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Old 12-05-2013, 03:49 PM
 
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Thanks a lot guys, I have gained so much from this thread in such a short time. Thanks a lot to you lot.

Vlajos my company is providing me with a healthcare plan though I will have to pay around $200 to cover my whole family.

Chet everett- My office will be in downtown, however my job requires a lot of travelling to client offices.


One quick question, what do you guys think is an approx grocery expense per month for a family of 3 like mine (Me, my wife and my 1 year old son)

Thanks once again (feel free to suggest anything else which you think will be helpful to know)
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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If you are normally the kind of family that shops at a local grocery store and does not go out of your way to pick fancy organic meats produce you ought too get by fine on less than $500 a month including a standard selection of healthy foods and beverages. If you like pricey wines, artisanlly produced products and imported foods the skys the limit...
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:38 PM
 
7 posts, read 8,024 times
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So I think my budget will look something like this

Rent $1500
Car Insurance $150
Car Finance $250
Mobile $100
Health Insurance $250
Utilities (cable, Water, Gas) $200
Grocery $500
Cinema, Dinning etc $200
Petrol $300

Total $3450 (I hope I am not missing anything)

If the above is approx right give and take $300, then I think I might not be able to save much but will have a reasonably good living standard? what do you guys think? Any thoughts?
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:44 PM
 
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Seems like all the major categories are there, though if you need to park inside Chicago that get pricey. And while parking in the suburbs is rarely other than free that opens up a whole other discussion of using commuter rail...

The $1500 rent will not go far in lots of desirable area, but I suspect that a long your child is not yet in school and the stay is only two years you can get by without spending a princely sum, though there have been a spate of recent relocation candidates from the UK that were forces to spend far more because they want a big pet and school aged children sized home...
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,079,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riqs44 View Post
So I think my budget will look something like this

Rent $1500
Car Insurance $150
Car Finance $250
Mobile $100
Health Insurance $250
Utilities (cable, Water, Gas) $200
Grocery $500
Cinema, Dinning etc $200
Petrol $300

Total $3450 (I hope I am not missing anything)

If the above is approx right give and take $300, then I think I might not be able to save much but will have a reasonably good living standard? what do you guys think? Any thoughts?
If you need to buy a car you need something like a Ford Fiesta that gets about 40miles per gallon. If you job is the city you hit a jack pot. The city is about 100 miles square, but Cook County is 1000 miles square. Chicago time is based on distance. Here is a theoretical question. I don't know the answer.

Q: How far is it from Union Station to Oak Park?
A: 45 minutes. This is predicated on good weather, no street repairs, no accidents to delay traffic, and not during rush hour. In snow and rain double the time. Rush hour is 6-9am and 3-6pm. If your last call is the farthest corner of Chicago you can add an hour in rush hour on city streets. Chicago has 1000 neighborhoods. When your feet hit the terminal floor grab a map of Chicago, a map of Chicago 'hoods, and a map of Cook County.

Your first problem is finding a motel near where you work. Downtown motels are outrageous and most charge for parking -- IF they have a parking lot. If you working in Chicago you will need the parking tags for your windshield. It's the glass above the bonnet. If you are in suburbs you will need to buy those too. If you're on the toll roads, you'll need to buy a toll road pass. You'll need plates for your car. $125 US. Before you rent, you need to find your territory and try to get midway. Before you rent you want private or covered parking unless you want to play whack-a-mole with your car on the street. Residents are extremely protective of parking in front of their house. They go to great lenths to protect it -- especially when it shows. Parking by your office can be dicey and expensive if they don't have a company lot. You can figure $200 a month to park downtown.

You need to understand about gangs and nice cars. You need one for your work; you can't drive a beater. You park on the street and you may come back to car on blocks with no tires. Anything you leave in plain sight will be gone. Take it with you, and install a noisy, loud security alarm system.

Renting will be a new experience. You will probably pay first and last month in advance plus a key deposit. You may be rewarded with free garbage, water and heat. But not lights, phone or gas.

Where you live will determine which cable or phone company will serve your building. Most bundle: internet, home phone, and some type of Telly. It is easy to pay $150 or more. If you can get a locked in price for 2 years jump on it. Some are saying cable costs will increase 130% this year.

You might do well to get a motel close to the airport for a few days. It's much cheaper than near where you work. Get a cab at the airport unless the hotel has a pickup/delivery service. You really don't want to mess with a baby, a wife and 5 pieces of luggage on a train. Keep your iPhone, laptop, tablet, out of sight when you are walking, or on a train, or in a parked car. If you don't you won't have it long.

Chances are you will never encounter a gang or have a bad experience. Better to be prepared. Think smart.

The guys on this forum know the neighborhoods. What they need is the block and street your boss is on such as: 300 block Michigan Ave. They do know the ghetto, worst, better and best 'hoods to find a place to rent. There is an ex-pat UK group too, but I don't know where they live.

The one thing you shouldn't miss one time is the water taxi to China Town before you depart for UK. Chicago is fun and their is ton of quirky things to do that are fun and not awfully expensive. Chicago residents can get price breaks on certain days for the Shedd Aquarium. It is quite an experience.

One other thought. You might keep a pacifier for baby because of the pressure when planes land. The sucking will help the inner ears adjust as the plane descends. Chewing gum does the same thing. You'll know because baby will be fussy and pulling/rubbing her ears. Keep her head covered outside; Chicago wind can be brutal this time of year. When you get the car you will need an infant car set. $200.

After Jan 1st new laws go into effect. No texting/talking while driving. If you are a smoker do not throw butts out the window. It is a hefty fine. Also not smoking within 15 feet of the entrance to any public place. There is also Scott's Law. Do not drive in the lane NEXT TO any parked emergency vehicle. It makes no difference if the lights are on or not. Cop are real bad about it on the toll road, freeways, and Interstate routes. All of these are hefty fines + jail in some circumstances.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:24 AM
 
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Thanks a lot Linicx for such a detailed reply. This is really helpful.

So I think I am ready for the move though will try to negotiate the salary a bit with the employer and hopefully a few extra dollars would make it even more worthwhile.


Would you guys recommend any car financing company/Insurance company/website I should get to for getting a bargain?. We have comparison sites here .i.e. Gocompare, moneysupermarket etc, which is really helpful. Though you get the cheapest Insurance quote from Tesco.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:56 AM
 
13,404 posts, read 15,240,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riqs44 View Post
Thanks a lot Linicx for such a detailed reply. This is really helpful.

So I think I am ready for the move though will try to negotiate the salary a bit with the employer and hopefully a few extra dollars would make it even more worthwhile.


Would you guys recommend any car financing company/Insurance company/website I should get to for getting a bargain?. We have comparison sites here .i.e. Gocompare, moneysupermarket etc, which is really helpful. Though you get the cheapest Insurance quote from Tesco.
Good idea. The fact that you need a car for work should help you in the negotiating.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,079,731 times
Reputation: 6372
Hertz rent-a-car is a national company that sells their rentals with 15-40,000 miles. They offer financing and insurance and some warranties. They allow a 3-day or 72 hour return during which time a trusted mechanic should evaluate it... or any used car for that matter. One of the guys on the forum will know a auto/truck mechanic. You definitely want a low mile car. What you do not want is a SUV, or any vehicle with a lot of interior exposure. You want a vehicle with a trunk/carivan boot. The less exposed to prying eyes the better for you.

Here's the downside is you have to do all this on line. You find your car. Order it online and and pick it up. Except:
1- They do not move cars between locations.
2. Many of the cars in Illinois are in Bloomington or Springfield. I did not see any in Chicago
The good news is the train direct from Chicago to Normal or Springfield. There is bus and taxi in both. It is time consuming but not impossible. Normal and Bloomington are nsister cities that function much like one larger city.

Another option is Enterprise car rental. The full size family carivan can be rented for $388/2 weeks. This includes all tax and road side assistance. This price *does NOT* include carivan insurance. Enterprise is at O'hare Airport. Two of the cars available are Toyoto Camry and Ford Fiesta. A friend has a 2012 Fiesta that gets around 40mpg (miles per gallon which) is pretty good numbers. The Toyota Camry is a tough liitte caravan with a good reputation and good mpg. A sister-in-law drove them for years and never complained.. I am a Ford F150 fan (pickup lorie), but it gets bloody horrid mileage. Good mileage is your friend in Chicago as you will be doing a lot of stop and go driving in the city for your job. .

I use Enterprise because I like their vehicles much better. Enterprise also has a car sales lot in Chicago. http:Used Cars for Sale - Used Car Dealerships - Enterprise Car Sales

To be fair I have not used Hertz because I don't like their make/model carivans the rent and sale. I just checked a couple of prices on Enterprise. I was surprise to see a lower price point.

When you buy your car, the first thing you do is have your carivan radiator checked for Anti-Freez. The temperature should be about minus (-80) below zero. This pretty well assures the vehicle will start. You also want to check age of battery, and tyres for proper inflation. Before you buy do be sure you have a jack to change the tyre. If at all possible you should have the same size tyre in the carivan boot as you have on the ground. And good tyre tread.

Most of us don't anticipate spending $1,000US to purchase of a new set of tyres very soon. Also, I just learned the total vehicle tax (Chicago and Illinois) is 9.5% of the purchase price to buy a carivan.

Last edited by linicx; 12-06-2013 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:04 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,421,604 times
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I would try to see if there is a credit union at work that finances used cars. I like buying Certified Preowned cars from "near luxury" brands like Acura or even just a well equipped Nissan. If the dealers have "incentive financing" it can beat the credit union but is always a good starting point.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,079,731 times
Reputation: 6372
Default Good idea

The cost difference between financing thru a credit union versus a bank can be as much as 5% when buying a new car. Nissan, Acura, Toyota, Honda are usually good vehicles with excellent resale value.

Bentley is the luxury car. Chicago has a Land Rover dealer and Bentley dealer with Mercedes, Audi and others.

The very best time of year to make a great deal on any vehicle is December 31st. This year it falls is Tuesday.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I would try to see if there is a credit union at work that finances used cars. I like buying Certified Preowned cars from "near luxury" brands like Acura or even just a well equipped Nissan. If the dealers have "incentive financing" it can beat the credit union but is always a good starting point.
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