How much will it cost to move to Bosnia?


economy, Tourism / Monday, March 19th, 2018

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.

Local Pensioner

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.

Nikolina Bošnjak 2015. 

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

 

Gigi, a digital nomad puts her nomad cost at $1295.88 for Mostar and $1157 for Konjic.  These numbers Gigi reported help independently verify NomadList costs.

Conclusion

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.

https://nomadlist.com/cities-by-cost-of-living-short-desc#view=map

 

Please let me know if you have further insight by commenting below.

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