Vanguard Teaching

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How Much A Dollar/Euro/Yen… Costs

It’s January. It’s a new year, meaning resolutions will have a gang of people hitting the gym hard, flocking to the organic aisle, and attempting to find passion for their workplace enemies.


For teachers, it’s a time to see what the education job market looks like for free agent educators. Whether you are looking for a job within the borders of your country or on the international market, at the end of the day, money matters. Salary, gratuity and other financial benefits are important to understand when making a decision on where you want to accept a job. The decision can become even more complicated for my fellow international educators who have to factor in currency exchange rates as well. However, whether you’re thinking about moving internationally, across state lines, or staying local, you need to also take this concept into account that will affect your welfare – cost of living.


In the summer of 2015, DeAndre Jordan turned down a more lucrative contract offer from Dallas to stay in Los Angeles.

Teachers, I know this is a far-fetched example in terms of salary, but let’s look at two contracts a basketball player was offered in the summer of 2015: the infamous DeAndre Jordan and his LA to Dallas then back to LA saga. In the summer of 2015, Jordan signed for a 4 year, $80 million contract ($20 million per year) to play for the Dallas Mavericks.  After a wild turn of events, he reneged on his verbal agreement with Dallas and ended up re-signing with his original team, the Los Angeles Clippers, for 4 years, $88 million ($22 million per year). On paper, it looks like he just gained an extra $2 million a year to play in Los Angeles than if he were to play in Dallas ($22m v. $20m). Hold on, not so fast. From a cost of living adjustment perspective, according to the financial website Nerd Wallet, Jordan would have to earn $27.5 million in Los Angeles to equal the $20 million he would have earned in Dallas (and we’re not going to get into the fact that Texas has no income tax, but that’s another blog for another day). So, essentially, his current $22 million has him at a $5.5 million loss ($22m – $27.5m); but hey, what’s $5.5 million when you’re among friends?

In terms of my example, Los Angeles is more expensive than Dallas in many economic aspects and when making a move from one city to another you, want to utilize the internet resources available to you to make a more informed decision.

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According to Nerd Wallet, Jordan would have had to get $27.5m/year contract from LA to equal Dallas’ $20m offer.





There are so many variables that factor into the cost of living but let the internet do the math for you.  These websites help bring your inner nerd and can help you understand if your next move will be a financial step up or down.

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Numbeo – Sleek, informative, and thorough international cost of living comparing website.

Numbeo is my go-to website; it not only breaks down cost of living, but also traffic, pollution, quality of life, and other important variables in many major cities around the world. You can also do your budgeting and compare your salary between two cities. Numbeo stays up to date and is trusted by major players such as The Economist, BBC, and USA Today.

The founder is a former Google software engineer and I like what Google and many of their renegades have produced. Have fun comparing NYC to Dhaka!

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Expatistan – Intriguing name, engaging information

This site is named after the small region located between Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan and serves as a good little cost-of-living comparison site. Expatistan has a rather simple layout and easy to see a breakdown of their comparison numbers and also tells you the salary comparison for each city.

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Nerd Wallet – Great personal finance website that will bring out your inner-nerd.

For my American brethren, Nerd Wallet offers great breakdowns for cost of living comparisons between different American cities. Moreover, it takes family status and education level into account. Overall, Nerd Wallet is quite a site for good personal finance advice and is there for someone who has options in relocating to different U.S. cities.



The detailed breakdown of these sites also allows you to make your own mental math comparisons as well. Items that affect the cost of living difference (like the price of fast food, alcohol and cars) may not be something you expect use in your dry, home cooking, bike-to-work lifestyle. Therefore, this could be a bonus (or bust) for you. The blessing of these sites is that the stats provided allow you to make these judgments.

Lastly, TAXES! Check and compare the taxes that the new place may charge. I am still looking for a site that factor in tax comparisons between cities as well. Any advice helps!

Other useful sites

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2016 by in Tips For Teachers.
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