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2020 Living Standards

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Squilks
11/29/2020 15:59 EST

Hi all,

Unfortunately it's the usual topic of discussion on any Bermuda forum...money vs cost of living.

I've just been offered a job with a $116,000 salary on the island ($9500per month). I'll get slightly subsides rent at between $1500-1800 per month for a shared apartment and 50% of the basic healthcare package covered.

I'm usually a humanitarian worker across conflict zones and work for next to nothing usually, my hope is to come to Bermuda for 12-18 months to be able to save for a house deposit back in the UK as the humanitarian world won't leave me with much when I hit retirement age.

What are the monthly costs of internet, phone etc in 2020? I'm a vegetarian, single male with no particularly expensive hobbies or fussyness about high living standards. If I can afford a few beers on a Friday night once or twice a month I'm happy.

How much could I realistically expect to save after 12 months? There seems to be a lot of mixed messages..

Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!

rahmank
1/8/2021 08:39 EST

XBDA is correct in many of her statements.

But I am from UK and am living in BDA on about the same as what you have been offered.

I don't get subsidised accommodation and pay $1800 pm for a good one bed flat. But I got a cracking deal. I paid $2200 pm the first year, and basically threatened to leave as the rent was too high. (look out for fully furnished - but if you get part furnished, there are charity shops with houshold goods and FB marketplace with cheap stuff - I picked up a few kitchen gadgets cheaply/ free)

Water is included (otherwise it costs $50 ish in summer months when there is no rain (yes we collect rainwater -most houses have huge underground tanks)

Electricity is $130 ish per month, I rarel use aircon.

TV/internet will set you back $100 ish - I get the most basic package (internet speeds are good here) but it is essential, otherwise you will be terribly lonely.

Luckily I get car and fuel from work. But a new tiny kia (the size of a ford Ka) will set you back $23,000. You can get second hand ones for around $7,000-8,000.

I dont know what fuels costs, but I think it is similar to UK prices, but then the island is tiny, so you don't use as much.

British license is still not valid here, so first few months is really tough. And driving test here is quite difficult, even if you have driven for many years, you should take some lessons, if only to get a car to use - it cost me $50 per hour and I had to take four lessons, including the test. I think the whole process took me arounf three moths and cost around $650 (fees for the license etc., medical by a Bermudian doctor etc.)

I'd say I pay around 15% in taxes/ compulsory union fees etc. A lot depends on who you work for.

Health insurance is a biggie - I pay around $500 pm. (don't ever underestimate how great NHS is)

Food - yes food is really expensive. Bread is $7 per loaf.

But I have changed how I shop. I look for reductions and offere. You become aware of prices of everything and figure out which place is good for what. Never buy all your groceries from the same store, (as they have certain things cheaper but other things dearer).

I have also changed what I eat. I now eat a lot of curries and rice. I bought some rice rather cheaply when it was on offer ($1 per lb) and am using it up now. It isn't the best quality rice but it does. I have just found somewhere they sell Basmati rice for a little more than that, and I will buy it - like 25lb bag.

I buy antibiotic free chicken when its on offer - around $2 per lb and freeze it. A lot of beans/ lentils etc. I now make my own sourdough bread - 59cents cost.

I also fish -its free - had to invest in some fishing gear - bring some with you.

So I end up sending around $4000-$5000 per month home,

Get an HSBC account with Global View (you need and advance account for that. You will also need to mainatin a $20k balance in Bermuda to have the same account here for ease of funds transfer)

Come over for th adventure, money is still not bad.

PM me - I am happy to help you if you need/ want it.

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XBDA
1/8/2021 07:22 EST

If your accommodation is paid for ($1800/month should get you half of a semi-decent 2-bedroom apartment), you take the bus and you don't eat out, then you will save a lot. Expect about 10% of your salary removed for taxes, social security and healthcare. Expect about $100/month in cell phone, another $100/mo in mediocre internet, and half of the $400/mo or so electric and air conditioning bill. A bus pass is about $60/month.

Keep me honest by checking out https://onecomm.bm/as they are basically the only cell phone service provider now.

The rest is up to you: a beer costs $8 at a bar, a semi-nice meal out with a drink is $60-$75 per person.
Vegetarians don't get away cheaply: apples are $1.79 each, a small head of iceberg lettuce is $4.00, a kilo of carrots is $7-£11 (when available; carrot imports are banned and the farms don't grow enough to meet demand). A large takeout veggie pizza is $20-$25.

If you buy a car or a scooter, the cost of living goes up dramatically, as gas is $11/gallon at the best of times.

So if you are single and go there, share a place, don't party and don't drive, there's no reason you can't save $4000 a month or more. It might be difficult to be that disciplined because all other the expats you will meet drive, eat out and party all the time, because that's all there is to do.

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