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How To Calculate The Cost Of Living In The U.S.?

Updated on October 28, 2020 12:39 pm
Cost of living

Whether you are looking for employment in the U.S. or thinking of relocating to the U.S., having a picture of what it cost to live in the country is a valuable insight.

To begin, the cost of living is the amount of money you need to cover your basic living expenses like housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation, taxes, education, etc. In other words, a certain amount of money needed to sustain a decent standard of living.

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The U.S. is one of the largest countries in the world by landmass with varying costs of living depending on the state, city, or region. The cities can be more expensive to live in than in the suburbs or the countryside. Even the suburbs can be expensive depending on where you live. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston are some of the most expensive cities while Buffalo, Indianapolis, Columbus are some of the cheapest.

Why do people move to the U.S.?

The United States is a major attraction for professionals all around the world seeking a high-quality working environment, lofty salaries, high living standards, and a convenient lifestyle.

Students around the globe flock to the country to study in top universities to get the best quality education. Moving to the United States is an aspiration for many people. It is not a surprise that the U.S. is the top destination country for migrants (a total of 50.7 million international migrants) and home to thriving multi-cultural expat communities.

Asian Indian is one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the U.S. The Indian population in the U.S. has risen by 49% from 2010 to 2018 (from 1.78 million to 2.65 million) as per the Census Bureau report.

The top 10 cities with the highest Non-resident Indians (NRIs) population are New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington (D.C.), Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

10 states with Indians


Whichever city you decide to move from your country of origin, the one thing to take into account is the foreign exchange rates. The cost of currency conversion from your home currency to dollars and fees for money transfers can increase your expenses. If you need to send money internationally, sending money online is quick, safe, and will save you money with every transfer. Compare top international money transfer companies to get the best exchange rates, transfer speed, and the lowest fees.

Now, let's come to the factors that determine the cost of living in the U.S.



The cost of living is quantified by collecting the prices of basic goods and services in different cities across time which are compiled into indices. Such indices include prices of housing, food, health care, utility services, and various other goods and services required for a certain quality of life. The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one example of the cost of living index compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The cost of living index gives you the difference in percentage in the cost of living between different cities. When comparing the cost of living index, the value 100 is considered as the U.S. average. For example, Hawaii has a high cost of living index in the U.S. at 192.9, which means the cost of living is 92.9% higher than the country's average.

Below are some of the major factors influencing the cost of living.

Cost of Living in the USA: Monthly Salary and Living Expenses

The cost of living is related to income level. The income is higher in cities where the cost of living is also high.

Average Monthly Salary (After Tax) & Living Expenses

Cost of Living


Cost of Living in the USA: Housing & Rent

Housing costs are a major factor in determining the cost of living. The monthly rent varies depending on the type of housing and the location. Places away from the city are less expensive. Small towns and the countryside are more affordable. However, the living standard may be different.

Many immigrants with permanent residents status tend to buy a property and pay a mortgage instead of paying rent. After all, homeownership is central to the American Dream.

Rent (per month)

Rent

Cost of Living in the USA: Education Cost

Education in the U.S. can be very expensive and the fees vary widely depending on the institution. For international students, the education costs can be even higher. The pricing structures are also different for public and private institutions. One good news is that the top universities in the U.S. provide financial aid packages for students or international students with financial need.

Given below is the yearly average cost of schools and colleges for the academic year 2017-2018 as per the National Center for Education Statistics.

Education

Cost of Living in the USA: Utility Charges

Whether you are paying a mortgage or rent, you need to pay for utility services like electricity, water, garbage, heating, etc every month. The cost differs based on the location.

Utility Charges (monthly)

utility

Cost of Living in the USA: Healthcare Expenditure

The healthcare system in the U.S. is top-notch but without proper health insurance, your medical expenses will be extremely high. For a normal Doctor's check-up, the fee can range from 100-200$, medicine for cold for a week can cost you around 10-30$, and 6-10 $ for antibiotics. A person in the U.S. pays a monthly insurance premium of $400-500 but depends on the type of insurance taken.

The U.S. has one of the expensive health care services. You need to have comprehensive health insurance to get the best medical treatment regardless of the place you live in. If you have parents or friends visiting the U.S., getting travel medical insurance is highly recommended.Here is the per capita total health care expenditure of the U.S. as compared to other countries according to the OECD Health Statistics 2019.

Healthcare

Cost of Living in the USA: Transportation Charges

Public transportation in major cities in the U.S. includes buses, trains, subway, taxi so it is very convenient. If you live nearby to the cities, you can also use your own private vehicle to commute. The expenses will differ because the gas price is not the same in many places.

Transportation Charges

Transportation

 

The cost of living in the U.S. is on the rise as time goes on. It is estimated to be more than doubled in the last 3 decades. Despite the rising expenses, the U.S is not the most expensive country in the world. It is far cheaper than in several European cities. A low cost of living doesn't always mean the best choice. It is also wise to consider the quality of life that a place can give you which can be access to better health care, a good neighborhood, and a better standard of living.

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Additionally, geopolitical events, trade policies, and interest rate differentials between the US and India influenced investor sentiment and currency valuations.The aftermath of the pandemic boosted investor confidence in the robust US economy, while economic indicators, trade imbalances, and geopolitical events played their part in shaping the fluctuations of the USD to INR exchange rate in 2023.Will the Indian Rupee Get Stronger Against the US Dollar in 2024?Current market sentiment indicates a bullish outlook for the USD to INR exchange rate. That means the overall market-in favor of the United States-is expected to go higher, meaning that the value of the US Dollar is expected to increase. The US Dollar is projected to experience a 1.64% rise in the next year, with the USD to INR rate anticipated to reach around ₹ 84.82. We have already begun to see the rate reach closer to that rate as the yearly average so far has been around ₹ 83.17.[Source: Coincodex]This is good news for those hoping to send money to India in 2024 as the rate leans more favorably for the US Dollar. It is, however, unfortunate news for those wanting to convert their Indian Rupee to travel to the United States, study in the USA, etc. 2024 USD to INR ForecastAs we peer into the crystal ball for 2024, as stated before, the current sentiment in the USD to INR market is currently estimated to be bullish. The 14-day RSI reading is 53.64. Forecasts suggest an upward trajectory for the USD to INR exchange rate in the coming months. Projections for the next six months indicate a potential 1.42% increase, bringing the exchange rate to ₹ 84.64. Looking further into the future, as stated earlier, the one-year forecast anticipates a 1.64% rise, resulting in a rate of ₹ 84.82.2024 Monthly USD/INR ForecastThis all can be very overwhelming for those of us unfamiliar with how to navigate market fluctuations or even interpret terminology used by experts when discussing the exchange rate and market health. That is why we are providing you with a monthly breakdown with the predicted exchange rates for each month in 2024, that way you can make the best decision for when you would like to send money from the US to India or send money from India to the US. The following INR USD forecasts are based on information that is currently available.  Depending on the extent to which key factors, such as interest rates and central bank policy match market expectations, the forecasts could be changed and turn out to be false. Please make sure to always conduct your own research and remember that future results don't depend on past performance.Dollar to Rupee forecast February 2024: At the beginning 83.06 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.81, the change for February -0.3%. Maximum 84.07, minimum 81.53. The average exchange rate is 82.87.Dollar to Rupee forecast March 2024: At the beginning 82.81 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.78, the change for March 0.0%. Maximum 84.02, minimum 81.31. The average exchange rate is 82.73.Dollar to Rupee forecast April 2024: At the beginning 82.78 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.67, the change for April -0.1%. Maximum 83.91, minimum 81.43. The average exchange rate is 82.70.Dollar to Rupee forecast May 2024: At the beginning 82.67 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.53, the change for May -0.2%. Maximum 83.77, minimum 81.29. The average exchange rate is 82.57.Dollar to Rupee forecast June 2024: At the beginning 82.53 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.61, the change for June 0.1%. Maximum 83.85, minimum 81.37. The average exchange rate is  82.59.Dollar to Rupee forecast July 2024: At the beginning 82.61 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.82, the change for July 0.3%. Maximum 84.06, minimum 81.58. The average exchange rate is 82.77.Dollar to Rupee forecast August 2024: At the beginning 82.82 Rupees. At the end of the month 83.16, the change for August 0.4%. Maximum 84.41, minimum 81.91. The average exchange rate is 83.08.Dollar to Rupee forecast September 2024: At the beginning 83.16 Rupees. At the end of the month 83.63, the change for September 0.6%. Maximum 84.88, minimum 82.38. The average exchange rate is 83.51.Dollar to Rupee forecast October 2024: At the beginning 83.63 Rupees. At the end of the month 83.82, the change for October 0.2%. Maximum 85.08, minimum 82.56. The average exchange rate is 83.77.Dollar to Rupee November 2024: At the beginning 83.82 Rupees. At the end of the month 83.20, the change for November -0.7%. Maximum 84.45, minimum 81.95. The average exchange rate is 83.36.Dollar to Rupee December 2024: At the beginning 83.20 Rupees. At the end of the month 84.15, the change for December 1.1%. Maximum 85.41, minimum 82.89. The average exchange rate is 83.91.Sending Money from the US to India in 2024For those looking to send money from the US to India in 2024, numerous options and companies offer highly competitive rates. Some even provide first-time rates higher than the economic USD to INR exchange rate. Utilizing a comparison tool can help individuals find the best way to send money, ensuring they get the most favorable rates for their transactions. Use the CompareRemit comparison tool to find the best USD to INR exchange rate. How to Get the Best USD to INR Rate in 2024Compare and contrast the top money transfer companies on the market to find the best USD to INR exchange rate using our comparison tool.  Protip: Many companies offer a first-time user rate that is significantly better than their regular rate. Make sure you utilize those offers to get the best exchange rate that you can. ConclusionAs the USD to INR forecast for 2024 unfolds, staying informed about currency dynamics is essential for making informed financial decisions. Whether conducting international transactions for business or personal purposes, understanding exchange rate trends and exploring efficient remittance methods empower individuals to navigate the currency landscape with confidence and foresight.However, do keep in mind that the forecasts are often inaccurate and subject to correction. The USD to INR forecasts are based on the rate of inflation, central bank policies, and the health of the US and Indian economies.Send money home to India today while the USD to INR exchange rate is in your favor! Compare rates and providers by using our online comparison tool.

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