How much start-up capital do you need to emigrate to the USA??
In the post I tell you how much startup capital you need if you want to immigrate to the USA.
The reason for this post is that at least once under each of my videos one of you asks what kind of startup capital you need to immigrate to the US.
I cannot, as I said in the video, speak of the whole USA, but only of California. But let me tell you one thing, food prices in California are extremely high. I am always shocked at how much more expensive everything is here in the U.S. When I was shopping in Germany, I might have paid between 50-80 Euro for a full shopping cart. Here in the USA I easily pay $300, which is why I don’t make such big purchases anymore. I can’t afford to have anything break down.
Overall I can say that living and working in the USA is a big financial challenge. So who emigrates to the USA, or as I always say immigrates, should have good financial reserves. Sure, if you have a job right away or if you come here already with a job, then things look different. But I came to the USA without a job and therefore spent a lot of money in the first months.
Also, you have to remember that at the beginning here you need a car and can not rely on public transportation. Especially in California, the public transportation system is inadequate to get from A to B. Often the stops are miles away from your own home. In addition, the buses and trains come infrequently, very late, or just cancel out altogether sometimes. Besides, it takes 2 – 3 hours to travel certain distances by train, which you can do in only 20 minutes by car.
As far as living expenses are concerned I just show a printout from my credit card statement. I also tell a little bit about the cost of living in the USA as a whole.
Well, first of all, it depends on the state, of course. I heard that New York is very expensive. Because I live in one of the most expensive cities in the USA, namely San Diego, California.
When I moved to California didn’t have a job at all in the beginning. Actually also no clue what to expect here. I was in Saint Louis in Missouri for a while before that. Apartment rent, cars, gas and food I found very cheap. And anyway I thought: "Wow! I can live everywhere for a while with my savings even without a job."
That’s how I ended up in California and got the shock of my life.
When I arrived I rented an apartment in San Diego for 60 sqm – here called 1 Bedroom. Cost point: $1400.
My car insurance costs $800 a year.
Normal maintenance costs are $2000 extra.
I pay at least that much every month. Not because I shop for shoes, clothes, Playstation and jewels.
I am actually a minimalist – that means I don’t like stuff. I don’t like shopping either. I don’t buy anything when I go out because of that. And still I have a cost of at least $2000 a month.
Here I show you my normal bill, which I have this month.
3000 dollars I have here in billing.
And in the credit card statement last month I even had to pay 8372 dollars.
Because my health insurance deducted once too early and once too late. And so I had health insurance twice in one month. Then I had the car insurance of two cars and a motorcycle in one month for the whole year. Since I recently bought a new car, car insurance alone costs $1400, for example. And so you come there suddenly on 8000 dollars credit card bill.
You can see here, I have 80.000 Membership Points with American Express. That means, in the last couple of years I have spent at least 80.000 dollars spent.
Whereas I always buy goods from Amazon from these points, so actually these are much much more points and money. And that’s not because I’m rich or buy a lot of stuff. This is just a normal credit card bill like any middle class normal wage earner has here in San Diego. All my friends and acquaintances know this.
Here, these are always very small sums that I always have here.
Times shopping. I ate something small. $13, $10, $14.
15 dollars is one visit to the doctor. Then I went to the doctor again. Another 15 dollars. I just had my blood checked once and I had to pay deductible. Every time I visited them I had to pay 15 dollars.
Quite normal smartphone cost for two smartphones is 160 dollars. I remember, in Germany I paid just $30, Euro.
Then you go shopping. Or have dinner with friends. These are always small sums, where you buy once, 55 dollars, 21 dollars. All mostly food. Aldi, Target, Ross, Target. Bought socks for the first time, nothing major.
And when you add it all up, you think it’s a mistake. Because such small sums do not make it, but in the end a large sum comes around with it.
Earlier in Germany I had the credit card bill of maybe 400 euros. $3000 I have now in San Diego. I do not eat more. I haven’t expanded my lifestyle either. I do exactly the same things as in Germany too.
Flour costs $6 here, but 80 cents in Germany.
Milk costs $3-5. Eggs are incredibly expensive. Cheese is priceless.
Such prices as in Germany as at Penny Markt, ALDI Germany, Netto, Rewe’s not here. You can only dream of that, where you paid so 50 euros for a full shopping cart.
Apartment rent are ca. $1600 to $2500 in San Diego. Almost twice as much as in Germany. If you are renting a house even more so of course.
Owning a house also means ca. $500-1000 to the HOE – this is the fee for to the owner company or how it is called in Germany.
That comes to about. $4000 and more a month in maintenance costs only.
And if you don’t have an employer, there are health insurance costs for two people, between 1000 and 2000 dollars depending on the package and age.
So if you can survive with $10.000 comes to California, the money is gone in 2.5 months.
I personally would go to California under $50.000 not to move in.
With $50,000 a person can survive here for a year – but very barely.
Earnings in the USA
And now the good: The earnings are correspondingly high. Someone with a mediocre education earns around $50.000 a year. But that is already very bad. Very bad pay.
With studies $70.000 and more.
An executive position when you’re just starting out, young, around $80 to $90.000. And so higher management, if you’re already a little older, I say from 30, so something ladder somewhere, then you get between $120K and $200K a year.
CEOs here earn $250K and more. Plus bonus of up to $10K and more a year.
That are than the wages. So you see, the wages are much much higher.
Many of my work colleagues in the rather low wage range complain because with $65.000 in California do not make it. I’m not surprised at all, because that’s considered a starvation wage here.
Starting over in the USA: Acquisition costs
The most important thing. If you are coming here and starting from scratch – you will need a car. If you come as a couple, you need two cars – otherwise your partner will be in isolation, because without a car you won’t be able to get anywhere.
Germany has the best public transport network. And exactly the opposite is USA. You can forget about public buses and streetcars. The next bus stop is somehow 1 hour walk away – and it comes only once an hour or so. And with the distances, you sit 2 hours in the bus….
TVs, cell phone contracts and cell phones … in summary. If two, calculate something like $30.000 and up in acquisition costs plus $4.000 a month so that you can survive here.
Which state in the U.S. is more affordable?
My recommendation – with less savings, it’s best to start at a more favorable state, z. B. Texas. Or come here directly with a job – then it is not a problem.
Why is USA so expensive, especially California is easily answered: People earn more and have more purchasing power. That balances out here then in California. I’ve gotten used to spending so much money by now.
But I also have to work a lot more and I’m under a lot more pressure here. But in return I earn more. But that’s no reason to be jealous, because I also make five times as much from. In the end the same thing comes out.