Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Expat in the Americas? Do You Live In One Of The Most Expensive Cities?

10th - New York in USA

9th - Nassau in Bahamas

8th - New York Brooklyn in USA

7th - Toronto in Canada

6th - George Town in Cayman Islands

5th - Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

4th - Sao Paulo in Brazil

3rd - Caracas in Venezuela

2nd - Hamilton in Bermuda

1st - New York Manhattan in USA

BermudaCayman IslandsMontserrat;Venezuela; and Aruba are the most expensive countries in the Americas for expatriates to live.
Stanley is the biggest mover down the rankings (becoming cheaper) it dropped from 75th in April to 111th most expensive location in the world.

Toluca in Mexico is the biggest mover up (becoming more expensive) increasing in rankings from 240th in April to 162nd in the world.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Expat in Africa, Cost of Living Expensive?

AngolaNigeriaMozambiqueDemocratic Republic of Congo; and Ghana - are the most expensive expatriate countries in Africa. 
Luanda (Second most expensive in the world); AbujaLagosKano; and Ibadan - are the most expensive expatriate cities to live in Africa. 
Tunis in Tunisia - is the cheapest city for expatriates to live in (15th cheapest in the world).
Gaborone in Botswana - is the biggest mover down the rankings, which has dropped from 543th in April becoming the 667th most expensive location in the world. 

Monrovia in Liberia - is the biggest mover up the rankings, which has risen from 245th in April to become the 126th most expensive location in the world.

10th Monrovia in Liberia

9th Conakry in Guinea

8th Bangui in The Central African Republic of Congo

7th Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo

6th Maputo in Mozambique

5th Ibadan in Nigeria
4th Kano
3rd Lagos
2nd Abuja

1st Luanda in Angola

The cost of living rankings, released every quarter, measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 780 locations, covering every country worldwide. The cost of living comparison uses local prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services, converted to a single currency. Sources include local service providers in each location, international service providers, official governmental statistics and global agency data. The data is quality assured and manually checked by Xpatulator Analysts. The prices of similar related items have been grouped together into 13 basket groups and the cost of living index calculated for each basket in each location. The 13 basket groups are the result of extensive research of actual spending habits ensuring the cost of living indexes reflect a reality-based international expenditure pattern.

About Xpatulator is a website that provides international cost of living information and calculators that can help you determine cost of living indexes, cost of living allowances, salary purchasing power and international assignment packages to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Exactly Is And Why Would I Use A Cost Of Living Calculator?

After speaking to a variety of people on the ground it was interesting to find out that very few understood the concept of using cost of living calculators or realized the importance of knowing how it can affect the negotiation of an expat salary.

What is cost of living?
This is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living when comparing the cost of living between different locations. The objective is to calculate the difference in the cost of living expressed as and index (e.g. dividing the cost of living in location A by the cost of living in location B which may result in an index of say 140, this means that Location A is 40% more expensive than Location B) This would mean that a person who moves from Location B to Location A would need to earn 40% more, to have the same standard of living in Location A as they currently experience.

The difference in the cost of living between two locations is NOT the same for everybody, it is different for every basket group, i.e. the difference in housing costs is not the same as the difference in grocery costs or transport. Take the cost of living in Hong Kong as an example, Hong Kong is extremely expensive if housing is included in your basket selection, however the cost of living is only slightly above average if housing is excluded. It is therefore critical to be able to select which basket groups/expenses are applicable when calculating the cost of living difference between two locations.

Internationally comparable cost of living data is crucial to forming sustainable expatriate pay policies and monitoring progress. Market exchange rates give misleading comparisons because they do not reflect salary purchasing power differences.

Which calculator is right for you?
Do you want to calculate the equivalent salary in another country?

Salary Purchasing Power Parity Calculator

Do you want to calculate the cost of living allowance for another country?

Cost of Living Allowance Calculator

Do you want cost of living indexes for several international locations?

Cost of Living Index Calculator

There are of course a variety of ways you can obtain the above information, here are a few and why using data that has been verified is the obvious choice:

1) You could Do It Yourself: There is raw data via online shopping, official governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as many statutory and non-statutory statistical organisations etc, all of which is difficult to make sense of if this is not your area of expertise. This information is time consuming to collect and difficult to maintain in the long-term.

2) You could use Consultants: There are consulting groups who serve corporate clients (not individuals) charge annual subscriptions which can be expensive. The traditional consultant approach takes a long time when reports are prepared manually and tend to provide more detailed information than clients actually require.

3) Why pay? There are Free Websites: There are free websites who rely on users adding price information and in return provide free average prices and indexes. These sites tend to be error prone. Prices are often submitted for incorrect quantities or in the wrong currency. Free sites allow anybody to submit data. If you are a professional / management level expatriate, the cost of living experienced by local workers will be very different to your cost of living.


Firstly: We manually collect and quality assure the cost of living data ourselves. Our quality is not only better than the free sites, it is also calculated based on the cost of living applicable to international professionals / managers.

Secondly: We organize the data into easy to use basket groups and allow you to select the baskets that are applicable so as to ensure the cost of living calculation is based on the actual costs paid from the salary.

Thirdly: You do not need to wait for a consultant to prepare your report. Our customers are both corporates and individuals. We understand your need for accuracy and speed. We deliver your report in less than 60 minutes. We are open 24 hours a day

Cost of living and hardship (quality of life) data is updated quarterly. Current data is as at 1 July 2013 based on data collected during the past 12 months.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Four Ways To Be More Effective

Procrastination is one part of the equation of how not be effective, we get given an important project to tackle and instead we find a thousand other reasons why not to get the work done.  Your effectiveness is about identifying your most important task and tackling it with single-minded focus until it is completed. The challenge is usually those tasks that you know are priorities, but that you’ve put off for whatever reason. 

Try these four steps to improve your effectiveness

1. Focus
Your ability to focus in a single-minded fashion to accomplish your most important task is the prime determinant of your success. The complication comes in, when you lack clarity about your true goals and objectives. Lack of clarity impairs action. 

2. Planned Action
Successful people launch directly without hesitation into the major task that confronts them at any point in the day. However, while acting is better than procrastinating, action without planning leads to failure and disappointment, so learn to plan daily. Remember the 10/90 rule: investing 10% of your time in planning before beginning a project will help you use the other 90% of the time more effectively.

3. Prioritize
Remember Pareto’s rule. If you have a to-do list of 10 items, two of those items will generate 80% of the return you get from your entire list. Begin with the end in mind. After attending to the urgent and important matters, focus on what is important but not urgent. Failures do what is tension-relieving while winners do what is goal-achieving.
Make a list of your tasks. Prioritize your list by putting an “A” next to those tasks that you must do as soon as possible or face serious consequences. If you have more than one “A” number them “A1”, “A2” etc. “B” tasks are ones you should do, but that carry mild consequences. “C” tasks would be nice to do, but carries absolutely no consequences at all. “D” tasks are those you can delegate to someone else, so your goal is to delegate all of them to free your time for things only you can do. “E” task is one you can eliminate altogether. It may have seemed important once, but it isn’t any more. You can’t do everything and there is only so much time in a day, so start with the 20% of tasks that will generate 80% of the return.

4. Time
The Law of Forced Efficiency relates to the idea that any job will expand to fill the time you allow for it. If you have two days, it will take you two days (or perhaps more). However, the flip side is also true: If you have only one day to complete a two-day job, somehow you find the time to do it.

Being effective requires a positive attitude and the will to do the most difficult task first. Because you can’t do everything, indulge in creative procrastination – put off the things that do not carry a consequence. Break large tasks down into a series of simple ones. Work with a sense of urgency.

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