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Why The Big Mac Index May Affect Your Decision to Travel Abroad

At first it sounds silly; use the cost of McDonald’s Big Mac to gauge purchasing power in different countries. What first started as a humorous approach to addressing the pricing discrepancies between countries for similar goods, has been taken more and more seriously by economists.

See for yourself which countries have the cheapest Big Mac, an indication that your dollars will go further.

Anecdotal evidence based on my experiences abroad is inline with these findings. I felt like I was getting more value in certain countries – After travelling through parts of Turkey, I discovered that I spent much, much less than I budgeted. While a trip to Europe ended with a blown budget.

Before my next trip, I will use the Big Mac Index to help create my travel budget.

Watch That Cell Phone!

1 in 10 Americans have had their smart phone stolen. Make sure you protect your personal information with these three tips:

  1. Make sure you have a security PIN set up to lock your phone. Consumer Reports states only 36% of all smart phone have some sort of security.
  2. Find an app that will allow you to locate, lock or wipe the phone remotely in case it’s lost or stolen.
  3. Download and set up an app that can help you back-up your phone.

If your phone is ever stolen, you will be able to wipe the app clean (remove all your personal information) remotely. And if you eventually locate it, you can simply restore your personal information.

Just 10 minutes of preparation could save you hours and hours of frustration in the future.

The Great Tax Migration

Sick of the high costs to live in Connecticut? Some residents (and our clients, too) are taking action and moving to cheaper states. If you’re curious to see how much you could save, start with these resources:

How Money Walks:Wealth is leaving this state, mostly to Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia and South Caroline. Some wealth is coming into the state from New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Michigan – states that are MORE expensive than Connecticut.

Save Taxes By Moving: Great calculator to help you quantify your state-income savings if you moved to another state.

City to City: How Far Your Paycheck Goes: A simple tool to help compare the cost of living from one city to another. I like this one because it takes into account the median income.