Bosnia’s low cost of living, close proximity to European nations, and highly educated society make it an ideal location to relocate. I hope to shed some light to how much it costs to live in Bosnia using datasets found throughout the net.
Standard of Living
It will be more expensive to live in Bosnia if one expects goods and services that you must get shipped from abroad (i.e. avocados, luxury cars, electronics). The same is true for other desired retirement destinations around the globe (i.e. Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia).
Costs of living also vary dramatically based upon living in a main city or in a rural village. Monthly rent prices in Sarajevo the capitol range from 2500 euros for a 4 bedroom flat to 100 euros for a small 1 bedroom on the edge of town.
Also note that the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world so it will be almost impossible to find a local job to earn an income as there are dozens of locals with advanced degrees also willing to take that job.Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in March 2017.
For those of you looking to move to a country and live like a local the average pensioner makes 367.14 BAM or roughly $231.31 USD a month.
Most need to supplement this meager wage with help from family or friends abroad or by working part time in the agricultural field.Berry production has radically increased in recent years. Source: FAOSTAT Source: World Bank Group
A more realistic sum to look at is the average wage of a Bosnian worker at roughly 840 BAM or $529 a month. This amount of money will allow you to realistically buy local food at the grocery store/market, visit the coffee bar on a weekly basis for endless hours of conversation with locals, and maybe a day trip once a month to other towns and cities throughout the area.
Verifying with other Data
Just under a million tourists visit Bosnia every year, a yearly 30% growth rate in tourism. Many backpacking “digital nomads” settle down in towns across the country and blog about their experience. Below is a list of information that will be updated semi-annually with costs that people have reported across the internet.
NomadList compiled the following numbers for living in Sarejevo:
Nomad cost (less than 3 months): $1402
Cost of Living with Family (long term living family of 4): $1898
Expat costs (defined as living for years in a middle/upper class lifestyle): $973
Cost of living like a local (define as living outside city center and eating local): $542
NomadList compiled the following numbers for living in Banja Luka:
Nomad cost (less than 3 months): $1137
Cost of Living with Family (long term living family of 4): $1455
Expat costs (defined as living for years in a middle/upper class lifestyle): $757
Cost of living like a local (define as living outside city center and eating local): $416
Living in Bosnia just like the rest of Eastern Europe is a third of half the cost of Western Europe, the United States, or Australia. Nomad List has a great map showing datapoints they collected and the costs associated with each city. Based upon these numbers Bosnia and other Eastern European countries are roughly as expensive as Central and Southern American or more expensive Asian cities. Cost of living in Bosnia is as much as three times the cost however of expat hotspots like Vietnam and Indonesia.
Please let me know if you have further insight by commenting below.