Why aren’t people honest about the cost of expat living?

Maybe it’s just because I was raised in the UK, but I personally am fairly uncomfortable with a great deal of money chat. I’ll talk directionally, but coming out with an actual figure is something I’m really not used to doing. And I don’t hear many others around me doing it, either. I mean, I get it. Boasting about money is vulgar; it comes under the same category as talking about religion or politics over the dinner table, right?

It's generally considered rude to talk about money in polite society. However, affordability is a key consideration to factor in to expat life. I personally think we should talk about personal finance more, so I'm being very honest about the cost of living in Australia (and Sydney in particular) at www.anestingnomad.com

However, I think that we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater by avoiding money talk altogether – what about discussing money normally, in a non-boastful way? Talking about budgets and realistic levels of spending? As a self declared member of the expat* blogging community, I was forced to take a hard look at myself today. I did an interview with Josh from Expats Everywhere, which I have to say I really enjoyed. Josh was great and put me at ease throughout, so this isn’t a comment against him whatsoever.

But during the interview, Josh asked me about typical daily expenses in Sydney and start up costs that newcomers might expect. Obviously, this is useful for those who are considering a move to Australia. And I actually found it a little bit difficult to answer (and not just because I’m bad at mental arithmetic). I had to check myself; why can’t I share with you all how much I pay in rent each week? How much I spend in Coles?

It got me to thinking. As expats, I don’t think we talk enough about our expenses in an upfront and honest way. Knowledge is power. How realistic would it be for others to embark on our journeys, given their particular circumstances and lifestyles? And how will they know, unless we share these things with them?

[bctt tweet=”I think that we do a real disservice to fellow expats – and especially potential expats – when we avoid money talk or hedge our numbers. ” username=”anestingnomad”]

So with all that said, if you want to know how much rent I pay (and plenty more besides), you can watch my interview here.

Thanks for the interview Josh, and to Kalie for getting in touch initially.

-Rachel

*I know there are well-founded issues with this term, but I think that is what most people know the community as, so for the sake of ease that’s what go with.

Pin me and help a fellow expat-to-be:

It's generally considered rude to talk about money in polite society. However, affordability is a key consideration to factor in to expat life. I personally think we should talk about personal finance more, so I'm being very honest about the cost of living in Australia (and Sydney in particular) at www.anestingnomad.com

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