When you work in the USA, you will earn dollars. But you will also spend those dollars for your needs and expenses. Before you move, it helps to research and plan for how much you’re going to spend monthly in the USA.
I looked at several websites and read some blogs about monthly expenses in the USA. I found some resources that can help you calculate your monthly expenses.
Monthly Expense Calculator
I found the budget calculator provided by EPI to be helpful in my planning. If you already know where you will rent an apartment or house, enter the zip code, choose the city or locality, and it will generate a list of expenses: http://www.epi.org/resources/budget/
In the screenshot below, you could see a screenshot of the expenses for the metropolitan area around Nashville. The expenses there tend to be on the conservative side, especially in terms of housing, but it gives a good estimate of how much you should expect to spend monthly and annually.
You can also use the following calculator if you wanted to have more flexibility with the things you want to include in the list of expenses.
Budget and Expense Categories
I have been tracking our expenses through this web app called Mint. I would encourage you to sign up with Mint to track your expenses more effectively and automatically.
Here are some range of amounts of how much you should expect to spend monthly in the USA. Quick disclaimer, this is based on a family of 2 adults and 1 child.
Home Rent (based on 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment) – $1000 – $1500
Family Support (if you’re sending money back to the Philippines): $100 – $500
Gifts & Donations (if you are giving to a church or a charity of your choice) – $100 – $300
Bills & Utilities
- Electricity $50 – $200 (varies during the Summer and Winter)
- Water – $30 – $80
- Mobile Phone – $50
- Internet & Cable TV – $50 – $150
- TV subscriptions (TFC, etc) – $20
- Netflix – $10
- Amazon Prime – $10
Auto & Transport
Auto Payment – $300 – $600
Auto Insurance – $100 – $250
Gas – $40 – $120
Food & Dining
Groceries – $300 – $600
Eat Out – $50 – $100
Kids – $100 – $200
Shopping – $100 – $600
Health & Fitness (medicine, gym membership, etc) – $20 – $120
Fees & Charges – $20 – $100
Misc Expenses – $100 – $300
Personal Care – $10 – $100
Savings: $100 – $500
TOTAL: $4000 – $6000
I also recommend reading about personal finance blogs to help you plan for and improve your financial standing in the United States. Here are some blogs you can follow to improve your budgets and personal finance.