Guest Post by Anu – PhD Candidate in University of New Mexico.
With my limited knowledge about cost of living in different states in US, here I am sharing with you my experiences about cost of living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I would try to be as general as possible. Plan for living expenses for Studying in USA before deciding on the university.
Living alone is always more expensive than sharing an apartment. With lower cost of living as compared to other states in US and better funding situation than other US universities, most students prefer to stay alone in 1 bedroom apartment or a studio/efficiency in Albuquerque. People opting for sharing accommodation prefer having a private room for them.
Rarely, I find more than one student sharing bedrooms, or staying in living room. All prices given below represent monthly expenses unless defined.
Rent varies from $400-550 for 1 bedroom apartments and $650-750 for 2 BR apartments. Houses cost more, about $1200-2000, but have 4-5 BRs and are cost effective in terms of time and space.
On an average, Indian student in Albuquerque spends $300-400 (with private room )by sharing a house or apartment), $200-250 by sharing a bedroom or as living room occupant, $360-550 by living alone in a studio or one BR apartment. A rental expense is the major expense in defining the cost of living.
Utilities, internet and cable
Very few students choose to stay in places where utilities are not paid by the owner or property management people. Although utility bill varies with the size and utilization of the resource, in general a student pays $25 for electricity, $30-50 for gas, $45-60 for internet and cable.
Maintaining a car
With rise in gas prices maintaining a car becomes difficult. Public transport is not very well developed in Albuquerque.
Even though University of New Mexico provides free bus passes, owning a car is important for independent life in Albuquerque. Approximately 1 out of 8 Indian students in Albuquerque own a car. With different usage frequency and mileage, the range of gas prices per month for a student ranges from $60-150.
Students buy insurance from university which is $50 per month or included in assistantship amount.
Grocery and food cost
This expense category depends largely on a person’s appetite. Most Indian males spend $120-180 only on grocery and spend up to $300-400 eating outside. Most women spend $80-120 on grocery and up to $50-150 dining out.
Regular house-hold and departmental expenses
It averages $50-60 for each student and even less if shared.
Next - The Real cost of MS in USA (with detailed analysis).