phones are typically $45 per month for a Sim only deal for unlimited text, talk and 2gb data.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Originally Posted by Farmboy1892 View Post
3. We will most likely need to rent both a home and a car etc as buying anything in the U.S can be unwise until you are actually a permanent resident not to mention not having a credit history.
You will need to budget for two cars pretty much everywhere except some major cities, but especially out in farming country in mid-America.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

None of it matters unless you are eligible for a visa.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

North America is a big place of several different countries. Assume you want the cost of living in the US?

All depends where you are.


As for the continent, of the 2 mostly English speaking countries the US overall has lower cost of living. Canada is a pricey place to live.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Hi Nick,

Many thanks for your help on this. I knew I could rely on some kind soul to answer the millions of questions running around inside my head at the minute regarding this move.
If I think of anything more I will give you a holler. Cheers in the meantime

Kind Regards

Farmboy.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Thanks ddrsph. I will make a few inquiries.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Wisconsin Jsmth!
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

[QUOTE=Rete;11800837]North America includes Canada ... are you asking only about the US? A lot of the questions you have asked can be ascertained online, i.e. cell phone costs, etc.

In the US you not only pay state and federal taxes but you have social security deductions and in some areas city taxes as well and don't forget about sales taxes.

Most cable services will provide television reception, internet hook-up, and landline. Some also will include cell phone charges.

As for healthcare, we have Obamacare for now which you can dive into online for a look see for the State of Wisconsin. If you don't have healthcare insurance you pay a penalty in addition to your regular federal taxes.

Can't understand why someone would buy a home right away as you really need to live in a place for a while in order to find the best areas to live in and which school districts are the best for your children.[/QUO

Rete,

Many thanks for your comprehensive answer. I agree with your point regarding housing rent until we find that ideal area for schools and services etc.

Regards

Farmboy.
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Old Nov 23rd 2015, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Thanks Kodokan,

I will start to pull together some figures and see how it all stacks up based on my estimated U.S Salary.
I am sure I will have more questions #beprepared!!
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

Originally Posted by Farmboy1892 View Post
Wisconsin Jsmth!
Unless things have changed dramatically, Wisconsin is a fairly affordable place. I lived South of Milwaukee for a bit early in the new century.

Looking at the website for the apartments I lived in, doesn't seem much has changed. $660/mo for a 1 bedroom, I paid 580 back in 2002, so hasn't gone up a great deal in 13 or so years..lol
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 3:34 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in North America

This should help.



Overall there are places that make London look cheap, and places that are much cheaper than just about anywhere in the UK. You pays your money and takes your choice, but beware, you generally get the level government-provided services that you pay for.
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