A few weeks ago I was talking to one of my followers on Instagram about what things cost in America. Since I wanted to blog about something else than Covid-19 the idea for my blog was born. When we decided to move to New Mexico we had to find out what our fixed costs would be here. So Freek started exploring on the internet for some numbers… I started to look on Instagram for some other Dutch moms who immigrated to the US. I contacted a mom but she actually lives in Miami. And what I didn’t know then but do know now is that prizes of gas, electricity and water can change per state but the actually change per city! And living in New Mexico is way cheaper than California, Florida or New York for example.
We wanted to rent a house with 4 bedrooms so searching on zillow (America’s funda) we saw that the costs for a house would be around the 1500 and 2000 dollar a month. After that we wanted to know what the utilities would be. That was the time we knew Google is our best friend… You can Google “how much will my utilities be in ….. (Name a state)” and Google will help you.
Now we are living here for 11 months so we know what our costs are. But every month we pay a different price for electricity, gas and sometimes the water. The gas and electricity company will send somebody to our house to read our meters, which are situated on the outside of the house instead of inside!! That’s a little bit different than the onetime a year in the Netherlands, where we have to read the meters our self. We did have some higher energy bills but that was during the months that the Air-conditioning was turned on. And during the winter our gas bill was a little higher. This last month was our best month so far since we only pay 30 dollar for electricity and 60 for gas. The water has been 67 dollars a couple of months now. But now we filled our swimming pool so it probably will be a little higher this month. Our neighbors lived in Albuquerque for a couple of years and they told us that the water bills are way cheaper there than in Rio Rancho. I saw in a facebook group that some people have water bills of 400 dollar a month. I don’t know how they do that, but I think they have the water running the entire day…
The thing that was shockingly expensive for us was the insurance of the car. We needed to get a quote to get the car. Freek didn’t know what to expect and just compared 2 different companies and went with the cheapest one. It was literally 245 dollars per month for ONE car. But then we got our second car and I really didn’t want to pay 500 dollars a month. So I clicked on advertising link, to get some quotes from other companies. Now we have insurance for 2 cars for less than 200 dollar. It was a very good link, LOL!!
An absolutely positive thing about America’s insurances is; there are no fees on ending your contract before the “end” date, thus you can switch to another company any time you want. This is also with our internet connection. Last month Freek made a change with the internet subscription too and put it on an unlimited connection. Since we were all home all day every day we needed some more data. And if you want to do it for only 1 month, that is alright you can put it back anytime. We can learn something from that in the Netherlands! But a lot of these kind subscriptions are way more expensive than in the Netherlands. Where we had ziggo with television, telephone and internet for only 70 euro, here we pay 80 dollars and only got the internet at home. And if you want to have some tv you easily pay another 120 dollars a month and after a year is goes to 180 dollar easily. So we don’t have any tv because with all the commercials on there I really don’t want to watch that. And the boys like to watch Netflix more so that was a win-win situation. But it also depends on which cable company is available in your area.
Our telephone subscription is very expensive. We pay like 140 dollar for 2 connections! We do have unlimited internet on our phones, but in a lot of area’s in the nature you don’t have any connection. So when we go in to the nature we will tell our families that we are off the world…
The mother that helped me with some questions told me that her groceries are way more expensive. So we wanted to keep an eye on our grocery expenses. And for us getting healthy groceries is indeed more expensive than back home. In the Netherlands we would pay around 100/125euro, over here most weeks I pay like 200/250 dollar. This is without the bulk items I buy at Costco, which is kind of a Dutch Makro/sligro. And the thing is; healthy food is just more expensive. We weren’t really people that would go out for dinner or order food at home back in the Netherlands and it really hasn’t changed. So we spent a roughly 1000 dollars on our groceries every month. But some months it was only 700, so it really depends on what we buy. And if I buy beer/wine it’s a lot more than if I don’t buy that.
Since I like coffee, I thought I would love to go to the star bucks, but seeing how much calories are in some special coffees I started to prefer my own coffee machine. So we don’t spend any money on that. Freek also took his lunch to work, so he didn’t spend any money on that either.
We do love Amazon, but hey you can almost find anything on there. Freek uses a sunscreen that he loves, because he won’t sunburn at all!. But you can’t buy it in a store, and who sells it, yes Amazon of course! We bought our trampoline, swimming pool and a lot of other things there. But it does take about a week to get to our house, so we need to think a head, since we were used to the Dutch; ordered before 9pm, next day delivery.
But in the end we have the same way of spending our money. Some things are more expensive and some things are cheaper. It really depends on where you want to spend your money on. We could go to star bucks or go out for dinner more, but these are not the places we want to spend our money. More so we like to go away for a weekend and enjoy another national park or a lovely city. Adventures are definitely more important for us, and that’s why we went to Disney world (and wooow what are we happy we did that at Christmas time and didn’t wait until spring break!!)