The 30 countries that are best for your money, according to expats

caption
Most expats are looking for a paycheck, not an adventure.
source
Flickr/Felix Nagel

Moving abroad may sound like a grand adventure, but most people who do it are after one thing: a paycheck.

The lion’s share of global expats – 41% – relocated because of their career or their partner’s career, whether by choice or out of necessity, according to the Expat Insider 2017 report from expatriate network and global guide InterNations. To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 12,519 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries around the world.

Love was the second most commonly cited catalyst, motivating 12% of moves overseas. Other reasons included wanting a better quality of life (8%), to have an adventure (7%), or simply because they enjoy living abroad (3%).

Although money may be a major motivating factor, the report found expats’ satisfaction with their personal finances varied greatly depending on where they live. Cost of living made a difference, but expats struggled most in countries with a weak economy.

InterNations developed its 2017 personal finance index by ranking 65 countries based on how survey respondents felt about their financial situation, and whether their disposable income was sufficient to cover their expenses.

In Greece, which ranked last on the personal finance index despite falling in the middle of the pack for cost of living, half of expats reported not having enough household income to keep up with daily expenses, and 27% said they didn’t have enough money to make ends meet. That’s in sharp contrast to Vietnam, which took the top spot on the index, where 93% of expats said they have enough or more than they need to cover their cost of living.

For each country on the list, we compiled the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of town, utilities, and commuting, as well as the price of a cappuccino and a pint of domestic beer, according to global cost of living database Numbeo. All amounts are in US dollars and are current as of September 2017.

Below, check out what it costs on average to live in the top 30 countries on InterNations personal finance index.


30. Poland

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Warsaw, Poland
source
Flickr/Juan Antonio Segal

Cost of living compared to US: 41% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $481.85

Utilities: $174.62

Commuter pass: $28.07

Cappuccino: $2.13

Domestic beer: $1.96


29. Oman

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Muscat, Oman
source
Flickr/Luca Nebuloni

Cost of living compared to US: 32% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $615.60

Utilities: $57.48

Commuter pass: $25.97

Cappuccino: $4.49

Domestic beer: $7.79


28. Portugal

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Porto, Portugal
source
artem evdokimov/Shutterstock

Cost of living compared to US: 26% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $588.11

Utilities: $103.61

Commuter pass: $42.44

Cappuccino: $1.39

Domestic beer: $1.79


27. Hungary

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Budapest, Hungary
source
Flickr/Joe Hunt

Cost of living compared to US: 35% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $442.50

Utilities: $178.73

Commuter pass: $36.95

Cappuccino: $1.45

Domestic beer: $1.56


26. Switzerland

caption
Andermatt, Switzerland
source
Shutterstock / Peter Wey

Cost of living compared to US: 78% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $1,519.26

Utilities: $183.96

Commuter pass: $78.47

Cappuccino: $4.79

Domestic beer: $6.80


25. Kenya

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Maasai Mara, Kenya
source
Flickr/Ninara

Cost of living compared to US: 47% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $260.78

Utilities: $53.67

Commuter pass: $24.20

Cappuccino: $2.12

Domestic beer: $1.94


24. Costa Rica

caption
Monteverde, Costa Rica
source
The LEAF Project/Flickr

Cost of living compared to US: 25% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $514.27

Utilities: $67.43

Commuter pass: $46.23

Cappuccino: $2.34

Domestic beer: $2.07


23. Belgium

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Bruges, Belgium
source
Shutterstock/Adisa

Cost of living compared to US: 11% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $900.73

Utilities: $151.77

Commuter pass: $54.77

Cappuccino: $3.14

Domestic beer: $4.17


22. Russia

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St. Petersburg, Russia
source
Shutterstock/konstantinks

Cost of living compared to US: 41% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $521.04

Utilities: $112.79

Commuter pass: $29.43

Cappuccino: $2.25

Domestic beer: $1.21


21. Malta

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Gozo, Malta
source
Konstantin Aksenov/Shutterstock

Cost of living compared to US: 5% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $811.68

Utilities: $93.64

Commuter pass: $30.95

Cappuccino: $2.08

Domestic beer: $2.98


20. Indonesia

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West Sumba, Indonesia
source
Shutterstock/leolintang

Cost of living compared to US: 45% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $261.98

Utilities: $55.18

Commuter pass: $13.49

Cappuccino: $1.92

Domestic beer: $2.25


19. Romania

caption
Bran, Romania
source
Emi Cristea / Shutterstock

Cost of living compared to US: 48% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $317.41

Utilities: $102.55

Commuter pass: $15.54

Cappuccino: $1.63

Domestic beer: $1.29


18. Cambodia

caption
Siem Reap, Cambodia
source
Jixin YU / Shutterstock.com

Cost of living compared to US: 37% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $348.08

Utilities: $81.33

Commuter pass: $26.10

Cappuccino: $2.01

Domestic beer: $1.00


17. Luxembourg

caption
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
source
Flickr/Cristian Bortes

Cost of living compared to US: 25% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $1,618.73

Utilities: $257.21

Commuter pass: $59.53

Cappuccino: $3.66

Domestic beer: $5.95


16. Czech Republic

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Loket, Czech Republic
source
Shutterstock/Boris Stroujko

Cost of living compared to US: 35% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $524.80

Utilities: $178.92

Commuter pass: $24.66

Cappuccino: $1.89

Domestic beer: $1.37


15. Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
source
Wikimedia Commons

Cost of living compared to US: 43% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $347.90

Utilities: $44.42

Commuter pass: $23.44

Cappuccino: $2.31

Domestic beer: $2.81


14. Taiwan

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Taipei, Taiwan
source
Wikimedia Commons

Cost of living compared to US: 12% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $388.54

Utilities: $60.69

Commuter pass: $33.28

Cappuccino: $2.42

Domestic beer: $1.65


13. Bahrain

caption
Muharraq Island, Bahrain
source
Shutterstock/trabantos

Cost of living compared to US: 21% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $960.26

Utilities: $75.00

Commuter pass: $37.13

Cappuccino: $4.54

Domestic beer: $7.96


12. Nigeria

caption
Lagos, Nigeria
source
Shutterstock/Bill Kret

Cost of living compared to US: 56% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $445.74

Utilities: $38.14

Commuter pass: $26.47

Cappuccino: $2.23

Domestic beer: $0.84


11. Saudi Arabia

caption
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
source
Jordan Pix / Getty

Cost of living compared to US: 36% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $403.37

Utilities: $40.59

Commuter pass: $40.00

Cappuccino: $2.63

Domestic (non-alcoholic) beer: $0.80


10. Thailand

caption
Bangkock, Thailand
source
Shutterstock/Artistpix

Cost of living compared to US: 36% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $430.81

Utilities: $67.93

Commuter pass: $30.13

Cappuccino: $1.75

Domestic beer: $1.81


9. India

caption
Amritsar, India
source
Shutterstock / saiko3p

Cost of living compared to US: 64% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $170.16

Utilities: $32.29

Commuter pass: $9.35

Cappuccino: $1.43

Domestic beer: $1.56


8. Kazakhstan

caption
Astana, Kazakhstan
source
Flickr/Ken and Nyetta

Cost of living compared to US: 57% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $263.37

Utilities: $52.21

Commuter pass: $17.67

Cappuccino: $1.64

Domestic beer: $0.88


7. South Korea

caption
Seoul, South Korea
source
Shutterstock

Cost of living compared to US: 8% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $591.76

Utilities: $142.34

Commuter pass: $48.57

Cappuccino: $3.86

Domestic beer: $2.65


6. China

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Shanghai, China
source
Shutterstock/TK Kurikawa

Cost of living compared to US: 39% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $515.49

Utilities: $51.55

Commuter pass: $18.35

Cappuccino: $4.07

Domestic beer: $0.92


5. Philippines

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Boracay, Philippines
source
M.A.W.1 via Flickr

Cost of living compared to US: 53% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $235.75

Utilities: $74.92

Commuter pass: $9.78

Cappuccino: $2.00

Domestic beer: $0.98


4. Mexico

caption
Mexico City, Mexico
source
ChameleonEye/Shutterstock

Cost of living compared to US: 52% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $272.72

Utilities: $39.40

Commuter pass: $17.03

Cappuccino: $2.01

Domestic beer: $1.40


3. Myanmar

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Old Bagan, Myanmar
source
Flickr/Jason Eppink

Cost of living compared to US: 16% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $525.00

Utilities: $25.35

Commuter pass: $6.00

Cappuccino: $2.20

Domestic beer: $1.00


2. Colombia

caption
Cartagena, Colombia
source
Flickr/Reg Natarajan

Cost of living compared to US: 54% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $274.13

Utilities: $72.81

Commuter pass: $27.26

Cappuccino: $1.38

Domestic beer: $0.92


1. Vietnam

caption
Hoi An, Vietnam
source
Shutterstock/Banana Republic images

Cost of living compared to US: 45% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $397.63

Utilities: $56.76

Commuter pass: $6.60

Cappuccino: $1.66

Domestic beer: $0.88