A lot of people think that life abroad is all glamourous and fun. We assume that people earn by the day and spend on their extravagant lifestyle by the night – which might be true for some, but it’s very often not the case. On the contrary, it becomes quite difficult for people to manage everything on their own – especially their finances.

Therefore, we decided to ask these people who live abroad about how they manage their finances and the answers were a reality check!

Let’s check their responses.

Credits: Pexels

1. Melbourne, Australia – $4350

“My husband and I, both 32 years old, reside in the vibrant city of Melbourne, Australia. Our monthly expenses paint a clear picture of our lifestyle. We allocate $2000 for rent, providing us with a comfortable space to call home. Our transportation expenses, which include car insurance and petrol, amount to approximately $300. Nourishing ourselves comes at a cost of $700 to $900 for groceries, ensuring we maintain a balanced diet. As entertainment enthusiasts, we set aside $500 to $700 to enjoy various leisure activities. Managing our household requires an additional $400 to cover bills for water, internet, and phone services. Prioritizing our health, we allocate $250 for health insurance to ensure we have access to quality medical care when needed. These expenses collectively form the framework of our monthly budget.” -Gunjan Jain

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2. Amsterdam, Netherlands – €4100

“As a full-time employed 23-year-old, the cost of living in Amsterdam ranges around €2000 a month. The rent for a shared apartment is around €900. Groceries are increasingly getting more expensive- which costs me around €250-350 a month. Other basic expenses like health insurance, transportation and subscriptions account for another €250. Lastly, €500-600 a month for eating out, shopping and other recreational activities like exercising and concerts.” -Adelia Arista

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3. Jakarta, Indonesia – IDR 5.000.000

“I’m a 22-year-old living in Jakarta, who works a full-time job but also doing various freelance jobs on the side. I earn an estimate of IDR 12.000.000 – IDR 16.000.000, a month depending on the frequency of my side gigs. I live with my parents so I don’t pay any rent or groceries. For transport, sometimes my dad drops me off at work as we both work in neighboring districts or I drive the family car to work as well. However, I do use Grab/Go-Car (it’s like Uber) sometimes to and from work which can cost around IDR. 100.000 back and forth. I would say I spend 5.000.000 to 7.500.000 on entertainment including eating out, shopping, subscriptions, fitness memberships and occasionally concerts. It’s to note that I would say I’m living a more privileged lifestyle being able to spend that much on recreational items but I’d say that IDR 5.000.000 – IDR. 6.000.000 would be a good estimate of the average cost of living in Jakarta.” -Anonymous

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4. Ontario, Canada – $7000

“The food and rent cost $6000 a month in Ontario, Canada. The amount for recreational activities keeps changing but the lowest is $1000 additional.” -Sameeksha

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5. Groningen, Netherlands – €1290

“I’m a full-time student living in the north of the Netherlands. I live alone in a studio which cost me around 820 euros a month. On top of that, I take groceries which range between 200 to 300 a month and sometimes having coffee outside as well is included here. For transport, I mostly take a bike in the city – which is like 20 euros a month. Travel and leisure is around another 150 euros.” -Saloni Mangla

Credits: Pexels

6. Ottawa, Canada – $2710

“In Canada, a single full-time employed individual needs about $1000 but that depends from place to place. Like I live in the capital, Ottawa, which is a bit cheaper in comparison to Toronto. Just like Delhi-Mumbai. My rent is $550 in a shared 3 BHK. Utilities are around $60. Groceries would be $200-$250. Entertainment (subscriptions/outings/miscellaneous) another $150. That is, if you don’t drive. I have a car so add another $700 a month which is 300 for insurance, 380 monthly installments, and $95 parking.” -Daman Bhasin

Credits: Pexels

7. Glasglow, Scotland – £700

I lived in Glasgow for one year for my Master’s program. I lived in a house with a shared kitchen but a private bathroom in my bedroom. The rent of this place was almost 500 pounds per month including internet, water and electricity bills. Apart from that, I needed 25 pounds per week for groceries and 10 pounds per month for my phone bill (data and minutes to call India). Since the place I lived in was very near to the campus, I didn’t spend any money or time traveling. So, in total, I think 600 to 700 pounds per month is enough, but, of course, depends severely on your lifestyle.” –Shreeya Shetye

Credits: Pexels

8. The United States Of America – $47,000

My brother lives in the USA and his salary is $90K. $19K from his salary goes into rent and $8K on food, every year. He uses $7k each year for trips and partying and $3k in other expenses. He invests $10k and remaining $19k he sends home.” –lowkeygenious

Credits: Pexels

To conclude, it’s not a piece of cake to manage finances in a foreign land but people are doing a great job!

Please note that the meaning of ‘survive’ here is to be able to pay rent, have proper meals and indulge in one basic entertainment activity for a balanced life. Also, people have given answers according to their lifestyles, and the figures may vary from one person to another. This is to give everyone moving abroad a general idea.