Moving abroad is exciting in many ways, but it also requires a lot of research – from where you will live to how you will get there and the language you will need to learn.
The cost of living is a major decision when choosing your new home – especially in today’s economic climate. This is especially important for those hoping to lower their bills by living somewhere less expensive.
So how do you calculate what your groceries or rent will cost you for the month?
Numbeo, a participatory online tool, could be the answer. The Serbia-based website gathers information from users around the world on the price of everyday shopping.
“Anyone can add the data, like Wikipedia,” Numbeo CEO Mladen Adamovic told Euronews Travel.
What does Numbeo data reveal about different countries?
Numbeo is a cost of living index that contains data for most cities around the world. Data is presented using color-coded pins on a map. But you can also directly compare your current city of residence with where you hope to to move to and it shows you the prices side by side.
Comparing Lyon, France to London, for example, reveals that rental and restaurant prices are higher in the British capital. Food prices, however, are actually around 20% lower in London.
Comparisons also include a list of specific everyday items like a liter of milk, a kilogram of apples, or even a pack of cigarettes. For those looking to stay long term, there are prices per square meter for buying apartments inside and outside the city center.
If you’re not looking for specifics, Numbeo’s data provides an overall figure that appears in Londonto maintain the same lifestyle you had in Lyonsyou would need €1,756.79 more per month.
Users can also add data on factors that affect quality of life, such as traffic, safety, and health care.
How does Numbeo keep its data up to date?
Adamovic, CEO of Numbeo, explains that the tool uses adaptive archiving technology to ensure information is up to date. An essential feature in the face of today’s ever-fluctuating prices.
“This means that if there are, for example, more than 120 people who contribute a certain prize to Munich in the last three months, we archive entries older than three months.”
The more entries they get, the better they can report on the evolution of inflation costs.
“Our main target is people who are thinking of moving from one country to another so that they can estimate whether this move would be profitable,” explains Adamovic.
“This includes people who want to move to cheaper countries, the website helps them choose a new location.”
Cost of living comparisons could be especially useful for digital nomads
The online tool is particularly useful for those who only want to spend a few months abroad – like digital nomadssaid Adamovic.
“Numbeo is frequently visited by digital nomads,” he explains, “I guess since many stay a few months in a certain country, they check prices before leaving.”
He says Numbeo is the most popular website by internet traffic for people checking prices in other cities and countries.
Italy: Where is the cheapest accommodation?
Many dream of moving to Italy, either to retire or earlier in life. with the country launch of a digital nomad visait might be easier to live and work from Italy.
Examination of costs in the country yields interesting results. Comparing the capital Rome to, say, life in Naples, we see that the south is cheaper on all fronts – especially rental costs which are 44% lower.
Further south, in Palermo, rental prices in Sicily are even cheaper with almost 58% less than in Rome.
But Numbeo can be used to compare the cost of living anywhere in the world, not just in Europe. Those looking to take advantage of digital nomad visas further afield Bali, Indonesia for example will find that perhaps unsurprisingly, the prices are significantly lower.
Compared to Paris, the amount you can expect to pay for a meal in a cheap restaurant could be almost 90% lower on average in Bali. If you are looking for a bottle of red wine, expect it to be more than 100% more expensive than in France.
It’s this level of specificity that makes the cost of living tool appealing to those looking to understand the realities of becoming a digital nomad or expat.