Last updated: July 11, 2018

What It Costs to Live in Eastern Europe



“Kyle, how much does it REALLY cost to live in Eastern Europe?”

A question I get about every day.

So, I’ve done the liberty of breaking my own expenses down.

1. Apartment

My apartment costs $1,200 a month with all utilities (no internet). This is an absurd price for Eastern Europe. It’s city center, 85 square meters, 3 rooms, and has a panoramic view of a stunning square and church. There are no buildings in front of it so I have full natural light.

It’s also my home office, so take that with a grain of salt when you factor in the price.

I can be on the metro platform in 3 minutes from my front door, and to a major tram/bus line in 30 seconds.

But, an average “bachelor setup” here would be about $600-800.

2. Transit

I don’t have a car, it would be silly given how central I am.

I pay $12/month for unlimited metro, tram, and bus rides, it gets me anywhere I need in the city within 45 minutes (and it’s rare I ever need to go that far).

I take the occasional Uber, too.

Round up to $30.

3. Food

I eat out fairly often because I like to get out of the home in the evening.

For 2 people, it’s common for me to spend $30-35. I usually do this twice a week, maybe 3.

So $100/week to eat out, $400/month.

(I’d also classify this as “entertainment).

I also spend roughly another ~$50/week at the grocery store (two people), $200 a month.

Grocery store items:

  • 1lb ground beef or chicken: $3
  • 18 large eggs: $3
  • 1 beer: $1
  • 200g quality cheese: $1-2
  • Produce is cheap

I also shop at the farmer’s market a few days a week.

4. Basics

Gym membership: $30/m

Phone: $10/m

Internet: $30/m

Total for apartment, transit, and food/necessities is so far about ~$1,900.

5. Entertainment

Kinda depends what I’m doing.

I play on softball & basketball teams which have fees.

I go and bet on the ponies.

Occasional movie.

Pop a bottle once in a while.

Overall, it’s not more than $250-400 a month.

(Doesn’t count when I travel to places like Sofia or Belgrade for kicks.)

Conclusion About Expenses:

  • Rent: $1,200
  • Transit: $30
  • Food: $600 ($400 out, $200 stores)
  • Miscellaneous Necessities: $70
  • Entertainment: $400

Overall: $2,300

And honestly, that’s really everything up and probably exaggerating the entertainment costs.

Moving on…

If you manage to move abroad and make it, in a cheap country…the motivation can be hard to find.

Here’s why:

Really, I’m not careful with my money at all. I just spend what I please, buy some luxury stuff once in a while, but for the most part I’m a pretty simple man who enjoys simple pleasures in life.

  • But, I’d love to pay extra money to skip past the old grandmas in line at the grocery store who take 10 minutes to bag their shit.
  • I’d love to pay extra to make visas and general paperwork hassles go away.
  • I’d love to pay extra to get places in the city faster, but it’s often less time effective to take an Uber than public transit.

See the problem?

I can’t spend money to improve my quality of life much more. I already live in a massive apartment, with huge windows, ceilings, and more space than 99% of Europeans probably have. I already live in one of the most central areas possible. I have blackout curtains in my room for good sleep. I love the gym I go to. I go out whenever and to wherever I want.

And yet, I spend roughly $2,300 a month, I calculated.

There is nothing I can really think of that I could spend money on that would improve my life much.

Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Good problems to have, I suppose.

But, let me bring this to my final point:

Making five figures and above in second or third world countries will only get you so far. I’m not saying you should stop and not work, but at a certain point, money really doesn’t buy you that much more life. It’s sort of depressing to figure this out, but it’s definitely a reality check you’ll encounter if you’re living abroad and building a business.


If you’re not at that five-figure point yet, check out my course “Noob Niche Site”, designed to make you your first hunnids online (not thousands). It’s definitely tailored to those just starting out in their online business journey, but me thinks there is nothing out there with such a minimal monetary and time investment that could have HUGE dividends down the road.

After all, just one of my niche sites covers more than the aforementioned $2,300 a month, in my case…

Anyways, here’s the link:

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Leave a Reply

  1. how much do you pay for health insurance, travel insurance, umbrella insurance, and mail forwarding? what mail forwarding and insurance companies do you use? have you ever had to use your insurance? if so, how was it?

  2. I was living in Prague at the end of last year. My apartment was about three stops (~5 mins) from Andel, which was one of the city’s smaller central districts (~15 mins to DT on the metro), though it was full of restaurants, shopping malls and most of the conveniences I needed for day-to-day life. I only chose it because it was halfway between work and downtown.

    I paid 12,000 Kc a month, which was probably ~$600 USD at the time. This included hot water and utilities. Internet and phone plan was barely another $50.

    In retrospect, I could have easily spent twice as much on rent and found a place that was more than twice as nice, far closer to the city center. One thing I certainly did not have was much natural light lol. Though I like me a cave. All in all, there’s definitely a reasonable range of options to choose from in terms of rent.

    It was nice to know that if I chose to do so, the mid-to-high end of spectrum caps out much lower compared to many Canadian cities. In Vancouver, you’d be lucky to get a 1 bed / 1 “den” for $2500 USD per month.

    1. Yeah, I remember in LA paying $2k a month for a one bedroom (albeit quite nice).

      Simply put though, if you want to move abroad, you need to be making dollars still. No sense in working for companies in other countries. They’re less efficient, more full of stupid people with no work ethic, and your “native English speaker” premium salary doesn’t go far enough to really make it worthwhile.

      1. Agreed. The office is only slightly less toxic compared to back home and like you said there are other problems, like lazy coworkers who spend the last half of the work day drunk. After a while, the lower salary gets to you. When you work a 9-5, it’s hard to hustle no matter where you live.

  3. Kyle, nice breakdown of what you spend. I just got back from several months overseas. I had a monthly rent of $756. I estimated that I spent a certain amount of dollars a month based on this. While overseas, I got all of my money by withdrawing from a local ATM. To my surprise when I got my bank statement, I found out that I spent almost double what I originally had estimated. Apparently I had missed a lot of incidentals. Have you tried this way to determine what you actually spent? Do you get the same results?

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