Tuesday, 12 January 2010

How much does living here cost?

In weighing up the feasibility of coming to India I set myself a target spend of £5000 a year.  That broke down into £1000 for two return flights, £1000 for my time in the UK between stints in India, and £3000 for all costs in India - accommodation, food, transport, sight-seeing and entertainment.  It didn't include insurances, subscriptions, maintenance, presents or any of my regular outgoings.
Now that I've been here for more than 12 months, how far off target was I?

Well, as I pay for everything in India with cash, it's easy enough to add up the ATM cash withdrawals, but being careful not to include any donations which are just passing through my account.  While in the UK I used both my direct debit card and my credit card - slightly more tricky as I also use the credit card for any on-line shopping - eg present buying.  Still, I've waded through the statements and the end result is...

£   761 for two return flights
£ 1,233 for my time in UK (6wks)
£ 2,467 for everything in India (46wks)
£ 4,461

Now I reckon that's not bad!

My expenses in the UK were a little more than I'd budgeted for but that target was just a guess.  It doesn't include any accommodation expenses because family and friends have very kindly put me up.

The flights were less than predicted but then they are so variable anyway - tomorrow they could be more.

I'd based my predicted India living expenses on experience of holidaying here in 2007.  Sight-seeing trips and entertainment didn't really happen so that partly accounts for being within budget.  That and luck.

All in all I'm pleased to say the £5k/pa figure is just about spot on!

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