I consider to bring my fam over to Florida to comlete my Commercial traing in one of the schools there. Is there anyone here that can give me an estimate of the monthly living costs I will have to calculate for this? I will bring my wife and our 2 kids aged 2 and 5. We have found some appartements and guess this will be arround $1000 / mth.... But how much will we have to estimate for everything else? We would like to live a "normal" life, having the opportunity to eat out at least 2 days a week ( no McD meals though ), we will have a normal car etc... Any feedback on this would be fo great help
Hi TD I have been recommended Florida Aviation Academy, Pompano Beach, Ft L, We have found a couple of appartments from $1000 - 1300 / month wich I belive will be an OK alternative. Leaving them here is no option, so it will be studying, kids and wife... in that order
I know cost is pretty much what you make it yourself.... cheap or costy, but will $5k be enough to survive in a proper way? ( these 5k are not for housing, just living..)
Money isn't the biggest issue, but I want to make a trustworthy budget for the bank instead of saying I need $10k just to survive if I dont need more than 5k.
But since your living in Ft L, maybe you can recomend any good areas to live in? At least within 40 - 50 min driving distance from Pompano Beach?, or even more important, wich areas to avoid....
Rent (unfurnished) is about $1200-1500 for a 2-3 bedroom ($800-1000 for a 1 bedroom) at a decent place where your life is not in imminent danger after 8PM. They do run credit checks on you and ask for references, so not sure how difficult it is to get a place without those. Perhaps your school can arrange it. Security deposit is about $500 most places. This assuming you sign a 12 month lease. Month to month is possible for significantly (15% or so) more. Each city has bad and good areas. Things on the East side of I-95 are often more dangerous but it is hard to pinpoint where not to go.
Utilities: Water, Electricity is about $100-200 depending on the season. Landline phone about $30, cell about $50-150 depending on what you want and how many lines. Cable TV $60, internet $60. You can get combo on phone, cable, internet and save significantly. Better skip it all and get a calling card or just have internet and use skype.
Car insurance about $60-100 a month especially if you have no US driver history. You can get a beaten, but working used car for $3000 that you may be able to sell for the same when you are done. You will not be able to lease and long term rental is a rip off imho. But not having a car is not an option. Not like in Europe. Forget about bicycles too because of the heat, and the drivers. Very unsafe. Fuel is cheaper than back home. Regular is $2.60/gallon at the moment.
Me and my wife use about $150 a week for regular groceries. That includes supplies and food. We do cook each week, not to save, but to eat healthy. One time eat out can be from $60 at a regular chain restaurant like Chilli's for 2 persons. That is a full menu with several beers/wine. You can get specials for less, and get away with $20-30 for two persons but no alcohol. Fast food runs you about $15 for two persons. There are some relatively healthy fast food places like Pollo Tropical. It is not all hamburgers.
I would suggest you to consider coming here without the family and stay focused, fly each day if you can. Get as much studying done as possible before you get here. You can finish up a commercial multi very fast if you are focused, and half decent. I used to instruct, and in my former school some capable folks went zero to MEI in 12 months and 270-300 hours. That is PPL, IFR, COMM single, COMM multi, CFI, CFI I, MEI. So you doing comm only should be a matter of weeks even if you have to build hours. So why spend all that money on getting the family over here? Florida is not an awesome vacation place if that is what you have on your mind. Beach is so-so, and the rest is a swamp. It really does not compare to the Mediterranean. In addition I would be very hesitant bringing kids that young. Consider the extreme medical expenses that may arise. A simple visit to the doctor is $100, once you step into a hospital it gets really expensive. Food poisoning is fairly frequent here in part due to the heat.
I don't know much about Ft. Pierce. I have been there once or twice. The West coast of FL is a bit cheaper to live. Less crowded and more laid back. I have heard of some decent, JAA approved schools over there. Probably a better choice to train at than the East coast due to cost savings.
Look at Craigslist for housing. This will give you a real-time look at housing costs. The further north you go the less expensive it is. There are some decent schools in the vicinity of Daytona Beach where it is much less expensive to live.
If you really want Florida and lower costs, look on the Gulf side and north of Tampa. There is a school in Crystal River that works with a lot of Europeans. I lived in that area for about five years and it is very inexpensive. It is a bit out of the way, so if you want a lot of social life, it will be slow. But there is a decent beach and some other family activities around. Orlando is about two hours away and the Tampa attractions (Busch Gardens, aquarium. etc) just over one hour.
The advantage is far less air traffic in the area. I instructed out of Daytona Beach for a while and that area scared me. Had a few close calls, and did lose some colleagues in a mid-air.