When moving to live and work in another country, cost of living is a factor that cannot be ignored. The cost of maintaining a lifestyle similar to the one experienced at home can be significantly higher or lower in a different location. Sometimes costs are higher simply because it can be difficult to shop as cost effectively in an unfamiliar place. Goods of the standard expatriates are used to may be imported, which can make those items expensive relative to other countries. Government policies can also directly affect prices, for example by providing fuel subsidies or applying consumption taxes like VAT, making them higher or lower than for the same products elsewhere. Exchange rates also have a big influence on comparative living costs as they directly affect how much you can buy with your money abroad.

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