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Russia – Cost of Living

Russia is the world’s largest country, spanning over two continents, so the cost of living can vary greatly depending on the region. In this article, we’ll cover the local currency, compare the cost of living in Russia to the UK and the USA, break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in different categories, and explain the most common forms of payment in Russia.

Local Currency in Russia

The local currency in Russia is the Russian ruble (RUB). One Russian ruble is divided into 100 kopecks. The Russian ruble is widely accepted throughout the country, and you can exchange your currency at banks or exchange offices.

Cost of Living in Russia Compared to the UK and USA

According to the Numbeo cost of living index, the cost of living in Russia is generally lower than in the UK and the USA. The index takes into account factors such as housing, food, utilities, transportation, and entertainment.

As of February 2023, the index shows that the cost of living in Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is about 46.05% lower than in London and 54.61% lower than in New York. While the cost of living in Russia is generally lower than in the UK and the USA, salaries in Russia are also lower, making it an affordable destination for expats on a budget.

Breakdown of Costs in Russia

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for different expenses in Russia, let’s break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in different categories.

Housing


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Housing is generally affordable in Russia, and the cost of living in this category is relatively low compared to other countries. The cost of housing varies depending on where you live and the type of housing you choose. According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around RUB 44,000 per month. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around RUB 93,000 per month.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to find a room to rent for around RUB 20,000 per month. However, keep in mind that housing in Russia can be challenging to find, especially if you’re looking for a specific type of accommodation.

Food

The cost of food in Russia is generally lower than in the UK and the USA, and it’s possible to eat on a budget. You can expect to pay around RUB 500-800 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant and around RUB 1,500-2,500 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can save money by shopping at markets and cooking your meals. A week’s worth of groceries for one person costs around RUB 2,000-3,000.

Utilities

The cost of utilities in Russia varies depending on the size of your home and your usage. On average, you can expect to pay around RUB 6,000-10,000 per month for utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

Leisure

The cost of leisure activities in Russia varies widely depending on what you enjoy doing. A movie ticket costs around RUB 300-500, and a fitness club membership costs around RUB 3,000-5,000 per month.

If you enjoy going out, expect to pay around RUB 300-500 for a beer in a bar or around RUB 1,000-1,500 for a cocktail. Entrance fees for museums and other attractions vary widely but usually range from RUB 200-500.

Transport

The cost of transport in Russia is relatively low compared to other countries. A one-way ticket on public transport costs around RUB 55-60 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while a monthly pass costs around RUB 2,500-3,500. Taxi fares vary depending on the distance, but a 10 km ride costs around RUB 500-600.

Clothing

The cost of clothing in Russia varies depending on the brand and quality of the product. A pair of jeans can cost around RUB 1,500-3,000, while a shirt can cost around RUB 1,000-2,000.

If you’re looking for affordable clothing options, there are several chain stores in Russia that offer reasonably priced clothing, such as H&M and Zara.

Household Goods

The cost of household goods in Russia varies depending on the item and brand. For example, a new television can cost anywhere from RUB 15,000 to RUB 100,000 depending on the size and features. A washing machine can cost around RUB 15,000-25,000, while a refrigerator can cost around RUB 25,000-40,000.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to find used household goods on websites such as Avito and Yula. Many people sell their used items at a fraction of the cost of new items.

Forms of Payment in Russia

The most common forms of payment in Russia are cash and debit or credit cards. Most stores and restaurants accept credit and debit cards, especially in larger cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Mobile payments and contactless payments are becoming more popular in Russia, and many stores now offer these payment options. Some banks offer mobile payment services, but these services are not yet widely used.

In addition to cash and cards, some stores in Russia accept payment through popular mobile apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

The cost of living in Russia is generally lower than in the UK and the USA, making it an affordable destination for expats on a budget. While salaries in Russia are also lower, the country offers affordable housing, food, utilities, and transport.

When it comes to payment methods, Russia primarily relies on cash and debit/credit cards, but mobile payment services and contactless payments are becoming more popular.

Before you move to Russia, it’s important to research the cost of living in your desired location and create a budget that takes into account your income and expenses. By doing so, you can ensure that you can live comfortably in Russia without breaking the bank.


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