As the saying often goes, there's no Heaven on Earth. When it seems like a new locale has everything someone could want, people often discover that everything they want doesn't come cheap. And when a new place to live does come cheap, it's usually because something is either seriously wrong with it or the neighborhood surrounding it.
And while this rule of thumb can easily apply to neighborhoods and cities, it's sometimes true that life in entire countries will exist outside of certain price ranges. So anyone looking for a change in scenery would do well to see how each international possibility affects their budget.
Those who want to settle down in the land of tulips should be aware that the average single person can expect a monthly cost of living of $996, while a family of four can expect rates closer to $3,483.
That information comes courtesy of Numbeo, which also estimated that the average one-bedroom apartment could cost $1,044 per month if it's not in a city center and $1,285 if it is. Meanwhile, a three-bedroom apartment not found in a city center could run a family $1,580 a month, while one in a downtown core could cost $1,963 a month.
Sweden is often near the top of lists for international quality of life, but the cost of living calculator Expatistan estimates the price tag for that quality at $2,189 a month for a single person and $4,262 a month for a family of four.
Rent isn't cheap there either, as a 900-square-foot apartment in an "expensive" area can cost $1,746 a month while one in a "normal" area costs an average of $1,238 a month. For a 480-square-foot apartment, those numbers dip to $1,226 and $850 a month.
According to the cost of living database Numbeo, the monthly costs a family of four will experience in Ireland can reach $3,677. The average single person's cost of living can be estimated at $1,048 a month.
As for rent, a one-bedroom apartment will run people between $992 and $2,285 a month in city centers and between $870 and $2,040 outside of them. For a three-bedroom apartment, those costs increase to an average of $2,706 a month within city centers and $2,145 outside of them.
According to Iceland Review, the average person can expect their general living expenses in Iceland to add up to about $1,340 a month. At the same time, Numbeo estimated a family of four could see their expenses go as high as $4,546 a month.
As for rent, Iceland Review estimated that a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Reykjavík would cost around $1,270 a month, while Numbeo estimated a three-bedroom apartment in the same place would cost $2,256 a month.
According to the money service Wise, life in Switzerland gets especially expensive for those who live in major cities like Geneva and Bern. Wise estimated the general cost of living in these places at $1,522 and $1,603 per month for a single person. A family of four would respectively need to budget $5,613 and $5,936 per month to live in these cities.
And that doesn't include rent, which can cost up to $1,327 a month in Bern and $2,237 a month in Geneva for a one-bedroom apartment in their city centers. Outside the downtown cores, however, those costs look more like $1,051 a month in Bern and $1,788 a month in Geneva.
Although the low value of the Japanese yen can make the cost of living seem steeper than it is, a single person can still expect to pay $854 a month for living expenses, while a family of four would pay $3,016 a month.
And according to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment at the centers of Japan's major cities can run between $415 and $1,315 a month, while the range changes to between $276 to $830 a month outside of them. For a three-bedroom one, the average rent is $1,325 a month within city centers and $853 outside of them.
The United States
Although the experience of someone living in California, New York, or Hawaii will be significantly more expensive than someone living in Mississippi, Kansas, or Oklahoma, the United States can nonetheless be a very expensive place to live.
According to Expatistan, the average monthly living expenses for a single person total $3,375, while they're estimated at $5,691 for a family of four. Rent also typically ranges between $2,160 and $2,880 a month for a 900-square-foot apartment and between $1,461 and $1,946 for a 480-square-foot place.
According to international insurance provider Global Health Foyer Group, 80% of Qatar's population lives in its capital city of Doha. Here, the average one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,785 a month, while tenants of a three-bedroom one can expect to pay about $3,296 a month.
Although housing is usually the most significant expense one can incur in Qatar, the provider estimates the other costs of living for a family of four as $3,103 a month.
According to Expatistan, a single person living in Belgium can expect an average cost of living of $2,031 a month, while a family of four would need their budget to account for $4,425 a month.
And the rent prices are no joke either, as a 900 square-foot-apartment can run people between $1,090 to $1,415 a month, depending on where it is. Meanwhile, a 480-square-foot-apartment can cost between $766 and $970 a month.
According to Numbeo, the reputed high quality of life in Finland comes at a cost of about $965 a month for a single person and $3,509 for a family of four.
However, the rent tends to be fairly reasonable in the Scandinavian nation, as a one-bedroom apartment can cost between $698 and $849 per month, depending on whether the unit is in a city center or not. Similarly, a three-bedroom apartment can cost between $1,098 and $1,442 when the same location considerations are taken into account.
Although Canada has a lot going for it, people who move there will quickly find that life there can get expensive quickly. According to Spring Financial, the average cost of living is the equivalent of $554 a month for a single person and $1,750 a month for a family of four.
This doesn't include rent, the average of which is estimated at $1,287 a month per person and $2,949 a month for a family of four. It's also worth noting that these costs vary from city to city, as the kind of lifestyle that costs $1,410 a month in Quebec City can cost $2,677 a month in Toronto.
Singapore has a reputation as one of the world's most expensive cities to live in, and as a city-state, its cost of living is comparable to other heavy-hitting countries. Specifically, Numbeo estimated that the average single person could expect a monthly cost of living of $1,139, while a family of four would likely have to fork over $4,108 a month.
But if that seems steep, the unfortunate truth is that it's nothing compared to rental prices. A one-bedroom apartment can cost between $2,369 and $3,609 a month, depending on where it is. Meanwhile, a three-bedroom unit outside of the city center can cost $4,115 a month, while one in the heart of Singapore could cost up to $6,876 a month.
New Zealand is a gorgeous nation of unique cultures, but it's not exactly a cheap country to live in. According to Expatistan, the monthly cost of living for a single person is approximately $2,842 a month, while a family of four will need at least $4,962 per month to live there.
Of course, that's assuming they can find affordable housing because even a 480-square-foot apartment outside of an "expensive" area can cost $1,250 a month. For an expensive area, that price increases to $1,572 a month, and a 900-square-foot apartment can cost between $1,843 and $2,307 a month.
Those trying to make a living in Israel would face an average monthly cost of living of $1,031, which balloons to $3,629 when considering the lifestyle of a family of four.
As for rent, Numbeo estimated that the average one-bedroom apartment costs $877 a month when outside of a city center and $1,100 in a more competitive area. As for three-bedroom apartments, their rent averages out to $1,410 a month in a more remote area and $1,728 within a downtown core.
According to Wise, the cost of living in the U.K. varies significantly from place to place. So while a single person can expect their living expenses to hover around $924 a month in Manchester, that number goes up to $1,166 a month in London. By a similar token, a family of four would need to account for about $3,183 a month to live in Manchester and $4,057 to live in London.
Rent is no picnic over there either, as the average one-bedroom flat in Manchester's city center costs $1,174 a month, while one in downtown London could cost as much as $2,284 a month. A similarly-placed three-bedroom unit would cost $2,206 a month in Manchester and $4,201 in London.
According to Numbeo, the 1,388,330 won monthly cost of living a single person can expect in South Korea is still fairly hefty even after it's converted to $1,064. Meanwhile, a family of four would need about $3,859 a month to cover expenses.
As for rent, the average one-bedroom apartment outside of a city center costs about $359 a month, while one in the heart of a metropolis costs about $502 a month. This trend continues with the fairly reasonable $913 per month average for a three-bedroom apartment outside of city centers and $1,448 per month for one within a big city.
There are so many unique and wonderful things about Australia, but the cost of living is not one of them. According to Expatistan, a single person needs to cover an estimated $2,618 in living expenses per month, while a family of four would need to budget for $4,834 a month.
And that's not even accounting for the rent one would need to pay, as a 480-square-foot apartment could cost between $1,195 and $1,583 per month, depending on its location. For a 900-square-foot apartment, the rent increases to between $1,564 and $2,070.
France may be a land famous for its culture and cuisine, but it's also a place people can expect to pay a lot of money to move to. According to Expatistan, an average single person's cost of living is $2,420 a month there, while a family of four would need to budget $4,509 a month.
Meanwhile, a 480-square-foot apartment could cost between $944 and $1,148 a month, while a 900-square-foot unit could set a family back between $1,599 and 1,783 per month.
United Arab Emirates
According to the expatriate community platform InterNations, the average monthly living expenses for a family of four are about $3,000, while a single person can expect to budget about $800 a month.
InterNations calculates the average rent on an annual basis, so it's worth noting that the average range of $8,100 to $13,600 for a studio apartment in the UAE covers an entire year. Still, a one-to-two-bedroom apartment will cost between $19,000 and $27,220 a year.
Austria may be a beautiful nation to live in, but it's also a pretty expensive one. Expatistan estimated an average monthly cost of living of $2,237 for a single person and $4,574 for a family of four.
That's a high cost of living regardless of the average rent, but rates for a 480-square-foot apartment are comparatively reasonable at between $756 and $1,000 a month. And while the lower end of $1,176 a month for a 900-square-foot apartment is consistent with that trend, the price jumps up to an average of $1,928 when that apartment is in a major city center.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of living for a single person in Lebanon is about $863 per month. At the same time, a family of four would need to account for $2,941 in monthly living expenses.
That said, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment doesn't hurt the pocketbook as much as it would in some other countries, as one could cost $372 a month outside of city centers and $709 a month within them. For an average three-bedroom unit, similarly placed apartments can respectively cost $774 and $1,426 per month.
According to Wise, the average cost of living comes down to $1,129 a month for a single person in Copenhagen and $4,074 for a family of four living there. For perspective, the monthly living expenses in Aarhus are only slightly lower at $1,044 for singles and $3,771 for the aforementioned families.
Meanwhile, the difference in rent is starker between the two cities, as a one-bedroom apartment in Copenhagen costs $1,757 a month, while one in Aarhus costs $1,085 a month. A larger apartment in Aarhus can cost up to $1,771 per month, while one in Copenhagen could cost $2,397 a month.
According to Numbeo, this often-enviable Scandinavian nation has a not-so-enviable average monthly cost of living of $1,182 for a single person and $4,222 for a family of four.
As usual, that isn't counting rent, which can cost between $846 and $1,052 for a one-bedroom apartment, depending on where it is. For a three-bedroom apartment, a family would be looking at between $1,381 and $1,787 per month.
Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis, but it's also one of the most expensive places in the world to live in, with a monthly cost of living of $5,583. And according to Expatistan, that rate is only for a single person. The average family of four can expect monthly living expenses of $7,859.
And rent's no cheaper, as even a 480-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong can cost between $1,925 and $3,067. And anyone seeking a 900-square-foot-apartment better find a lot of roommates because they're paying between $4,004 and $5,356 a month.
This royal city-state is about as expensive to live in as it looks, with an estimated monthly cost of living of $2,246 for a single person and $8,240 for a family of four.
And if that wasn't steep enough, Numbeo estimated that an average one-bedroom apartment could cost between $4,555 and $6,395, depending on its location. The price of a three-bedroom apartment is even more insane, with rent hovering between $11,433 and $23,744. And yes, all of that is per month.
According to Expatistan, Barbados is only really a paradise for those who can afford the $2,966 cost of living a single person has to deal with there. For a family of four, that cost rises all the way to $5,796 a month.
Barbados also has a huge difference in rent between places outside of city centers and within them, as a 480-square-foot apartment's cost ranges between $867 and $1,983 a month. The story is the same for a 900-square-foot apartment, which can cost anywhere between $991 and $2,935 a month.
As often seems the case with small nations, Luxembourg has a fairly hefty cost of living, with about $1,059 in monthly living expenses for a single person and 3,655 for a family of four.
And the rent is even steeper in this country, as Numbeo estimated that a one-bedroom apartment could cost between $1,414 and $1,743 per month. As for a three-bedroom apartment, anyone looking for one should expect a monthly rate between $2,378 and $2,968.
Like some other tropical nations, Bermuda has a staggering cost of living at $9,655 per month for single people and $13,123 for families of four.
And Expatistan also identified the rent in Bermuda as crazy expensive; there's a much larger variance between rates of 900-square-foot apartments by location than 480-square-foot units. For instance, the smaller of these units hover around $1,800 a month, while the larger ones can range between $5,527 and $11,441 per month.
One of the world's smallest nations to live in is also among its most expensive, as a single person in Liechtenstein can expect to incur living expenses of $1,532 a month. For a family of four, that number shoots up to $5,586.
That cost of living is rivaled by the average rent in the nation, as Numbeo estimated that a one-bedroom apartment could cost anywhere between $1,046 and $1,272 a month. The price range is wider for three-bedroom apartments, as they could cost between $1,958 and $2,493, depending on their location.
This island nation on China's south coast is a little more reasonable in cost than some of its contemporaries, but a $979 monthly cost of living for a single person and $3,592 for a family of four is still nothing to sneeze at.
As Numbeo estimated, the rental rates also vary significantly from place to place because a one-bedroom apartment can cost anywhere between $830 and $1,144 a month in Macau. And anyone looking into a three-bedroom can expect rates ranging from $1,774 to $1,948 per month.