Monday, February 13, 2012

This is Not a Rant...

Let me drop a hard, cold fact on you…. Mumbai is not a cheap place to live for an expat, in fact its bloody expensive. So if you think (like I thought) ‘Oh yes, I can live in place like Mumbai because at least it’s cheap and I can save shed loads of money’ You are sadly mistaken and I advise you take the following into consideration before taking le plunge:

Numero Uno (Yeah I know, Spanish!) : The tax rate is a standard 30% and for that 30% contribution to the government you get jack.

2. House/ apartment rental prices are the 12th highest in the whole entire world (average rent per month $3562) but don’t take my word for it – look at the fancy pants graph I’ve provided to the left (full version below)

3. Alcohol in Maharashtra state (where Mumbai is) is taxed at 100% with a bit more added on for good measure, which means a decent bottle of wine will set you back around 70 quid and champagne around 100 quid. (Bare in mind the same bottle of decent wine will cost you a tenner in Tesco) Local Sula Wine is slightly cheaper at around 40 quid but tastes like piss.

4. Household items i.e Cushions, sofas, throws, TV stands, rugs, decorative mirrors, side boards, beds, spring mattresses are Laura Ashley prices (and granted Laura Ashley quality) but still expensive and there’s no Ikea. NO IKEA!

But despite all this it is fantastic life experience and that’s the main thing. 

For the full version of 'The Worlds Most Expensive Cities' visit: 


  1. Yeah, eating and drinking out - the expat lifestyle - are dead expensive, whichever way you look at it, and so are rent and buying international brands. But there's also the second tier, which is the one the locals go for, and it's actually dirt cheap.

    Last month, all our money was tied up abroad and - this being India - there was no way of transferring it over so we were screwed with about 5,000 rupees between two for about three weeks. We survived (I think we even had a few coppers left over) and we didn't live too badly either.

    Now we have some more dosh (no thanks to HSBC, the world's village bank), we're still hardly spending anything on food and household stuff. The maid, chef and all the food bills add up to around Rs15,000 a month for three meals a day (OK, more Mrs Miggins than Gordon Ramsay), which leaves loads of money left for the really good bars and restaurants at the weekends (which start for us on a Wednesday and usually end on a Monday night).

    I reckon that if you can blend expat life with a local lifestyle, you can have a bit left over to save.

    Oh, try and give the Sula a chance. Once you get used to the kerotine bouquet and hints of burning seatbelt, it's not a bad drop for the price.

  2. Hmmmm, Sula makes me vom, period x
    Cannot believe you lived on 5000 rupees! Thats impressive! Not sure if i can live like the locals live in any aspect however it might be a good to give it a try and see how we get on!


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