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can i live comfortably on the local component of my salary of 7000

Hey this is an easy question so guys help me out. My question is can i live comfortably on the local component of my salary of 7000 birr in Addis Ababa. My employer is paying me in foreign US $ currency which i intent to save and an additional local birr salary of 7000. My house is provided free with a guard. Can i by my food, pay bills and ocassionally go for a drink or two and meal on 7000 birr a month without touching my $US salary. One love

Hi RaymondPhD,

Welcome to expat-blog!

A new topic was created from you post on the Addis Ababa forum better visibility.

I suggest you to go through topic on the Addis Ababa forum you might find out more information. Hope this might help.

Thank you,

David

No, I don't think so. Me as a foreigner need per day about 600 Birr. How do you want to cover all your food, household and transport expenses? Sorry, I guess you can't avoid to contribute from your income to your daily expenses instead of saving them.
That is life.

I think you can.  Depends what you mean by "pay bills".  I am a married foreigner with two kids and we spend 4500 birr/mth on food and local transport.  If we go out to eat then of course, it is more but we budget 4500/mth for food and local transport.

Yes, if you don't eat or drink out. If you are the type who love to drink like me, you can buy your booze from distributors; you save 30 - 40%. If you have a house, then you can live like a king but you need to know where to shop and avoid fancy places. You can have a good Ethiopian vegan meal for as less as 75 US cents. If you are the type who loves to cook, there are good frozen fish and vegetables and fruits are cheap. Here again you have to learn how to shop. Prices vary horrendously. Since you lived in Egypt, I don't think you will have difficulty except that people here are warmer and sincere.

hnajee :

Yes, if you don't eat or drink out.

How should this be possible? When you work you also need enjoying your leisure time. What life is this? How does it work without going out and eating outside? I am always on budget in Ethio but 600 is the minimum I need per day. I really don't get how you guys press you costs down. Especially the prices are always higher the whiter your skin is the higher the prices. Therefore I do shopping in my boyfriend's company. Otherwise Ethiopians always betray me and cash more.

enjoying leisure time is relative. There are always priorities on being frugal. I see your point; it could be because I am 1/2 Ethiopian and unfortunately am considered "faranj" but when I blabber in Amharic, they change.
You know what helps me most? I try to befriend female street vegetable vendors who are mostly hardworking ladies with families. After a couple of visits, smiles and even offering to pay them them a couple of Birrs more, you will be surprised how they change.

By nature, Ethiopians are very loving and warm. Get to touch their hearts and they will treat you like real family.

hnajee :

After a couple of visits, smiles and even offering to pay them them a couple of Birrs more, you will be surprised how they change.

See, hnajee, exactely this is the point. Why should I pay more? When I'm in Ethio I share the same conditions as Ethiopians too. I can't see any reason to pay more just because I am Faranj.
And paying for a smile? It's like buying a smile. That is not my style. Sorry for saying this but I find it poor to pay for smile.

In case Africans would be treated like this in Europe they would terribly complain about such manners. But for them it is allowed? I am always horrified about "farenj-prices". This is a kind of "upside-down" RASCISM! When I ask "why do I need to pay more because I am white?" don't expect someone would reply. They pretend not to understand English. This is basically the only thing I don't like about Ethiopia.

Are you simply paying more because you are from a western country?  I guess the answer to that question needs to come from a non-white person from a  western country.  I agree there should be one price for all that is not based on color or country of origin.

herenbeyond :

Are you simply paying more because you are from a western country?

Of course. Don't believe me? I have lived in Kenya and Ghana and visited Ethiopia 6 times now, so I know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately my skin marks me as a Western.

I'm not doubting you.  I only asked if it was simply race or country of origin.  Would they charge a black british or black American the same price?

That is the point. I am not sure. It happen in Ghana to me that people talked in their local language about me and my black friend who was with me. They thought she's Nigerian according to her style but she was Ivorian and understood the local language. I guess the same will appear in Ethiopia. In any shop I got told "our prices are fixed" what lets me guess there are truly shops which charge their customers according to the colour of their skin and origin. Horrible. I hardly can buy anything alone. Last time I bought a carpet and didn't dare to ask for its price. My Ethiopian friend was with me and I got for native price. Racism-upside-down. :(

Hi, Good day to all friends! I am evaluating shifting to Addis. I would like to know about: 1. Areas where Indian community is and a nearby School  2. The cost of renting a 2 BHK flat or an independent house around Bole road 3. If a local sustenance salary of USD 450 (including utilities bills payment) for a small family is sufficient. 4. Possibilites of taking up Mathematics tutions.

I would be very thankful if some friend can write on this. Regards, Pravir (***)

@Berlin1973......It is a known fact that as a non-ethiopian citizen you will be charged more.  This does not just apply to Ethiopia though.  You will find it in all of southeast asia as well as nearly any country within the african countinent.  Often times they simply see you as a tourist, which happens also in the U.S. and Europe in tourist areas.  It is what it is and it is not going to change simply because you disagree with it.  I see both sides.  If you are not married to a Ethiopian native, then you had better learn how to make Ethiopian friends really fast who can help in getting you what you need at local cost.  Plus, you might just make a few lifelong friends.

No one can really answer the question as to what a westerner can live on comfortably in Ethiopia, especially if he or she is arriving without a nice support group(locals).  But even with local support if that particular westerner thinks that he or she will be living a western style on a cheap budget, then he or she need not come.....it just ain't going to happen.  Instead of going out for drinks, entertain that your place and have everyone simply bring a cooked dish.  Invite a few locals from where you are working and ask them ways that they stay within their monthly budget, etc.

AS FAR AS BEING CHARGED HIGHER, IT IS NOT ABOUT  RACE BUT COUNTRY WHERE YOU LIVE. I AM BLACK AFRICAN THAT LIVES IN USA, EACH TIME I VISITED NIGERIA AND GHANA, I GET CHARGED MORE AS SOON AS I SAY A WORD. EVEN SO CALLED FAMILY MEMBERS WILL JERK UP THE PRICE AND SOMETIMES THE SELLER WILL NOT GIVE YOUR CHANGE BACK AND TELL YOU, " CAN'T YOU SE HOW REFRESHED YOU LOOK, WHEN YOU GO BACK TO USA , YOU CAN ALWAYS GET MORE MONEY" {LIKE THERE'S THIS TREE THAT I WAKE UP AND PLUCK THE DOLLARS FROM IN USA}. IT HAPPENS IN GHANA TOO. EVEN WHEN YOU TRY TO AVOID SUCH AND SEND A LOCAL, HE/SHE WILL CHEAT YOU TOO .

@ mrken: It would be great if you could avoid posting with caps lock on the forum please so as to ease the reading :)

sure! you can live with 7000 Ethiopian birr in Addis Ababa if you are getting house for free, one of the most expensive thing here in Addis is housing, if you get that for free it will not be hard for you.

not everyone charge you more in Addis, not everyone try to profit more from you, any way if you want to get used to living here in Addis you need to make friend who you can trust and know your financial status, most Ethiopians like to help, If you find good friends here in Addis your life is going to be very interesting and simple.

at least 15000 Birr cost of living for foreigners in Ethoipia

Check out this website for cost of living, rents etc  www.numbeo.com

nikhil1941 :

at least 15000 Birr cost of living for foreigners in Ethoipia

Nikhil
Welcome to Expat.com. As this is your first post could you please introduce yourself to other members. 

With regard to the post how did you find this figure you quoted. Have you lived there before.

Yes, you certainly can, unless you intend to live some opulent life of decadence and eat foreign foods at restaurants every day. I would advise budgeting though, to ensure you take care of all the necessities - then you can decide to splurge.

Good, fresh food is quite inexpensive and can be obtained from corner shops and street vendors. You will save if you avoid the large supermarkets - you may need them for other items.

If you think you are being overcharged, just do the African thing and bargain. Friendly resistance in banter helps.

The most expensive item is rental, otherwise, life is cheap in Addis. And it is healthier if you cook your own or get lucky with a good cook.  7000 is enough . The exra is for beer, Ethiopian beer is the best
Best

i think the answer is very simple, locals think white ppl have all the money so they can afford to pay more that's all( and this notion is not just an ethiopian thing it applays to most non western developing countries). if i were you i would always send my maid or send a trust local to do my shopping .

You are right. I have been in Ethiopia four times since February 2015. I find it difficult living outside Bole area since I feel comfortable staying in Hotel. I spend on average £30 (about 900Birr) a day on food, soft drink and transportation.

Hello to all first,my question is very simple,can I live in Ad,,, Ab,, Ethiopia on 66,100 bird a month, anyone can answer thanks

Simple reply: You can't. How do you like to survive? I am really wondering.

What it's a simple question 66,100 bir that's around $3000 a month

Truthfully not really interested in your negative perspective on anything Berlin

I don't care whether you like my answer. Why should I? I just told my experience.

You act like your so smart and you can write well ,then insulted other on not being able to speak English well my friend your English is not that good .Check your work before sending it out,and trust people are glad your gone,if we are lucky you will be gone from this xpat forum so you don't infefect the next place you go with your ignorance....the powers that be may have given you that birth mark as punishment because they new in advance your shifty easily manipulated old fool.Now be gone pee brain

Your last sentence is disqualifying yourself. No interest to communicate with you. You don't know how it feels living with a big blue-lilac birthmark in face and hand. Little undereducated kids in Etio screamed "monste"r behind me. Any idea how it feels? A behaviour which is unthinkable here in Europe. it says more than enough about your people.

My suggestion for you: Complain to the administrators that they will delete my account as well as my postings here. Wish you good luck and happy time in Africa. I'm having better countries to see than Ethio after all horror I experienced regarding my birthmark. And my Havard-studied Ehtiopian friend seems to have more mental intelligence than you. An Ethio with no chance to extend his horizont due to lack of money and other chances.

Bye :-)

The posts here are going off topic.

Please get back on topic before someone gets banned.

Thank you.

Stormkid :

Hello to all first,my question is very simple,can I live in Ad,,, Ab,, Ethiopia on 66,100 bird a month, anyone can answer thanks

A nice appartment in Addis that can impress the girls and not too far from Bole, is at least 15 000 birr month. Food in nice restaurants like Romina is around half the price from US/Europe. Nightclub drinks somtimes 50 birr per drink and more. A small new car will cost you at least 200 000 birr.  So if you want to have a nice lifestyle with a lot of (girl)friends, it's easy to spend $2500 per month.

Berlin1973 :

Your last sentence is disqualifying yourself. No interest to communicate with you. You don't know how it feels living with a big blue-lilac birthmark in face and hand. Little undereducated kids in Etio screamed "monste"r behind me. Any idea how it feels? A behaviour which is unthinkable here in Europe. it says more than enough about your people.

My suggestion for you: Complain to the administrators that they will delete my account as well as my postings here. Wish you good luck and happy time in Africa. I'm having better countries to see than Ethio after all horror I experienced regarding my birthmark. And my Havard-studied Ehtiopian friend seems to have more mental intelligence than you. An Ethio with no chance to extend his horizont due to lack of money and other chances.

Bye :-)

"Monster"? I think they scream "money". Actually the real young ones think that money means white person.

Kray :

@Berlin1973......It is a known fact that as a non-ethiopian citizen you will be charged more.  This does not just apply to Ethiopia though.  You will find it in all of southeast asia as well as nearly any country within the african countinent.  Often times they simply see you as a tourist, which happens also in the U.S. and Europe in tourist areas.  It is what it is and it is not going to change simply because you disagree with it.  I see both sides.  If you are not married to a Ethiopian native, then you had better learn how to make Ethiopian friends really fast who can help in getting you what you need at local cost.  Plus, you might just make a few lifelong friends.

No one can really answer the question as to what a westerner can live on comfortably in Ethiopia, especially if he or she is arriving without a nice support group(locals).  But even with local support if that particular westerner thinks that he or she will be living a western style on a cheap budget, then he or she need not come.....it just ain't going to happen.  Instead of going out for drinks, entertain that your place and have everyone simply bring a cooked dish.  Invite a few locals from where you are working and ask them ways that they stay within their monthly budget, etc.

It is ok to pay extra and get extra special treatment. It is not ok to pay twice and use the same unusable toilet.

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