Recently, I got an email from a gentleman from Singapore and he wrote to me inquiring about my expenses in US. Wow! I was really humbled that your’s truly blog is now read even in remote tiny island of exotic Asia. Here it is (not corrected for grammar to keep an original flavor):
How are you doing? I am looking for some friends in Dallas to help and guide me in this most difficult transitional decision i have to take.
I am currently living in Singapore, but getting an opportunity to move to Dallas, TX for my work. However, I have no idea on how is it, and What are living expenses in Dallas. I have’nt lived in US before. Have lived in Tokyo for a few years before coming to Singapore.
Would you be kind enough to help me on a few things, related to life and cost of living in Dallas, since you are there on the ground.
To give you some background we are family of 4, Husband, Wife, Son (2.6 years) and my Mother. Following are the major high level estimates I would need your help on if you can please spare some time out of your daily routine.
3 BR rentals in Plano or McKinney area (place which is safe, friendly neighbourhood and have some parks etc for kids, and some shopping areas nearby for daily utils, good if there are any elementary schools nearby) –
What is approximate monthly groceries bill –
Approximate monthly dine and eat out expenses (considering we eat out 2 dinners a week, mostly restaurants ) –
Utility Bills (Gas, Electricity, Sweage, disposal) –
Cable TV (Intl Channels) –
Internet, Mobiles (2 nos) , Landline –
General Car cost a month (do not have experience no this, have not owned a car in Singapore or Tokyo before, but heard its kinda must in US) –
Any other things i need to think about? –
I would be extremely extremely thankful for your help on this, its would be a HUGE help to me….
Eagerly waiting for your reply, and potentially meet you when we are in Dallas…
(To protect privacy)”
It was very interesting to hear from other parts of globe and hey, I was wondering: Huh… people in Singapore wants to know how much I spent every month 🙂 Well, I thought if some folks want to know my expenses, there may be other folks in many other parts of the world curious to know what my expenses are or for matter what are the expenses of other average Americans. I know you can google it but people want to hear from real persons like myself or other bloggers.
This is a very tricky topic as there is no such thing as average expense of Americans OR even frugal bloggers like myself since it varies so much, even for the same person; it’s all over the map due to many variables like some unexpected expenses or sometimes medical bills as well. Due to these very reasons, I do not track them as they are unpredictable while I enjoy tracking my 3 High-Dividend Investment Portfolios: DRIP, HID1, and HID2.
I know some bloggers track their expenses religiously which only shows how passionate they are in the frugal life they want to live and we want to live and aspire to be financially independent (FI). Here are statistics from some of the blogs: I follow many other blogs 🙂 but, I’ve restricted to few blogs to start with. I’ll be adding more as I further my case study.
Starting From Zero: $613.13 (average last 3 months)
Dividend Mantra: $2239.25 (average last 4 months)
If you want to be included in this study, please email me with some details like: min and max expenses, average expenses over a period of 12 months, details (major categories) about expenses, city, state, country so that people can benefit from geography and do apples to apples comparison, what kind of life style you consider living: frugal, conservative, lavish like Britney Spears or Madonna where millions could be spent in a single party 😉 and whether you are comfortable to publish your name in this blog. I believe that it will be fun to elaborate this case study and the results for all to see.
Thanks for reading.