I am 23 and have just recently graduated college. I am considering a move to the usvi as soon as I am able to save up enough cash to make the move. I am thinking about either st Thomas or st croix. I was looking for any advice such as how much I would need to save, which island would be best, and any thing else I would need to know.
Thanks for the help!
If you've not already done so, read all the information contained in the drop-down menus top of the page. Best estimate on how much money to bring hovers around $10K, You need to have first, last and one month security deposit; deposits for utilities, etc; money to keep you going until you can find employment, etc.. Getting around without a car on any of the islands isn't easy so planning on buying a vehicle is a good idea.
Deciding which island is best for you is subjective dependent on what you plan on doing to provide for yourself. They're very different in many respects but, generally speaking, there are better job opportunities on STT than on STX.
Have fun researching and good luck with your plans!
What is your degree, and what kind of work do you plan to do?
I love St. Thomas myself, but then again I have never lived on St. Croix. But if you are wanting a little excitement especially night life, St. Thomas may be the way to go. Living expenses depends on the individual I suppose. If you don't mind eating beans and rice quite a bit, doing without cable, staying at home you could get by quite cheaply about the same as the states. If it were me, I wouldn't consider the move unless I had at least $8000.00-$10.000.00 to live on until I got a job. This money doesn't include buying a vehicle. You could probably get by cheaper, but that would depend on YOU.
Which "island is best" is no different than asking yourself which town, city or state (where you now live) is best. It all depends on what attributes might be "best" in your eyes.
What type of work will you be seeking? Are you looking for a basic entry level job with no real career path or will you be seeking a position which hopefully will lead you on to something bigger and better in the long term future?
Are you looking to come for a few years and then move back to the states later on or do you hope to live on the island "forever". If the latter do you have a skill set that will offer you great opportunities in the island?
Do you plan on living alone or will you be seeking roommates?
As far as how much money to bring - the simple answer is bring as much as you possibly can. The $10,000 mentioned by Old Tart is just a guideline and probably the lowest number you should consider. Figure out what you need where you now live to maintain your current lifestyle for a month. Add 30% to than number and that will give you a good approximation of how much you'll need to support yourself each month on STT or STX. Conventional wisdom says to have a nest egg of at least 6 months' living expense when you arrive to cover you while you look for work (it's extremely difficult to find employment before you actually are living on the island). So multiply that new monthly budget number by 6.
Add to that your initial outlays of 3 month's rent (first month, last month and security deposit - that could amount to anywhere from $1,500 for a small studio apt to around $3,000 for a nice 1 BR apartment, $3,000 to $5,000 for a decent used car, another $1,000 or so for utility deposits and start-up housing costs.
If you are lucky and find employment fairly quickly you can bank any part of your "nest egg" that you don't spend.
When doing your research keep in mind that you'll get various price range estimate as to the cost of living. Human nature being what it is you'll want to focus on the LOWER number while those providing you with the estimates will be thinking more along the lines of the HIGHER numbers. In order to avoid disappointment and budget difficulties you'd be wise to error on the higher side when determining how much money you'll need. Remember, no one ever complains about having too much money but if you run short your plans could well fall apart.
Good luck following your dream
As a single, young, male, graduate, it's a perfect time to spread your wings and explore.
There are jobs and roommate situations posted on Craig's List.
STT may have more job opportunities, depending on your field of work.
More to do, easier to fly in and out off plus closer proximity and access
to St. John and BVI.
For temporary digs, check out Ronnie @ Crystal Palace.
Note: it's not inexpensive to live and get settled here and you'll need a car to get around.