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Author Topic: Cost of Living in Russia  (Read 30302 times)

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Offline dbneeley

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Re: Grocery and retail shopping in Russia & Ukraine
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2010, 02:35:16 AM »

Auchan stores are quite stressful and I don't like to go too often. You need to be Indiana Jones to reach the checkout unscathed...

Perhaps the Auchan that is about a kilometer from us is atypical. I rarely feel it is much of a big deal to shop in. There are plenty of people there at any given time, but it is so large that this is rarely an issue. The density of people for a given area is about the same as at the supermarket near us, and the stresses of negotiating both would be about the same. The rinok on the end of the block we're on is actually worse at most times of day.

There is a Spanish expression that seems apt: "Cada chango a su mecate" or "each monkey to his own rope."

David

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Life in large cities
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2010, 09:16:59 AM »

I think a lot of money would be saved if many people in UK took just £100 cash in their purse/wallet to go grocery shopping, instead of wandering round chucking everything in the trolley and using a debit card to pay (and maybe an overdraft) to pay for the total bill.


First, why exactly £100?  ???

Second, why to wander round chucking everything in the trolley - instead of:

a) Making the list of items you need;

b) Write the approximate price of each item;

c) Calculate the total (to know whether you have to take £100 or 80 or 120);

d) Either re-write the list in the items allocation order - or, at least, mark food and "non-eatable edible" objects with different feltpens, to minimize the supermarket navigating time?  

IMO, this is not the rocket science  :reading:  

What has happened to the regular planning  of the householding expenses (and ALL expenses in general)?  ???

Why some people need artificial limitations (like taking certain amount of cash from home, to avoid spending more)?

YMMV, but I see it only as the lack of will-power and unability of resisting the advertising.


Auchan stores are quite stressful and I don't like to go too often.

You need to be Indiana Jones to reach the checkout unscathed...


To avoid stress, don't go there on Saturday - and avoid Fridays & Sundays as well, if you can.

To minimize the time at the check-out, in those stores that have 2 levels (food and other stuff) don't go to check-out at the "food" level (don't know why, but there are always more people queing at that level...).

What I personally don't like in Auchan is the smell - of cheap Chinese plastic & colorants on one level, of permanently rotten shit on the food level  :sick0012:

Recently a friend of mine was telling me about Auchan opening in the premises previously belonging to Carrefour at Fillion shopping mall (http://www.fillion.ru/).
- Auchan has just opened up there... might be a couple of days ago...
- How can you possibly know that? Have you been there recently - still at Carrefour?
- No, I haven't - but the place doesn't smell like Auchan yet...  :sick0012:
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Offline kerouac

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Re: Life in large cities
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2010, 01:21:21 AM »

First, why exactly £100?  ???

Second, why to wander round chucking everything in the trolley - instead of:

a) Making the list of items you need;

b) Write the approximate price of each item;

c) Calculate the total (to know whether you have to take £100 or 80 or 120);

d) Either re-write the list in the items allocation order - or, at least, mark food and "non-eatable edible" objects with different feltpens, to minimize the supermarket navigating time?  

IMO, this is not the rocket science  :reading:  

What has happened to the regular planning  of the householding expenses (and ALL expenses in general)?  ???

Why some people need artificial limitations (like taking certain amount of cash from home, to avoid spending more)?

YMMV, but I see it only as the lack of will-power and unability of resisting the advertising.


Sorry, I just used  £100 as an example. Perhaps I should have said 'X amount'. I completely agree with your assessment although I think quite a few people do find the sensible approach to be rocket science. I think part of the reason for the credit crunch was the inability of some people to weigh up what they can afford with what they spend. As far as I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong), there seems to be less personal debt in Russia than in say UK. Shopping habits were much different in UK 40 years ago and less money was spent on groceries. I'm not an expert on what the link is (marketing, advertising, bigger stores, bigger range, debit/credit cards) but it would be interesting to find out.


Offline dbneeley

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Re: Life in large cities
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2010, 02:12:49 AM »


Sorry, I just used  £100 as an example. Perhaps I should have said 'X amount'. I completely agree with your assessment although I think quite a few people do find the sensible approach to be rocket science. I think part of the reason for the credit crunch was the inability of some people to weigh up what they can afford with what they spend. As far as I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong), there seems to be less personal debt in Russia than in say UK. Shopping habits were much different in UK 40 years ago and less money was spent on groceries. I'm not an expert on what the link is (marketing, advertising, bigger stores, bigger range, debit/credit cards) but it would be interesting to find out.

"Less personal debt" is a given, in that there is much less credit available in the FSU. Also, with most salaries much lower, there is  a widespread aversion to debt here.

Personally, we have no debt. I have used debit cards for over thirty years and have not had a credit card in that time, as I realized early on as a self-employed or contract employee my income would be erratic and I could not be sure of repayment in a given time. (I have bought several cars during those years on credit, but paid them off quickly, usually well before the contract term). Today, in our family in Ukraine we continue with a simple premise: if we don't have the money, we don't buy. We occasionally use credit, but intelligently. For example, my wife's old TV gave out about two years ago so she took advantage of a zero percent promotion with a local electronics chain to buy a flat screen--and paid that off months early. We're also looking to buy a flat soon, at first mostly for my mother-in-law, later for us. We will likely purchase that with some credit, but paying as much as possible up front and, again, paying the balance off very quickly. (In Ukrainian terms, Donetsk real estate is quite expensive).

For food, though, we would never think of using any sort of credit. But then, we never eat out when we are in Donetsk unless it's in the home of a friend, and we cook nearly everything from scratch so the costs are lower.

In the West, many people pay higher prices for "convenience" foods that often lack as much nutritional value as the basic foods that are not pre-processed. This is a huge factor in spending far more on groceries than most here in Ukraine do, despite that fact that many foods here are at least as expensive as in the West.

If you want to do a comparison some time, look at the typical grocery carts here and compare them with what you see in the West.

David

Offline Solrock

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Cost of Living in Russia
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 10:09:03 AM »
After some months of dating, my russian girlfriend asked me to move to Moscow some months, so we could live together some time to see if we are compatible. I don't have a normal job, I'm somehow of a freelancer, so moving to another place is not really a problem for me. The first question is, have any of you guys did the same? Do you think it is a good move to do? In my mind seems a good idea, but it does not hurt to hear more experienced voices  :)

The second question, well, if I really want to do it and move there, then how?
A turist visa would allow me to stay there only a month, and for a work visa, well, I would need to find a job there (and I'm not very interested on this, as I already have my own kind of job that I would like to keep).
There is also business visa, I think this one allows for bigger stay than turism, but I don't know much about it  ???

Third question, how usually do you guys do this, living with other half for a while before getting married? Or people just go from dating straight to marriage? With visas and stuff it seems very difficult to live with each other without being married, and I've always heard that it is good to do so for a while, to make sure we both are really compatible on all aspects  :thumbsup:

Online andrewfi

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 03:34:53 PM »
If you can truly manage to work from anywhere then you are fortunate. You will probably find that your visa is the least of your problems and your girlfriend is going to have to be very patient with you as you sort out your life infrastructure.

You will likely find that your stay in Russia is still restricted even with a Business Visa:
Quote
Business visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia for business purposes. Business visa can be valid for up to 90 days and can be issued for single or double entry. Also business visa can be issued for multiple entries and can be valid for up to 1 year. Dates of validity of the visa will correspond with mentioned on your letter of invitation issued by a Russian Federal Migration Service agency or a telex from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/Business.html

Long, long ago I used to use Business Visas, the one year type still limits the total time you can stay, as you can see 90 days.

Make sure that you have a lot more money to hand than you think you will need and do not commit to apartments and stuff on the basis of your grlfriend's recommendation - she will probably miss the mark. Engage her assistance after you arrive and maybe get a place sorted online for a short term before you go there so you have a place to stay while you find a place to stay.
"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Offline MBS01

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 01:57:53 AM »
You might try to connect with Richard (rvrwind) who used to post here and elsewhere.  He and his wife Valya currently live in Calgary, Alberta, but they lived together in Tver, Russia for a few years before returning to live in Canada.  He could likely give you valuable first hand advice about living in Russia as a Westerner.

Also Phil used to live with his girlfriend Nina in Saint Petersburg, Russia but he too returned to the USA as well.  I have no idea how to contact him, but perhaps some other longterm members here could do so.

Both these two have done more or less what you are planning to do and made it work for a few years.

As to doing it while getting the sponsorship processed I spent time in Ukraine for a total of 6 months during our first 2 years of meeting and later marriage until my wife was able to move to Canada.  So hope this also helps in your our adventure too.  Wes.

Offline ECR844

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 04:08:45 AM »
One of the forum users named "Bill" lived or lives in Moscow and perhaps he can shed light for you on this. You might also want to ask "Jooky, Chivo," and some of the others who have and are doing it as well.

Offline Solrock

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 04:36:54 AM »
Thanks for the replies, Ill try to contact one of thoses :)

Offline Danchik

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2012, 09:57:20 AM »
After some months of dating, my russian girlfriend asked me to move to Moscow some months, so we could live together some time to see if we are compatible. I don't have a normal job, I'm somehow of a freelancer, so moving to another place is not really a problem for me. The first question is, have any of you guys did the same? Do you think it is a good move to do? In my mind seems a good idea, but it does not hurt to hear more experienced voices  :)
Yes to the first question.

It depends on your idea of a good move or not.  For me it most certainly was.

The second question, well, if I really want to do it and move there, then how?
A turist visa would allow me to stay there only a month, and for a work visa, well, I would need to find a job there (and I'm not very interested on this, as I already have my own kind of job that I would like to keep).
There is also business visa, I think this one allows for bigger stay than turism, but I don't know much about it  ???
There are ways around the visa issue (don't believe everything you read on this forum from others who have never done it long term or what you read on any website, and I mean any website).

If you're serious and want more info, contact me privately. 

Third question, how usually do you guys do this, living with other half for a while before getting married? Or people just go from dating straight to marriage? With visas and stuff it seems very difficult to live with each other without being married, and I've always heard that it is good to do so for a while, to make sure we both are really compatible on all aspects  :thumbsup:
The main question is how much do you love your lady? Because if you have half your shit together, you'll have many opportunities to be with other women.

Another thing you need to think about is the speed in which many relationships progress to marriage here; which is very fast. I'm talking 3-6 months fast. If you're not prepared to move on this in this time frame and she is, you'll have problems.

You'll need a certain mindset to live in Moscow too. It's not for everyone, but I, all things considered, love it. It's an incredible city.
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2012, 05:09:46 PM »
The new 3 year tourist visa could be your best option. A business visa brings its own set of problems if you're not really operating/doing business.

My advice on the issue is to stay in Russia legally and therefore not jeopardize future travel, obey the 90/180 rules. There are those who don't but as Russia modernizes passport control systems the practices of sneaking overstaying this will someday come back to bite. Anyway, 3 months in Moscow should be long enough anyway if that is really what the lady has in mind.

There are ways to stay legally and not worry about the 90/180 rules if you can find an employer who will obtain a work visa on your behalf. You'll have to demonstrate a skill that is needed in Russia, one that cannot currently be done by Russians, and be willing to teach that skill to co-workers so that someday you can be replaced. The Russian government limits that number of foreign work visas annually with quotas by industry type.

Or, you can open a business if you don't mind the red tape and tax issues to accompany that strategy.


Offline Danchik

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2012, 09:58:58 PM »
The new 3 year tourist visa could be your best option. A business visa brings its own set of problems if you're not really operating/doing business.

My advice on the issue is to stay in Russia legally and therefore not jeopardize future travel, obey the 90/180 rules. There are those who don't but as Russia modernizes passport control systems the practices of sneaking overstaying this will someday come back to bite. Anyway, 3 months in Moscow should be long enough anyway if that is really what the lady has in mind.

There are ways to stay legally and not worry about the 90/180 rules if you can find an employer who will obtain a work visa on your behalf. You'll have to demonstrate a skill that is needed in Russia, one that cannot currently be done by Russians, and be willing to teach that skill to co-workers so that someday you can be replaced. The Russian government limits that number of foreign work visas annually with quotas by industry type.

Or, you can open a business if you don't mind the red tape and tax issues to accompany that strategy.
Sir, no one is talking about overstaying or anything else. Just how to go about doing things legally, within a system. Some things you just have to know by being here. Which is why I asked the gentleman to contact me privately. Yes, things are changing, but it's still Russia, and that means very slowly. 

It will be his choice to do what is offered and what is available to him, which includes things not mentioned or any board or website. I would never put anyone in a compromising situation. Nevertheless, there are things that one can do beyond your area of thought or wisdom. With all due respect.
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Offline Bill

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2012, 11:54:47 PM »
After some months of dating, my russian girlfriend asked me to move to Moscow some months, so we could live together some time to see if we are compatible. I don't have a normal job, I'm somehow of a freelancer, so moving to another place is not really a problem for me. The first question is, have any of you guys did the same? Do you think it is a good move to do? In my mind seems a good idea, but it does not hurt to hear more experienced voices  :)

The second question, well, if I really want to do it and move there, then how?
A turist visa would allow me to stay there only a month, and for a work visa, well, I would need to find a job there (and I'm not very interested on this, as I already have my own kind of job that I would like to keep).
There is also business visa, I think this one allows for bigger stay than turism, but I don't know much about it  ???

Third question, how usually do you guys do this, living with other half for a while before getting married? Or people just go from dating straight to marriage? With visas and stuff it seems very difficult to live with each other without being married, and I've always heard that it is good to do so for a while, to make sure we both are really compatible on all aspects  :thumbsup:

Solrock just noticed your thread. Your best chance of being able to stay in Russia long term is probably either marry your g/f or get a job. I met many expats who lived in the FSU but I never met anyone who could stay there for a couple of years at a time without some type of visa or being married to a Russian. I spent 27 months in Moscow teaching English, never had a problem, my employer took care of the paperwork.

The great thing about TESL is you can, with a little bit of trial and error, work as little or as much as you want. I tried to limit myself to about 25 hours a week, after I got use to the system I could easily have done 60 hrs/week or more, some teachers do between the school and private clients.

If you limit your teaching to the minimum you can do other things. I know TESL teachers that had other sources of income such as Internet related marketing, programming etc. One lady I know taught piano, another cooked in a restaurant. One long term teacher used to be an engineer in the UK and consulted. No contracts, no records, cash only. I never heard of any expats being arrested or deported for these types of activities.   

The problem of course is how much of this is legal, probably most of it is illegal but I can't say for sure. However if the extent of your freelancing is Internet work that is never going to be seen in Russia you probably don't have much to worry about, still it might be a good idea to get your g/f to make some inquiries.   

Any more questions feel free to ask.

Edit: Solrock if you haven't been to Moscow I'd go just to check it out to see if you like Moscow, if you can't tolerate the city spending a year there will be difficult for you. Spending a couple of weeks in Moscow will also give you time to check out the job market for TESL teachers.

Online andrewfi

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2012, 02:02:45 AM »
Danchik, if your suggestions are legal then why not share them? We can all learn from you. Thanks.
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Offline bagalia

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Re: Moving temporarily to Russia
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2012, 04:25:36 AM »
Danchik, if your suggestions are legal then why not share them? We can all learn from you. Thanks.

Sounds to me like it is the "legal as long as you get away with it" kind of legal.
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