Minimum income for family of 3
In your opinion, for a family of three (6 month old) what is the minimum income requirements to live VERY basically? I will have a job but my wife will be a stay at home mother so we'll be working on one income. We are ok with cold showers, no a/c, and a 1 bedroom apartment. I'm going to be studying marine biology and computer science at UVI and it's likely that some of our income will be supplemented by student loans ($5-10k/yr). We intend to stay for 2-4 years and possible longer if we find it a place we love.
Honestly, no one can answer that question for you - it depends on what YOU NEED to maintain the lifestyle YOU WANT to have. The number is different for everybody.
Use the drop-down menus at the top of this page to research what it takes to live on the island - you'll find all sorts of information on apartment rentals, utility costs, grocery costs, etc. then you can decide for yourself how much you'll need. As a rule f thumb figure out how much you need where you now live and add 35% to 50% and you'll have a ballpark number.
Just a few words of caution - taking cold showers will get "old" very quickly and coming to the island with debt or accumulating debt to cover living expenses while you are here is a recipe for failure.
At the very least you can buy a few 'sun/solar ' shower bags - the sun will give you Hot showers.
hot showers are nice when we get our chilly weather
I would suggest that you would get a better response if you stated what you are willing to pay for various things.
Like Rent 900
College will cost more here for you the first year because you are out of state. What kind of job are you planning on trying to get? Going to school full time and working full time is not a great way to have to live here. Many of my friends that are waiting tables, bartending, working on boats, etc have 2 jobs to make it as a single person.
Also you need to think about insurance, especially with a small child. Most jobs come without insurance for unskilled labor. This also depends which island you live on, I would think you would have a better chance of getting a job with insurance on stt. You can not buy individual insurance in the VI right now and I'm not sure what the requirements are for a statesider to get assistance here.
Then there is the lack of family support. Of coarse this depends on whether you are close with your families. Having a young child, it is very nice to have family there for support and free babysitting, emergencies etc.. It also of coarse really nice for your child to have the extended family.
IMO it would be extremely hard to make it here without two incomes unless you can get a job with insurance that pays well. Please read through the message boards and don't come without 10k saved up. Living cheap here cost more then most places stateside.
Talk to the school. UVI publishes suggested budgets on their site, and I'm sure their Financial Aid and student service people could give you some real life scenarios. Just plan on everything being more than you thought. BTW...since you're a marine biology student, you could live on a boat and save bucks.
The old saying goes "if you have to ask how much something cost,you probably can't afford it"......that is not a slam at you...... Sage advice others are giving you is like dipping your toes in the pool to see if the water is warm enough...Pause ...emotional decisions are not based on the facts and reality...Good luck in your search for those facts,the reality needs to be done in person on the island you choose and BEFORE you decide to do anything..8-)
Thanks guys. I own and run a small web design/programming studio and do all of my work remotely.
poorthang, I don't follow... are you saying don't research costs before making decisions or that costs there are so astronomically high asking about them means you can't afford them?
Rent will be $1500 up for a two bedroom place. Utilities $200-300. Food $800. Gas $4+ a gallon.
Honestly: we (two full time teachers, no kids, some student loans) earn aprx $70,000 (before taxes) and get along but don't save anything to speak of.
davidryder,,,,,,okay I'll slow it down for you a little....before you drag your wife and baby into an enormous, costly,life changing jump of faith you and only you should turn over in your mind the effects of living like your in a third world country.This place is not third world but some aspects are and your saying you plan on living on the cheap cheap cheap when in fact it takes some serious jack to get by here is unrealistic.You have the responsibility as the one with the idea or dream to ensure the family can cope.If it's a struggle for you to make a pre move visit with your wife (the partner in this venture) you cannot afford to take the risk based on your financial that you've provided.Even if your both willing,the baby factor cannot be overlooked.Health care on the cheap for your baby????How does that work?Priced out baby formula,diapers,doctors etc...Can you smell what I.m cookin for you????I'm a risk taker but I'.m not anxious to F... up! Read the heck out of this forum and past posts to start with....get a "feel" ,for the islands..Then run an imaginary budget for 1 year and add another $5000-10000 for the unexpected,like airfare for hurricanes,car expenses etc...Being blindsided 2500 miles away from home and dry land is not a plan.*-)