When you are deciding on a place to move abroad, the cost of living is often one of the most important factors to consider. If you move somewhere too expensive then you may end up spending all of your time working rather than enjoying your new surroundings, which would defeat the purpose of working from abroad.
Now the latest list of the world’s most expensive places to live for expats has been revealed by Mercer, providing a good snapshot of where is expensive and where is cheap to live for expats, which might help you out if you are still thinking about where to go.
Tokyo Takes Top Spot
In top spot this year is Tokyo, which has knocked Luanda in Angola from the number-one spot it held last year.
These two are followed by Moscow, Sydney (which may put a dent in your plans if you are hoping to go to Australia) and Shanghai.
At the other end of the chart is Karachi in Pakistan, and other cities in the top 10 cheapest places to live include Islamabad in Pakistan, La Paz in Bolivia and Skopje in Macedonia.
Housing is the Key
In all, 214 cities are covered, and the cost of living in each of them is worked out by looking at the cost of 200 separate items including housing, food, clothing, transport and more. These are then all compared against the costs of living in New York to find out which are the most costly.
Housing is one of the most important costs to be considered because this is where expats typically spend a large amount of their income, so if you can find somewhere where the cost of renting an apartment is lower you could be onto a winner.
You Can Still Live Cheap Almost Anywhere
If you are hoping to move to one of the cities near the top of the list but do not want to spend a fortune then it may still be possible to do this. After all, you can always live a cheaper lifestyle in almost any city.
Some ways you may be able to do this include:
- Rent somewhere less luxurious, such as an apartment which does not come with all of the mod cons you would expect in a more upmarket establishment.
- Cook your own food using local ingredients rather than eating out a few times a week.
- Using internet cafés and establishments with free Wi-Fi to connect to the internet rather than paying for a contract.
- Using public transport to get around rather than hiring a vehicle.
Make Sure You Have Enough to Enjoy Your Surroundings
You do not want to move to another country and then spend your entire time working inside without seeing any of your surroundings. You want to be able to move around, explore, see all of the new things and enjoy the new culture.
If choosing a cheaper destination allows you to do that then maybe it is worth thinking about, otherwise you may just have to lower your standard of living and strike the right balance.