One of the main concern when someone is looking for relocation or is going to be expatriated is how is going to be the change in monetary terms. Human beings are known to be able to differentiate differences rather than absolute values, so it is normal when you ask for a coffee and realise you are not paying 1 euro anymore but 0.5 or 2, in your new location. Even more important are your concerns about housing and current costs, as utilities or groceries expenditure.
Hopefully, nowadays we have many tools and resources on the internet that allow us to take price differences into account, like this cost-of-living calculator (the cost’o’matic) by EasyExpat.com. Then, you have the yearly Mercer’s report on cost of living, addressed to the HR Departments for covering correctly the compensation of their expat employees due to relocation to dearer or cheaper regions. However, a good (and free) report can be found at UBS site: ‘Prices and Earnings‘, for 73 cities around the World.
I could not end this entry without commenting on the ‘Big Mac Index‘ (by The Economist). Do you know how much is your Big Mac burger in other cities in the World considering cost of living differences?