We asked Matador members and staff to break down some monthly living expenses in their current home city.
San Francisco – USA

Photo by Billy Gast

According to Rudyard Kipling, “San Francisco has only one drawback. ‘Tis hard to leave.” On the verge of buying her own condo, writer and photographer Cheri Lucas might agree.

Two bedroom apartment: $2000-3000 per month depending on area
Local dinner: $15 for a single dish
Public transport: $2 for a bus with unlimited transfers for 2 hours
One liter of gas: $1
Doctor’s visit: $25 for a routine visit (via insurance)
Electricity: $20 per month
Internet: $40 per month

Salta – Argentina

Photo by Paul Campbell

Salta, in northwestern Argentina at the foothills of the Andes, is currently home for Matador Life Editor Leigh Shulman and her family.

Two bedroom apartment: $200-500 per month
Local dinner: $15 for a steak dinner
Public transport: 50 cents
One liter of gas: $1
Doctor’s visit: $15
Electricity: $10 per month but can go up to $100+ in non-gas heated buildings during winter
Internet: $40-50 per month

Vancouver – Canada

Photo by Jenn

Home of Matador’s Network Architect Ian MacKenzie, Vancouver is still ranked as one of the most highly livable cities worldwide, despite some of the most expensive real estate in North America.

Two bedroom apartment: $1800+ per month
Local dinner: $6 for sushi
Public transport: $5, or $10 for a whole day pass
One liter of gas: $1.30
Doctor’s visit: Free, however healthcare costs $60 per month
Electricity: $50 per month
Internet: $60 per month

Cairo – Egypt

Photo by Mike Slagter

Matador Life Editor Nick Rowlands has lived in Cairo for more than four years, and although he keeps trying to leave, he keeps getting drawn back to the delicious chaos of life in the crazy Egyptian capital.

Two bedroom apartment: Expats will normally pay around $250-700 depending on the area
Local dinner: $5 though can go much more expensive, and street food less than $1
Public transport: 16 cents for the Metro
One liter of gas: 30 cents
Doctor’s visit: Starting around $8
Electricity: around $16 per month
Internet: $25 per month

La Linea de la Concepcion – Spain

Photo by Gerry Balding

Located at the southern tip of Spain, neighbouring the Rock of Gibraltar, La Linea is where Matador intern Jason Wire enjoys around 3000 hours of sunlight per year, on some of the cleanest beaches in the country.

Two bedroom apartment: $700
Local dinner: $20
Public transport: $1.50-3
One liter of gas: $1.50
Doctor’s visit: Free healthcare if you are contributing to the Spanish Social Security system
Electricity: $80 per month
Internet: $40 per month

Chiang Mai – Thailand

The laid back vibes and ridiculously cheap lifestyle are what attracted me to Chiang Mai. A very popular city for expats in Thailand, and just an hour away by plane to the islands.

Two bedroom apartment: $300
Local dinner: $1-2
Public transport: 65 cents for a songthaew (pick up truck-bus)
One liter of gas: $1.15
Doctor’s visit: $8
Electricity: $20-30 per month
Internet: $12 per month

Ulsan – South Korea

Photo of Seoul by Ian Muttoo

With insane Internet speeds and amazing food, South Korea is a favorite destination for English teaching expats like Matador Life intern Anne Merritt.

Two bedroom apartment: $600-1000
Local dinner: $7 for Korean barbecued beef
Public transport: 80 cents
One liter of gas: $1.40
Doctor’s visit: $7
Electricity: $45 per month
Internet: $26 per month

Melbourne – Australia

Travel Blogger Dave Dean explains it himself: “Melbourne is simply one of the most ‘livable’ cities I’ve ever been to – incredible places to eat and drink, a wonderful quirky culture and a population as diverse as its weather!”

Two bedroom apartment: $1800 and above depending on the area
Local dinner: $10 in pubs
Public transport: $3.90 for a 2 hour train/tram pass
One liter of gas: $1.20
Doctor’s visit: $30 for permanent residents
Electricity: $60per month
Internet: $40 per month

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

What is the cost of living in your own city compared to the examples above? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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