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View Full Version : is Moscow expensive to live in?



moscowkiwi
17-12-2010, 08:33
Hi
I am considering moving to Moscow and would like to know how much (roughly) it would cost to survive comfortably in Moscow.

Basic food costs e.g. milk, bread, chicken, sugar, chocolate bar, cereal, bottled water = how much are these items?

Sky t.v cost?

Cinema (English) tickets cost?

Metro day pass cost?

McDonalds big mac meal cost?

Electricity per month in winter?

Any other costs to consider? I just want to get a rough idea of whether Moscow is an expensive city to live in or not. How much would I need to be earning to live comfortably?

If I had my rent/electricity provided could I comfortably live on $150 per week spending money? just paying for groceries, meals, metro, the odd movie etc?

Any advice would be appreciated
Thanks so much

ReallyGreatConcerts
17-12-2010, 08:56
By far the biggest cost here is renting an apartment. So if you have that covered, you are in a good starting position :)

Basic food costs e.g. milk, bread, chicken, sugar, chocolate bar, cereal, bottled water = how much are these items?

Milk, bread & sugar are dirt-cheap items, so are all dairy items. Locally-made chocolate, cereal, mineral water are also cheap, but the price doubles if you are determined to eat only imported brands. Frankly the prices are so cheap that I never even look, I just put it in my shopping trolley.


Sky t.v cost? Sorry, never watch tv

Cinema (English) tickets cost? Varies hugely according to cinema, the multiplexes charge big money, but local soviet-style cinemas (like mine) are dirt cheap.

Metro day pass cost? Doesn't work like that, you pay per number of rides. The only "period" tickets are for one-month, two-month, three-month, or 1 year, and that's where the big savings are. I pay 9000 roubles for a 3-month unlimited metro p**** and it's effectively the cost of two months travel.

McDonalds big mac meal cost? Dunno, I'm a veggie. But McD generally is cheaper than London or Paris

Electricity per month in winter? Much lower than in W Europe.

Ian G
17-12-2010, 09:08
After rent I think the biggest expense is probably eating out- lunch in the middle of the day, cups of coffee, the ocasional restaurant etc. It all adds up. If you can keep that to a minimum then you should be able to manage, but it'll be a squeeze.

If you're prepared to watch your spending then it should be possible, but $150 a week really is not very much in a city like Moscow. Of course for millions of people wo live here it is a decent salary- but when you are new to a place it's difficult to live so cheaply.

You need to make sure the employer is paying all your visa costs and all the housing related costs- gas, water, electricity, and rates (kvarplata). And will they look after you and pay if you need to see a doctor? If the answer to these questions is yes- then it's certainly possible.

ReallyGreatConcerts
17-12-2010, 09:25
After rent I think the biggest expense is probably eating out- lunch in the middle of the day, cups of coffee, the ocasional restaurant etc. It all adds up. If you can keep that to a minimum then you should be able to manage, but it'll be a squeeze. .

Very good point. The take-out food industry is an almost total zero - you won't find sandwiches or lunch items in shops or supermarkets. It's a legacy of the days when State enterprises had subsidised canteens... and it all goes back to the fact that many/most Russians still eat their main meal of the day at lunchtime. If your job has a canteen, the prices will usually be laughably low. If you have to eat out at commercial prices, your $150/week will quickly disappear - unless you get yourself organised to make packed lunches and take them with you to work. There are, however, lots of kiosks selling pies and pastries (but only these, and mostly puff-pastry or fried) - you can get a quick lunch there very cheaply (a pie is around 25-40 roubles, depending what kind), but you'll soon be the size of a house if you make it your daily lunch-stop.

(There is no social stigma in taking packed lunches - my buddy was working in a big bank, and made (appropriately inventive and healthy) packed lunches for three years while she was saving the deposit for a mortgage. I wish I had the discipline, frankly.)