Can You Live On $1400 A Month In Sierra Leone?

This is a question posed by one of my visitors and to answer “YES” directly will be difficult as we all have different tastes and needs as well as creature comforts which we may see as a necessity.

To give some perspective – $1400 a month is much more than what 90% of the population earns so straight away you’ll be in the top tier of income earners.

I mean, doctors recently got an upgrade to $600 / month (from $200/month) and Nurses to $200 / month (from $50 / month! I know SHOCKING!!!

Now as to whether you can live on this or not is up to you and depends on certain factors which include:

#1. Have a house – If you have a house already and don’t need to pay rent that’s excellent. It’ll save you a chunk of money – say between $100 – $600 / month depending on your taste and requirements.

#2. Having a car
– If you have a car already that’s good news too. Public transport in Sierra Leone consists mainly of taxis, ocadas (motorbikes) and poda poda (small bus) and bigger government coaches. Without a car, prepare to spend at least $50 a month on transport commuting to and from work.

#3.Tax for NRA –
About 20% (need to confirm this)

#4. NASSIT –
5% of your salary

#5. Monthly NPA (Electricity bill) –
From $10 onwards depending on your consumption. I spend about $40 a month on average. Then you should consider generator use – this is optional of course. You can use candles to chase away the darkness when it happens.

#6. Internet Surfing – now this is a “biggie”! If you want to surf from the privacy of your home you will need to spend $70/month onwards after buying initial equipment which will set you back at least $100. Internet cafe’s average between Le 2,000 to Le4,000 an hour and most of them are super SLOWWWWW………

#7. Cable Television
– If you want DSTV and watch CNN etc, well that’s $70 /month standard. The packages vary but $70/month will give you most international programs including World Cup, Premier Leage, Tennis (my favorite), Formula1, Oprah, African Magic, Zone Reality, E channel etc etc

#8. Monthly Groceries – $100 or more depending on whether you have a family or not and what you eat – local food is cheaper but on the whole food in Sierra Leone is the most expensive I’ve come across mainly because Agriclture is more or less non-existent. Even common cabbage and carrot are imported from Guinea!!! (ouch!) God help Salone! This has to change.

In all, I think at least you’ll be spending about $800 / month which leaves you quite a bit to save. One thing I know, people save more here in Sierra Leone than probably in Europe and America mainly because credit facitlities are not prevalent and most big items have to be purchased by cash.

I hope this helps!



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