Geoarbitrage Analysis Calculator User Guide

Google “geoarbitrage analysis” and you’ll find dozens of articles that help you to grasp this relatively simple concept, and calculators that inundate you with data. But the really hard part comes into play when trying to apply geoarbitrage to your personal lifestyle without becoming overwhelmed by generalizations or exceptions.

After dozens of trips to different geoarbitrage locations, we’ve translated our worldwide travel planning and cheap living experiences into a functional, dynamic geoarbitrage analysis tool that builds on our 80/20 budget to satisfy our wanderlust in a practical way.

Get the FREE geoarbitrage calculator here! 👉


And the simple steps below guide you through using the geoarbitrage analysis tool to help personalize the process of finding places where you can live life to the fullest for less cost.

1.) Input your baseline numbers from the costs of living in your current location

  • Pull this data directly from Mint (or your personal financial tracker of choice); or, if needed, you can use your best estimate..

  • Keep in mind that everything in this spreadsheet will be relative to your baseline numbers—so, if you enter a baseline for 1 person, your estimated costs will be for 1 person and a baseline for 2 people will provide cost cost of living estimates for 2 people, etc.

2.) Choose the locations that you are considering

3.) Fill in the percentage differences in cost of living for rent/mortgage and local auto & transport by using expatistan to compare your chosen geoarbitrage locations and your baseline home location

  • Add your geoarbitrage location to the top box under “compare cost of living between cities”

  • Add your base location to the bottom box and click “compare”

  • Copy the provided percentage for “housing” and add it to your spreadsheet under rent/mortgage

  • Copy the provided percentage for “transportation” and addit to your spreadsheet under “auto & transport local”

4.) Fill in the percentage cost of living adjustment for your chosen locations for groceries and restaurants by using numbeo

  • Add your geoarbitrage location to the select location box

  • Add your base location to the compare [geoarbitrage location] to box

  • Copy the provided percentage for “groceries” and add it to your spreadsheet under food groceries

  • Copy the provided percentage for “restaurants” and add it to your spreadsheet under food restaurants

5.) Fill in the cost of travel to your destination by using skyscanner or your favorite travel fare aggregator

6.) Fill in the monthly cost for health insurance. The best international health insurance that we have found is IMGlobal’s Global Medical insurance plan. In 5 minutes or less you can get an estimate quote.

7.) Stressless Spending will fill-in automatically.

Recall that we are following an 80/20 budget based on the Pareto Principle: since 20% of our lifestyle choices make-up 80% of our total spending, that remaining 20% of expenses can be estimated. The trick is to put most of your personal finance efforts into judiciously managing these “big 5” categories of housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and taxes*.

*note that we have not included taxes as part of this analysis since the presumption is that while on sabbatical, you will have little or no income

8.) Under “cost”, choose your lifestyle from the dropdown menu in cell L4.

We have found that the cost of living calculators around the web consistently underestimate the “foreigner tax” (ie paying more due to lack of local knowledge, short term stay, etc) and the likelihood that you will increase your lifestyle at least slightly to gain the full experience of the new culture that you choose.

  • Modest adds 25% to your regular living costs (everything except column H, travel).

  • Comfortable adds 50% to your regular living costs (everything except column H, travel)

  • Lavish adds 75% to your regular living costs (everything except column H, travel)

  • Adjust these multipliers as you see fit by editing the percentages in the box below the table labeled “lifestyle”

9.) Review rank, which is in descending order, with #1 being the cheapest geoarbitrage location based on your lifestyle.


We hope you get as much use out of this spreadsheet as we have. If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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