Cost of Living Abroad

by Dual Income No Kids on October 16, 2007 · 0 comments

People tend to think about money in very fixed terms. It costs X amount of money for something. As if that really means anything at all.

The more I travel, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that currency and numbers are simply irrelevant. Think about it: Does $10 USD really have any true value at all?

If it buys you a cab ride in DC, a cocktail in Honolulu, a Happy Meal in Stockholm, a diner meal for two in Kansas, and food for a week in Africa, then how can it really have the same value? Keep that money in your pocket and it will be worth even less tomorrow.

I’ve come to thinking about how you might create a new financial system that actually gave you a gauge of what your money would buy you. Mind you, this system isn’t likely to show up any time soon, but just bear with me a while. With the click of a button you could figure out where you money would take you the furthest, and where you might just want to stay home.

I know that cost of living calculators exist within the states, but it would be very cool to have a better sense of where your money could really take you. The interesting thing to consider, is that I wonder if you might have more Americans traveling abroad.

Back in college while I was living in Fiji my sister came to visit me for a month. She lived in a tent at the resort with three meals a day for $15 a day. If more people realized that they could live in paradise for less than $500 a month, would they travel more?

I won’t speculate about Americans abroad, as there are far too few of them out there, but I would enjoy such a calculator for our upcoming R&Rs!

Cheers,

Miel

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