Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

How much is enough – Northeast

How much is enough – Northeast

Old Oct 9th 2014, 12:34 pm
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default How much is enough – Northeast

Hello fellow expats, I’m a DV2014 lottery winner from Belfast already holding immigration visa
I plan to move to States early spring next year.

Now, before I sell half of my stuff for close to nothing, throw away the second half, rent my house
to strangers, let go my beloved 2002 Primera and force my wife and kids to pack up their stuff, I
want to double check what are the financial implication of the move.

I must say “my better half” is the one who asked (read “force me”) to have this clarified at source this time
round (I did some research myself) since children are involved it’s better be prepared than sorry.

I think at this point its not too late we can still step back so I would appreciate any input on monthly cost of living,
possibly based on your own experience, please note, I think about northeast possibly close to coastline as my desired
destination:
- We have family of 5 including myself, wifey, 3 children (14, 7, 5),
- I’m not asking about costs of relocation at all (flights, new car, furniture and so on, …),
- we are going to rent of course,
- I’m looking for monthly costs of running family business, like groceries, insurances (cars, medical),
utilities, taxes if any applicable while renting, including cells, gas, internet, cable fees, extra school costs,
- Please do not include clothes, extra medical bills, perks (cinemas, trips, …), as this can vary from one
person / family to another.

The ultimate goal is to estimate how much we need to see on our paycheck and still have good quality of live
once migrated over the pond.

Cheers,
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:00 pm
  #2  
SUPER MODERATOR
 
christmasoompa's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: In a darkened room somewhere.............
Posts: 29,815
christmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond reputechristmasoompa has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Hi, and welcome to BE.

Tbh, I think to get any meaningful answers you're going to need to narrow it down a bit, as the Northeast is such a huge area, and there will be a massive difference between somebody living in Manhattan versus somebody living in rural Maine for instance.

Even if you've just got a state in mind? As again, things like taxes etc will vary hugely by state.

If you can be a bit more specific, then I'm sure the good folks of the forum that live in that area will try and give you some figures to work with.

Good luck.
christmasoompa is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:11 pm
  #3  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Understood, so I think about MA or else NH, ME, however please exclude any major cities (like Boston for example as they have their own rights in terms of BoM) I would be happy to commute to workplace if needs be in order to lower the bills ...
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:11 pm
  #4  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: London > NJ > PA > London > NJ.. whew.
Posts: 247
Rusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to all
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by dan_j View Post
- We have family of 5 including myself, wifey, 3 children (14, 7, 5),
- I’m not asking about costs of relocation at all (flights, new car, furniture and so on, …),
- we are going to rent of course,
- I’m looking for monthly costs of running family business, like groceries, insurances (cars, medical),
utilities, taxes if any applicable while renting, including cells, gas, internet, cable fees, extra school costs,
Whereabouts in the Northeast are you thinking of going? It's generally quite an expensive area, although NYC is more expensive than Boston, which is more expensive then NJ, and so on. With three kids, you're looking at needing a six-figure income to live comfortably, even in most suburban areas. I'll try and break down some of the things you asked about though.

- Groceries could run you anywhere from $100-$300 per week, that's going to Wal-Mart versus going to Whole Foods or Wegmans (Wegmans is awesome, by the way).

- Motor insurance varies depending on where you are, but budget $150-200 a month to cover two cars. Could be less. Any no-claims-bonus you've built up in the UK won't help, unfortunately.

- Health insurance will often come as part of your benefits package with your job, although you'll still be responsible for a portion of the premium, not to mention co-pays for doctor visits and having to pay for any treatments until you hit your deductible (excess). If you don't get insurance with your job, you can get it on the health exchanges (Obamacare) - typically, cover for a family of five will cost you anywhere from $300 - $1500 a month, depending on level of cover. Get the best you can afford - one thing you don't want to do in the US is skimp on health insurance.

- Utilities will depend very much on the size of your house, and what kind of heating you have (electric / mains gas / propane tank / oil). It's hard to generalise on that one. If you rent, you generally won't have to pay property tax or water bills though (which is good, as property taxes in the NE make UK council tax look ridiculously cheap)

- Mobile phones - again, depends what kind of phones you want, but a decent personal plan through Verizon or AT&T will run you $50-70 a month for each phone, and less if you get a family bundle.

- You'll often get cable, home phone and internet bundled though the likes of Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, etc. You should be able to score a decent bundle for around $120-$150 a month for everything. Just make sure your package has BBC America.

- If you send your kids to public schools, there are no fees, but there's always fundraisers, requests for contributions, and the expectation that you'll be available to help out occasionally at the school, usually during events. Schoolbooks are also far more expensive than they need to be.

- Regarding the phones, cable/internet and utilities, since you're new immigrants with no credit history, you'll probably get asked to pay a not-insubstantial deposit before they'll hook you up. You'll probably get this back in 6-12 months though.
Rusty Chainsaw is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:22 pm
  #5  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Thanks Rusty great feedback it is. I was counting $150 for groceries and $100 per car insurance so that's quite close with what I'm expecting. Same with cable, phone, internet ...

Again I think about MA, NH, ME, in no particular order to be honest.
What about utilities, heating, air conditioning, electricity, gas / petrol, I'm also interested
in those extra school spendings (books, events, ...).

Anyone?
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:37 pm
  #6  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 41,518
Sally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Do you know what jobs you will be going for?

I thought at first you were going to run your own business, but I think you were referring to domestic costs rather than a business as such.

What you can earn is going to come before what you can spend
Sally Redux is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 1:38 pm
  #7  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: London > NJ > PA > London > NJ.. whew.
Posts: 247
Rusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to all
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by dan_j View Post
Again I think about MA, NH, ME, in no particular order to be honest.
What about utilities, heating, air conditioning, electricity, gas / petrol, I'm also interested
in those extra school spendings (books, events, ...).

Anyone?
MA will be more expensive than NH or ME in general Maine is mostly very rural, and NH has no sales or property taxes. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has lots more public services, public transport, etc.

Aircon will be on your electricity bill (which will literally double over the summer), and, as I said in my previous post, heating is very much down to the kind of heating installed in your house. Mains gas is cheapest, oil is most expensive. In our last house over there (3 bedrooms, ~1600 sq.ft) we had a propane tank and had to fill it about 3 times a year at about $400 a pop.

Petrol is ridiculously cheap compared to what we're used to paying in the UK - last time I was back in the US a few months ago, it was around $3.20 a gallon (equivalent of paying 40p or so per litre in the UK). But you will be driving a whole lot more than you're used to, so it's kinda a false economy, especially when combined with Americans' propensity for cars with big engines. If you're looking at NH or ME, you'll almost certainly need a vehicle with 4WD/AWD, as the winters there can be brutal.
Rusty Chainsaw is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:27 pm
  #8  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Do you know what jobs you will be going for?

I thought at first you were going to run your own business, but I think you were referring to domestic costs rather than a business as such.

What you can earn is going to come before what you can spend
That is correct, just household spendings - I should have put quotation marks out there probably.
Fair point on the spending so once i know how much I need - I should be able to tell whether I can afford it
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:37 pm
  #9  
Lt Cl (Rtd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 49,057
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Mrs P and I left NY, the Northern outer suburbs of NYC, in 2002 because despite looking further and further north, we could never find long term housing that fitted comfortably into our budget. There were just the two of us at the time, we were paying $1,600/ for a one bed apartment, but found life intolerable, because there was no prospect of us significantly increasing our income or cutting our expenses. We had one car, didn't eat out anywhere fancy, didn't spend time at shows and clubs in Manhattan, nor travel by air regularly or stay in hotels. At the time I was on high five figures in USD, and that was 12 years ago.

The NE is crazy expensive, and I honestly suggest you cast your net a lot wider, down the length of the East Coast, and westwards at least as far as Texas.
Pulaski is online now  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:42 pm
  #10  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by Rusty Chainsaw View Post
MA will be more expensive than NH or ME in general Maine is mostly very rural, and NH has no sales or property taxes. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has lots more public services, public transport, etc.

Aircon will be on your electricity bill (which will literally double over the summer), and, as I said in my previous post, heating is very much down to the kind of heating installed in your house. Mains gas is cheapest, oil is most expensive. In our last house over there (3 bedrooms, ~1600 sq.ft) we had a propane tank and had to fill it about 3 times a year at about $400 a pop.

Petrol is ridiculously cheap compared to what we're used to paying in the UK - last time I was back in the US a few months ago, it was around $3.20 a gallon (equivalent of paying 40p or so per litre in the UK). But you will be driving a whole lot more than you're used to, so it's kinda a false economy, especially when combined with Americans' propensity for cars with big engines. If you're looking at NH or ME, you'll almost certainly need a vehicle with 4WD/AWD, as the winters there can be brutal.
Got it, so to summarize what we have so far / month:

- $450 groceries
- $200 car insurance - 2 cars
- $120 internet, phone, TV
- $100 propane based heating / air conditioning(avg) 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
- $___ electricity (avg / month) 5 people - 3 bedroom house
- $___ extra school spendings
- $150 3 cell plans
- $100 (70c / litre / on avg 2500 km on 2 cars per month with avg 8l /100km)
- $___ water (avg / month)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GT: $1070

if you have any other pointers on empty entries or anything missing, pls. follow up ...
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:49 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Mrs P and I left NY, the Northern outer suburbs of NYC, in 2002 because despite looking further and further north, we could never find long term housing that fitted comfortably into our budget. There were just the two of us at the time, we were paying $1,600/ for a one bed apartment, but found life intolerable, because there was no prospect of us significantly increasing our income or cutting our expenses. We had one car, didn't eat out anywhere fancy, didn't spend time at shows and clubs in Manhattan, nor travel by air regularly or stay in hotels. At the time I was on high five figures in USD, and that was 12 years ago.

The NE is crazy expensive, and I honestly suggest you cast your net a lot wider, down the length of the East Coast, and westwards at least as far as Texas.
Got it, although since I like NE very much even if it is expensive I would keep it as my reference point,
and I'm adding rent - lets say $2000 for 3 bedroom - i know it will be highly area specific - however I'm not thinking about Boston or any major city for that matter so maybe I would manage with two grand for the
start - any comments are welcome - of course.


- $ 450 groceries
- $ 200 car insurance - 2 cars
- $ 120 internet, phone, TV
- $ 100 propane based heating / air conditioning(avg) 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
- $ ___ electricity (avg / month) 5 people - 3 bedroom house
- $ ___ extra school spendings
- $ 150 3 cell plans
- $ 100 (70c / litre / on avg 2500 km on 2 cars per month with avg 8l /100km)
- $ ___ water (avg / month)
- $2000 rent - 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GT: $3070
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:56 pm
  #12  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 41,518
Sally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Surely your wife will want to know about jobs and where you will be living rather than minutiae of a budget. I would approach it from "We can get jobs paying x amount in y area. Does that translate into an improvement in our living standards?"
Sally Redux is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 2:59 pm
  #13  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 54
dan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of lightdan_j is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Forgotten medical insurance bill, ouch!

- $ 450 groceries
- $ 200 car insurance - 2 cars
- $ 120 internet, phone, TV
- $ 100 propane based heating / air conditioning(avg) 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
- $ ___ electricity (avg / month) 5 people - 3 bedroom house
- $ ___ extra school spendings
- $ 150 3 cell plans
- $ 100 (70c / litre / on avg 2500 km on 2 cars per month with avg 8l /100km)
- $ ___ water (avg / month)
- $2000 rent - 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
- $____ ($300 to $1500) family of 5 depending on work based benefits (if any) and an income
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GT: $3070
dan_j is offline  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 3:01 pm
  #14  
Lt Cl (Rtd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 49,057
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

Originally Posted by dan_j View Post
Got it, so to summarize what we have so far / month:

- $450 groceries
- $200 car insurance - 2 cars
- $120 internet, phone, TV
- $100 propane based heating / air conditioning(avg) 3 bedroom (~200 sq./ft.)
- $___ electricity (avg / month) 5 people - 3 bedroom house
- $___ extra school spendings
- $150 3 cell plans
- $100 (70c / litre / on avg 2500 km on 2 cars per month with avg 8l /100km)
- $___ water (avg / month)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GT: $1070

if you have any other pointers on empty entries or anything missing, pls. follow up ...
IMO almost everything you have on that list is low, sometimes very low. I can't fathom your liters and Kms gas calculation, but with two vehicles I will guarantee you'll be spending more than $100 a month. You end up driving a lot more in the US, you just do, especially with three children. I'd start with a budget of $250 for gas. We spend more than twice that and only have one child.

I am also fairly sure that you'll be spending a lot more on heating than $1,200/yr. We have natural gas, which is much cheaper, and live a lot further south, with shorter, milder winters than the NE and are paying probably about $1,000 for winter heating above and beyond the gas we use to heat our water. I'd budget about $2,000 for heating, and more if it's oil fired.

In the short term, first couple of years, I'd say the insurance will be more than $200/mth for two cars- and be aware that there are "state minimum" policies that provide pathetically low coverage and leave you exposed to be sued if you injure or kill someone.

Your groceries budget also looks low. I am fairly sure we're spending more than $450/mth for groceries and household supplies for a family of three. We aren't having steak dinners three nights a week, and Mrs P buys most of our tinned and packet groceries plus paper goods and cleaning supplies at Walmart, which is as cheap as you can get, so much so that many BE'ers refuse to shop there. For a family of five I'd be surprised if your monthly bills don't come to at least $600, and could easily be more if you don't keep a very close eye on expenditures. In short I'd say $700 is more likely.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 9th 2014 at 3:10 pm.
Pulaski is online now  
Old Oct 9th 2014, 3:04 pm
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 41,518
Sally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How much is enough – Northeast

200 sq ft is also going to be a bit of a squeeze.
Sally Redux is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.