View Full Version : How do they manage ??

30-01-2004, 02:02
I got a mail a few weeks back from a friend of mine in Moscow, and he was telling me what the average Muscovite earns in wages. I was quite astonished. How do people live on such money ???

More to the point, how do folks outside the capital manage on about $100 a month ?? My ex was trying to tell me that they were OK as her parents had a dacha and a small pension, but - no, I guess it`s beyond my ability to imagine life like that. And I feel so bloody sorry that the country is in such a terrible mess, ten years plus on from perestroika.......

Given what the average Muscovite earns, do Expats get a good deal, d`you think ?? I know it`s not 1990 and wages are contracting, but...... it`s all comparative. Do we all still reckon that expats are better off than the norm ??

Moscow Wolf
30-01-2004, 05:48
Dave give us the figures mate! Russians always survive, there's many Russians here in Moscow earning a lot less than me, but they're all driving some decent foreign car, they've got their own flats and a decent summerHouse. I often wonder where I'm going wrong! Having lived the last five years in amongst the working/non working class they stiill manage to achieve things that I cannot account for. MY GF says, well they don't go on foreign holidays 3 times a year, they don't buy as many CD's as you etc etc etc.

I cannot speak about other cities of Russia, but they survive too and I don't know how but they do. I couldn't survive back in the UK for that matter, how do you survive there?

Ps. In photoshop you had hair, what happened!

30-01-2004, 06:47
If you are really interested... Check out this book, a collection of photos by Luc Delahaye, that came out not too long ago. It's called "Winterreise." Stunning, and not in a real positive way.

30-01-2004, 11:47
Moscow is so different from the others cities...i've been to yaroslav and ribinsk, the cost of living in those cities cannot be compared to moscow's one. Anyway it's a true fact that a lot of russians don't really "live" with such a money, they only survive.

30-01-2004, 11:57
It is all relative to the way you live.

When i first came here I worked on a commision only job, I earned nothing for my first 6 months, but I lived dimply and had enough money to survive.

I came here after quiting a very well paid job because I could see the future....

Thankfully it is working out for me..

30-01-2004, 18:00
on a trip into the country we stopped for some lunch.
2 pints
one chicken soup
one kotlet with mash
two teas
three little pasties
all for 48 rubles (the beer was 5 roubles a half litre, kaluzhsky brand)

I bought a suit at the Moskva trading centre. Why wear a decent suit when you get covered in shit and piss like today. I bought the most expensive, about 100 bucks. The woman who sold it me, travelled 5 hours a day to get to work, worked 10 hours a day, all for about 150 bucks a month. She earned 40 rubles from my suit.

when I were a lad...

30-01-2004, 18:30
Yep, it certainly IS different out there in the sticks....... beer 5R70 a bottle when I was there, Russian cigarettes, next to nothing... you CAN live cheaply in Russia (beer and cigarettes counting for a lot, obviously :) ) - but life is still hellishly difficult for most Russians. And no welfare state, of course. Microscopic pensions, wages irregularly paid, long long hours.......

I sometimes think I`m getting closer to knowing what life`s like for the average Russian outside of Moscow or St Pete, and imagine I`ll know perhaps a little more about the Russian character one day. Guess I never will........ not without living that particular life and having grown up there, too.......

30-01-2004, 20:55
Guys, what are talking about? In gerenal, most of young people in Moscow (it other cities it's almost impossible) people easily find gob with 300-400$ salary, I was through and I know. I wouldn't say for everyone, but as for me, I'm really in a deep trouble. First of all I'm paid less than50$ and can't go to another job because I'll have to quite with the current one. But there is something to know - I'm a scientist in biological brach where there is no money even in plans, but it's my life, my love and my destiny, I can't leave it. I'm working hard, but earning nothing - that's a problem. I was working in casinoes, offises etc earning a lot.

But do the money decide everythiing when choosing the job and profession. What about call of your soul? I knew I"ll be biologist since 7th form.
So, about no money for most of professional - I don't aggree, the problem that cirtain professions are not paid - teachers, scientists, (if they say doctors - don't believe, they do earn) etc.

And actualy the point is - HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? For some people it's 100$, and some englishman (father of my childt for example) who spends more than 2 000$ a month thinks that it's enough to live with little baby for couple of hundreds.
So like I said, depends on point of view.

30-01-2004, 21:37
Prices in Moscow are definitely different than the rest of Russia. Even in St. Pete it's cheaper.

That said, many people are barely surviving. My wife is from Volgograd, and the economy there is extremely poor. Teachers earn about 1000R a month. She earned 1500R as deputy director of the gymnasium she worked at, but pulled down 5-6 times that much from an after-school program she founded.

My mother-in-law gets 1000R for her pension. The money we send her pays for food, medicine, etc. We bought her a new stove and fridge in the past year, along with winter shoes.

How do they do it? She doesn't have rent, and only minimal utility and phone bills. She doesn't have a car, and uses the cheapest public transportation. My wife had eaten in a restaurant once in her life prior to meeting me, and that was for a wedding of a relative. They don't travel, and the idea of a foreign vacation is almost inconceivable.

Travel with my wife: Other than lodging (about $300-350 a week in Moscow and St. Pete), we spend about $100 a week on food, ballets, museums, etc. She was shocked the first time I took her to a cafe in Moscow and doled out 240R for our meal.

They survive, and they do it with grace. But they would prefer to be paid at least a living wage.

30-01-2004, 22:38
Hi Blue - my ex was from Volgograd too (and was a teacher but I do assure you that we`re not talking about the same lady here. ;) ) - she got about $35 a month for being a lecturer. Food prices in Volgograd raised enormously in the last two years.

The same story as yours, Blue- my ex had never *seen* a microwave before she met me - I mean S E E N - none of her friends had one. No one she knew had one. As for restraunts, she was once stopped in the street by a waiter from the Avgust - I`m sure you know it, on the embankment - who recognised her as having a foreign fiancee as that was the first three course meal he`d served to us - 18 months previously.

Before I`d paid for holidays for her to the Black Sea, she`d last been there in about 1977. The family considered themselves well off but wouldn`t buy extravagances like candles.

So one of my simple replies to some of the answers here is - Moscow is NOT Russia - yes, you`ll see hardship and poverty there, but go outside of Moscow and St Pete and you begin to ask yourself - how DO people survive ??????????

I wish I knew, I really do.

All the best to you and your wife, by the way !!

30-01-2004, 22:46

You are right about food prices. My wife was shocked last summer at food prices in Volgograd. She said they were about equal to prices in the states.

Russians are getting screwed in so many ways. My brother-in-law is a furniture maker. Extraordinary craftsman. He worked for two months carving a mirror frame and was paid R5000. The frame sold in Italy for $5000.

I guess if your entire country's history tells you that you will always get the dirty end of the stick, you don't mind so much.

30-01-2004, 22:54
........ what a total rip off, Blue. Sorry to hear about your brother in law. It`s just slave labour.

Well, my ex`es family were from Traktorozavodskiy Raion - and life there is pretty interesting indeed. I loved the place, I loved the city, I loved the people - but - when your friends pick you up from the airport, discover that the hotel you`re staying in costs $25 a night, say "Such riches !!!!! " -

- and then offer to move out so you can move in and save money.....

... your heart truly breaks that such decent people are so hard done by. I found my time there to be an excercise in learning humility - and learning that what I thought I had (in material terms) was not quite as important as what ordinary Russians had in terms of friends and family.