Before arriving in United States you should do some budgeting to have an idea about money you will need for at least two months if you aren’t hired yet otherwise then for one month. Before accepting any job offer you need to do budgeting to decide about any job offer. Only calculating the exchanged currency amount will never give a correct idea about standard of living like if someone offers you $2000 per months job that makes around 150,000PKR, it sounds great if you are earning $2000 in Pakistan but not sufficient in USA to maintain the same standard f living. Find below the detailed cost analysis for better calculation of living cost in USA.
Living Costs are separated in groups to give you breakup of different costs in in a Pakistani’s perspective.
- Grocery / Food Cost in USA
- Apartment and housing cost in USA
- Utility bills cost in USA
- Vehicle cost in USA (insurance + maintenance + taxes)
- Medical Insurance cost in USA
- Bank account / credit card fees in USA
- Petrol / Gas Cost in USA
- Cost of Education in USA
Grocery / Food Cost in USA:
That depends on how much you love food, the grocery cost mainly covers eatables and household consumables like toiletries, cleaners etc. The food is not expensive and a normal person can easily afford making food at home, however eating outside can be very expensive sometimes. The normal food / grocery cost per person may vary from $200 to $300 per month or you can cut down few expenses to drop it around $150 per month per person still eating full. It depends on choices you make while buying food etc.
Apartment and housing cost in USA
Apartment and housing cost completely depends upon the place where you are going. I cannot even provide a rough idea for that. If you are moving in a bigger city then the apartment might be costly but in smaller cities or suburban areas you might get a suitable place on lower rent. For complete updated price detail in your area you can consult this website www.rent.com
Utility bills cost in USA:
Electricity – Depends upon the area of house, it’s not expensive and you may never get worried about the high electricity bill until and unless your heating is on electricity and is not covered in your monthly rent. In USA weather is harsh in winters so you need to turn your heater on all the time and it might cost you extra $500 – $200 monthly in electricity bill.
Heating – Heating cost vary upon what type of heating unit you are using. Mostly apartments offer the heating included in rent that is a great offer because heating overall cost higher in winters. The water based or oil based heating cost less and mostly apartments that contains such units offer heating for free however where heating is on electricity there are chances that you need to pay it by yourself so keep this thing in mind before renting any place.
Water – Sewerage -Trash – I am currently living in two bedroom apartment and normal usage of water usually ends up around $50 – $70 per month. It also depends on where you live, how big your place is and what is your usage. These services are mostly included in monthly rent so you might not need to worry about it. We are living in a low rent apartment so we need to pay for these services on our own.
Internet – Depending on the service you use the internet monthly cost vary from $25 and over, the higher the speed you will opt for the higher the bill will be. Keep looking for a deal before buying a connection as most of the time some deal is going on and it saves you huge amount of money.
Cable / Dish network: If you like to have cable or dish antenna at home to see the TV channels
You can have it, there are many cable companies on local or national level that you can have, however the monthly cost is around $100, the basic cable cost around $60 – $100 depending on how much channels you want. The dish antenna cost is higher than the cable however you can access more channels on dish.
Mostly Pakistani and Indian people use the “Jadoo TV” box for which you need to pay once time cost that covers the equipment as well. It uses the internet and stream almost all Desi channels on TV including GEO, HUM, ARY, INDUS, SONY, STAR, HBO etc plus lots of movies and dramas of your choice. The current onetime cost for Jadoo TV is $200.
Telecommunication / phone + cell phones cost: If you are using a home phone (VoIP internet phone) with lesser international calls then you might end up with approximately $25 – $35 per month with unlimited free USA and Canada calling. Calling a Pakistani number from a home phone is far cheaper than calling it from a cell phone; it usually cost around 13 – 20 cents per minute without taxes.
Cell phone is expensive for a normal person and cost minimum $40 per month for postpaid packages and no package offers free incoming calls. You just get some free minutes that adjusted for every incoming and outgoing call. The average cost per person for cell phone usage without adding extra SMS or Data package is $50 per person including taxes.
Vehicle cost in USA (insurance + maintenance + taxes):
Having a vehicle involves many types of costs like in USA you cannot drive a vehicle without an insurance of each driver at home, that increases the monthly cost. If the car is on lease you need to pay the monthly lease and the insurance. You also need to pay taxes included yearly car title tax and property tax for car. The cost of your yearly tax depends on the car model and made you are using plus it also depends in which state you are living. Check the details on your local DMV website. Along with these costs you need to get your vehicle inspected every year that is called “State inspection” that check if the vehicle is safe to drive on road. If not passed you need to get the desired maintenance done and again get the state inspection that cost around $20 however it depends on which city and state you are living.
Car maintenance cost is extremely high, if you have insurance that covers maintenance (such insurance will be very expensive) then it covers certain maintenance costs otherwise you need to pay every cent from your own pocket. We bought a used 1994 Mazda 626 for $1350 as our first car. The car ran very well for a year and its transmission got faulty. We got an estimate for a replacement of transmission with a used automatic transmission but the minimum quoted cost was around $1600 (Transmission $400 and labor $1200) that was way out of our budget plus it was more than the car price. We tried to sell it the way it was but we got highest offer of $100 for our beloved car. We kept it at home for more than 2 months waiting for a better price and ended up selling it for $400 far better than the $100.
The maintenance cost is high because the usual motor mechanics may charge more than $50 per hour for the mechanical or electric work they usually do. The cost for changing the oil is almost $20 – $40 and the usual car work is not that expensive but when it comes to engine, the cost get too high that you prefer to send your car to a junk yard instead of repairing it. If you have knowledge of cars maintenance then you are a lucky fellow
Medical Insurance cost in USA:
Medical insurance is one of the major costs of a family living unlike Pakistan where we hardly consider buying medical insurance. The average insurance cost per person is approximately $200 per month. There are different packages available to choose from and this cost can be more or less but just to give you an idea I am quoting this amount here, if a woman is in child bearing age her insurance cost might vary between $250 to $350. There are many regulations and terms attached to the insurance policy that we need to study before signing for an insurance company including the preexisting medical condition where the insurance only covers your sickness if you were with them for an year or more otherwise the insurance companies do not simply cover you. Without insurance medical is extremely expensive that a normal person cannot afford it.
Other insurances: Medical and car insurance are mandatory and you must have it in any way however there are certain types of insurances that you can purchase but they are not mandatory like the home insurance. Storms are common in USA, there are some areas where weather conditions are sever, like in California the fire in the forest is common due to dry weather and winds. Even tornadoes and floods are common in USA. If you have your own home then the damage due to these weather conditions could cause you huge amount of money that you might not afford so people tend to buy home insurance or renters insurance (for Rented places) that covers the loss of your equipment at home.
Bank account / credit card fees in USA:
We will get in touch during the whole process however still if there is a delay, contact us immediately. We will carefully examine your order and will assist you with it right away. We require an alternative email to help saving you from any delay as sometimes the SPAM filter does not allow you to receive emails from us.
Petrol / Gas Cost in USA:
The monthly cost of petrol / gas completely depends on how much miles you travel during the given month. Currently in start of year 2010 the gas cost per gallon is around $2.5 to $4. The petrol measurement is in gallons not in liters.
Cost of Education in USA:
Schools in USA is free for everyone regardless of the visa you are having, the schooling is not that expensive, there are few expenses that incur related to children learning and entertainment, the school last for 12 years that includes school and after 10th grade its high school
Studying in college or a university is so expensive that even US citizens sometimes take loan to get their children educated. The study for in state residents is somewhat less costly for everyone living in states as a citizen otherwise he will be considered as international student. The instate fee can cost be up-to $5,000 per semester (4 months) however for international students or people from out of state it can cost up-to $10,000 per semester (4 months).
The cost of study will be different for graduate students doing masters or PhD, we will discuss it in detail as well in other ection but these students can work and they also get findings, teacher assistantships, research assistantships that pays their fee but also student earn money as well.