One of the biggest expenses that people face in their lives is rent. I should know, I live in New York City. There's some cities where a decent monthly budget buys you little more than a cupboard under the stairs and others where you can live in comparative luxury for exactly the same price.
In a world where the rich/poor divide is widening, these apartments are a shocking reminder of how much it costs to have a basic standard of living. Harry Potter, after all, was abused by the Dursleys and forced to sleep under the stairs - but there's people out there who are paying a sizeable amount for exactly the same lifestyle!
This is what $1,000-a-month in rent can get you in 16 different countries...
1. Tokyo, Japan - $975
2. Tavira, Portugal - $649
3. Brooklyn, New York - $1,000
4. Bali, Indonesia - $1,041
This list does not take into consideration the cost of living in shared accommodation in expensive cities, but I can assure you that it's just as bad. In London, for example, people can expect to pay over $500 to share a bedroom with another person and a minimum of $700 for a single room!
Sharing an apartment with other people is a nightmare. You are placed into a living situation with people you've never met before and have no option but to try and get along. It can lead to a lot of tension - especially when someone makes a mess in the kitchen and doesn't clean up after themselves.
5. London, England - $948
6. Delhi, India - $982
7. Sydney, Australia - $1,031
8. Buenos Aires, Argentina - $1,100
Whilst living in a glorified cupboard is far from ideal, a lot of people simply have no other choice. There were no good jobs in the city where I grew up, and I had to move to a bigger city to have any standard of living. The price I pay for a double room in NYC would get me a three bedroomed house in my hometown!
Renting is an inevitable part of life for millenials. Gone are the days when people were able to get a foot on the property ladder at an early age. Now you're lucky if you can afford to rent a decent sized apartment in a city with opportunities when you're in your twenties never mind being able to own one.
9. Florence, Italy - $945
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates - $976
11. Levallois-Perret, France - $1,174
12. Alajuela, Costa Rica - $950
I've accepted the fact that I'll never own my own house in a big city. I'm under no illusion about the fact that I'm going to have to rent until I retire. So, my plan is to buy a property somewhere remote, or in a less expensive city, and move there once my working days are behind me.
A lot of people think that salaries in expensive cities reflect the cost of living, but they don't. Large companies like Starbucks and Walmart pay their employees the same regardless of where they are based. This list, however, is proof that this needs to change so that people on lower incomes can get by.
13. Berlin, Germany - $939
14. Geylang, Singapore - $992
15. Bangkok, Thailand - $902
16. Split, Croatia - $1,025
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to plan where I'm going to buy a house for when I retire. Dubai looks particularly spectacular, or maybe Egypt. I wouldn't mind living in a house with marble floors! One thing's for sure - depending on location, you can live like a prince or pauper for $1,000.
We'd all like free rent, but that's only something only heroes truly deserve, like this gentleman. Once homeless, check out the amazing act of bravery he did to earn himself free rent: