Hey y'all, I hope someone will take time to answer my questions,
I needed to know what is the monthly cost of living for a US family of 5, kids are 9, 7 and 5.
We are thinking to get a compound residence, so wife and kids will have more freedom moving around while I'm at work , a 3 BR town home maybe, How much would that cost a month?
What about American Curriculum schools? How much is it a year per child ?
and for monthly living, what would be a good guess for monthly expenditure for our family, trying to make it as close at it gets to the US in terms of quality ?we don't go out much except to a nice restaurant from now and then, would be nice to enroll the kids in some kind of activity, sports or something, We don't drink either..
Cost of vehicles, we'd like to get a suburban maybe?
OK, from our experience (UK, 2 kids, similar ages) The answer is as accurate as how long is a piece of string!!!
Not sure what you mean by town house, but 3 bed compound house seems to be 200,000 -250,000 SAR per year, payable in one lump sum up front. Living off compound is MUCH cheaper (think 50,000 per year)
American schools. DEMS, are just under 60,000/year. IPS is about 40,000. Exact numbers are on the school website. Think those are the 2 big US cric schools.
You won't be drinking in Saudi! I'd say eating out similar to booze free UK prices, so poss more than US prices.
Our shopping bill is more than UK. Our petrol spend is significantly lower I'd say cost of living is similar, but spread differently. If you already spend differently to us, that isn't going to work tho!
Shopping for kids clothes is OK. I will buy a years supply for me, and basics for my husband when we go back to UK in the summer.
I wasn't around when the car was bought. Around the 100,000 SAR for 4 wheel drive jeepy things (not my area, sorry)??
Loads of after school stuff (cheep), and other stuff depending on compound (not so cheap!)
Big spend is trips to Bahrain /Dubai /home. ie flights and accommodation outside Saudi.
Thanks Swan for taking the time to respond. So how is life outside compound for westerners? Safe? any problems with locals? for these schools , is it easy to get the kids enrolled or are they typically over enrolled with waiting lists and stuff? So does 7500 SAR a month in living expenses sound doable? that of course excluding the housing and schooling.
I've never felt unsafe in Saudi (except from some of the driving), but personally I wouldn't want to live off a compound. The ability to go to the gym, swim, play ground with the kids in shorts and tee-shirt, for me, is invaluable. That said, were Aramco, not contract, so the differential in housing is not significant for us. I know of one family who live in a flat, and are quite happy. I think the lady has struggled to make friends. Another advantage if compound living is there is a ready available set of people to help you out, offer guidance and drink coffee with! I also know a family who are moving from a compound to a flat, but it is early days for them outside compound Iiving.
7500 will get you food, petrol, clothing, taxis, a meal out a week, and a compound activity per child at our spend rate.
Oh, schools. We wanted British School, and they have wait lists. I don't know re DEMS, but know IPS is very popular. That said, the younger the child, the harder it is to get in, but once you have the 9 yr old in, the others will be near the top of any waiting lists through sibling priority. I would have thought you stand a good chance of getting the oldest in to a decent school, the 5 yr old may take a while. Schooling has been the hardest thing for us to get sorted.
Post by james_unlimited on Mar 15, 2016 6:17:11 GMT
Seen this many times with contractors (SMPS)
They uproot and bring their family out and experience all sorts of problems that people have overlooked, costs of schooling, healthcare and transportation costs, coupled with the accommodation costs and cost of living...
Even those already indoctrinated into the culture struggle and wish they had never moved. One Expat didn't manage to save anything and left after 2 years with nothing to show for his sacrifice..
Unless you are direct hire to Aramco it makes no sense to bring your family to this environment. Also I don't know what type of work you do, but if its in a remote location you will be working 6days a week and cannot take your family with you to the remote camp. So they become confined to the compound until you return.
Direct hire employees and family members live in a bubble and don't have to deal with the locals on a day to day basis. So I'd take what they say with a pinch of salt.
Safety in the Kingdom i and miss, I've seen a fair few things in my time here. Do some research. Even being direct hire doesn't guarantee your safety. One of my colleagues lost his entire family in a fire at a compound rented for direct hire employees called Radium.. he wasn't the only one.