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How much money is needed for a month living in the USA: the experience of a Russian-speaking immigrant

Regardless of whether you plan to move to the USA or simply collect information about America, the logical question arises: how much will I spend per month in the USA? I collected the most relevant information - I’ll tell you what it costs to save and how much exactly I spend for one month, living in Los Angeles.

Photo: Shutterstock

The most significant part of the budget is renting an apartment. A one-room apartment in Los Angeles costs an average of $ 1800-2500 per month. My two-room apartment is $ 2550. Of course, there are apartments for $ 1500, but all that is lower will be either one room or extremely dead apartments, old junk. There is such an option as roommate: this means you can live with a shared room. Roommating is very popular in Los Angeles, and on average it will cost about $ 500-600.

The cost of an apartment must necessarily add utility bills. You pay for electricity, water is usually included in the price of renting an apartment. My utility bills cost less than $ 100. The price of my rent already includes hot and cold water, I have to pay for electricity and gas: $ 80 and $ 15, respectively.

A separate budget item is health insurance. In the US, quite expensive medicine, everyone knows about it. Therefore, coming and being treated for cash will be very expensive. For example, a doctor’s appointment in Los Angeles costs $ 250, an ultrasound scan can cost $ 300, and a banal blood test can cost $ 80! That is why you need to buy insurance. Per person per month on average costs around $ 200 (mine costs $ 215).

Of course, there are times when you can buy very expensive insurance or vice versa, use free insurance. Poor families in Los Angeles can apply for a free insurance called MediCal, people pay zero dollars a month for it, but you need to understand that taxpayers give money for this insurance, and as soon as the poor starts earning it, they are removed from this insurance. And then he is obliged to buy a paid one.

On the subject: How much does the American dream cost: the most expensive and affordable states

Another expense item is transport. You can rent a car - it will cost about $ 150 for three days. Therefore, it is more profitable to take a long-term lease or take a car on a lease or loan. I took a car on credit (Honda Accord 2018), the payment on it is $ 353 and $ 180 dollars insurance, total $ 533 dollars. Let's count some average car, for example, Prius or Mazda CX3: the car itself will be issued on credit or lease $ 200-300 dollars plus $ 150-200 insurance. In addition, the car is gas and service. Gasoline costs an average of $ 150.

There is also a subway in Los Angeles, if you can’t afford your own car, you can use the subway or bus. The price will depend on the subscription, but one trip on the subway will cost $ 1,75. Monthly pass - $ 100. Even in Los Angeles, it is very popular to use the services of Uber or Lyft. One short trip will cost about $ 7-10.

In addition to the cost of a car, there are also parking costs. On average, parking in Los Angeles costs from $ 1 to $ 2 per hour, I pay $ 25 per month. You can pay in the terminal using a card or coins, the time appears on the display showing how much you paid.

Perhaps the nastiest part of the budget is mobile communications. She is not very cheap in America. For the Internet, I pay an average of $ 50, separately for mobile communications. There are different offers: for example, when buying a phone immediately with a contract, a month with a tariff can cost $ 60. My tariff is $ 45 and includes 6 GB of Internet.

Do not forget about such an expense item as going to the cafe: drink a cup of coffee or run off for lunch somewhere. It takes me an average of $ 150-200 a month. If we are talking about such a thing as a business lunch, then here you can buy it for $ 10-12. For this amount you will receive huge portions of salad, soup and also, as we say, compote. But if you count the food at $ 12 for 30 days, it comes out very expensive. Therefore, the Americans, of course, also calculate all this, carry food with them in containers, take thermoses and dine at work.

Household and cleaning products are pulled from the budget by about $ 60-80 per month. For example, a set of toilet paper for 8 rolls costs $ 7,69. A large pack of disposable wipes costs $ 4,99. Garbage bags - $ 4,59 for 22 pieces, but they do not need to be bought every month, they last for 2-3 months. A gel for washing clothes, which lasts for a couple of months, costs $ 14,99. You can buy a cheaper analogue for $ 7,49. For mopping, I buy a special rag - already wet, in a special package. 24 pieces last for about 3 months, costing $ 8,59. Separately, a mop is sold for it. You put a rag on a mop and wash it, then throw it away: you don’t need to wash and dry anything. I also buy dishwasher tablets for $ 6,49. Dishwashing liquid and soap - $ 5,98.

There is a cat in my house, for which I also need to buy food. Jars per serving cost $ 0,67-0,89. As for dog food, a large pack costs $ 13,39-21,49 depending on the brand.

My diet includes meat, fish, vegetables, in general, a standard set. How much are the products in the store where I usually buy all this?

There is gluten-free bread for $ 4,49, I usually buy bread a little cheaper - for example, for $ 2,99. A piece of cheese in my grocery cart will cost $ 4,49. Fresh farm eggs - $ 1,49. Chicken legs will cost $ 2,24. Salmon costs $ 12,14. Red meat (azu) costs $ 13,16 - this is very good meat. Regular milk will cost $ 1,99. Regular kefir or kefir with taste will cost $ 2,99. I try to choose the best offers possible, very often I buy something on the stock. For example, today a pack of tangerines costs only $ 3 per share. But a bottle of wine can cost $ 2,99. Prices are different everywhere. There is a network of Whole Foods stores, where you can spend $ 1500 per month.

On the subject: How much does food cost in the USA and why is it difficult to get used to American products

I left the store with packages of food, which lasts for 5 days for sure - there is meat, milk, butter, a classic set. I paid $ 60,54 for this already with taxes. I spend about $ 400 a month on products, but if you start shopping and buying expensive products and a lot of things, I think you can fit in $ 500, or even higher.

These simple calculations showed that one person spends about $ 3482 a month in Los Angeles. Do not forget that salaries in America and in Los Angeles are quite high. Therefore, with a salary of $ 5000, the amount of expenses does not seem as catastrophic as if you translate it into our currency.

The original column is published on YouTube channel Nellifornication.

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