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The 5 expenses you can expect in the U.S. and how to prepare for them

Living and working in the United States can be very costly. Depending on how much you will be earning and the city which you will be living in, you will have to take certain precautions and make adjustments so that you can afford and enjoy your stay during the program. Wages in the States may possibly be higher than in your home country, so be aware that you will be earning more but you will also be spending more of that income. Depending on which state you decide to move to, things like rent will vary greatly as well. It is likely that your earnings will be commensurate to the city´s living expenses, nevertheless you have to take into account that cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are some of the most expensive cities in the U.S.. We recommend that once you have settled in the city and you have opened your bank account, that you keep track of your purchases and set a sort of guide and plan for expenditures for every month. Make sure that all of the monthly expenses that you know that you will have to pay for are properly structured and that you scheme an average cost for meal plans and groceries during your stay. Here’s a list of some of the common expenses that you will need to cover during your stay

1. Rent

Rent in America is quite high. There are different things that you can do so that the cost goes down; such as finding roommates to share housing with you. There are many platforms such as Craigslit or Roommie Match which can help you do that. It will always be more expensive if you want to go live on your own, even if you are looking for a studio apartment. The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in California is $1,448, in New York $1,295, and Florida $977.

2. Utitilities

Utilities that you will have to pay for include Water, Heating/Cooling, electricity, trash, and Internet. Things like internet may be included in the rent but it is not guaranteed. The average cost for electricity and heating/cooling will be around $150-$200. Things like trash, will probably be around $12-$20 dollars, depending in the city you live in.  For internet, depending on the service you use and how fast your internet will be, you will have to pay an average of $35-60$. Click here for prices for different internet providers.

3. Phone

You can find plans that include internet for your home and cellphone all in one. That way you are paying a fixed rate with the same company for both services. On average, you will be looking to pay $35-$80 a month. Click here for cell phone plans from different providers.

4. Food

Depending on your diet and food preferences the price for monthly groceries can vary. You can probably expect to pay around $250 dollars for food and groceries for one on a moderate budget. Some of the largest and cheapest groceries stores include Costco, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s. Then you also have stores like Aldi which has been expanding to many different States in the U.S.

5. Transporation

Transportation can vary greatly from state to state. There are some cities in the U.S which are very friendly with public transportation and other cities where having a car is almost a necessity, although not a requirement. In the case that you don’t want to spend money on car, we are providing you with a list of cities (here) in the US that you should consider which are easy to get around in by using Public Transportation.

With adequate preparation and organization, you should be able to enjoy your stay in the United States and pay for all of your necessities with the income you receive from your monthly payment. There may be some adjustments that you have to make a long the way, but just like living in any other city in the world, you will have to do some investigation once you get there to find local stores that are cheaper and look for the best plans for services that satisfy your needs.


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