How to Calculate a Cost of Living Allowance

A Cost of Residing Money (COLA) is a wage complement compensated to personnel to protect variations in the expense of residing, specially consequently of an international assignment. The quantity of COLA must permit an expatriate to be able to buy exactly the same basket of goods and companies in the host spot as they may in their house country. The cornerstone for calculating a COLA could be the Cost of Residing Catalog (COLI) which indexes the costs of exactly the same basket of goods and companies in numerous regional locations. COLA is a easy precise way of calculating varying wage purchasing power and ensuring parity Jivita.

Cost of Residing Catalog

Our price of Residing Indexes calculate the expense of 230 services and products and companies across 13 different basket communities in 276 towns over the globe. The data is collected by a group of research analysts who study equivalent objects that are accessible internationally rich in nutrients. At the least 3 charges for exactly the same brand/size/volume of item is used to find out the typical cost for every single product in each location. Those items are listed on a quarterly basis and often increase and drop with inflation. The 13 different basket categories are as follows:

Liquor & Cigarette: Alcohol based drinks and cigarette services and products

  • Liquor at Bar
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Domestically Produced Heart
  • Whiskey
  • Wine


Apparel: Apparel and footwear services and products

  • Organization Fits
  • Informal Apparel
  • Youngsters’ Apparel and footwear
  • Coats and caps
  • Evening Use
  • Boot Fixes
  • Underwear


  • House Phone Hire and Call Charges
  • Internet Relationship and company fees
  • Cellular / Cellular Phone Contract and Calls


  • Crèche / Pre-School Fees
  • High School / College Fees
  • Principal School Fees
  • Tertiary Examine Fees

Furniture & Devices: Furniture, family gear and family appliances

  • DVD Player
  • Fridge Freezer
  • Metal
  • Pot, Toaster, Stove
  • Mild Lamps
  • Television
  • Vacuum Solution
  • Washing Equipment

Groceries: Food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning substance

  • Baby Consumables
  • Cooked Things
  • Cooking
  • Processed Meals
  • Cheese
  • Washing Products
  • Milk
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Good fresh fruit Juices
  • Freezing
  • Beef
  • Gas & Vinegars
  • Pet Food
  • Pre-Prepared Meals
  • Sauces
  • Seafood
  • Snacks
  • Smooth Products
  • Herbs & Herbs

Healthcare: General Healthcare, Medical and Medical Insurance

  • General Practitioner Consultation charges
  • Clinic Private Ward Day-to-day Charge
  • Non-Prescription Medication
  • Private Medical Insurance / Medical Help Contributions

House: Property, water, energy, family gasoline, family fuels, regional charges and residential fees

  • House / Smooth Mortgage
  • House / Smooth Hire
  • House Energy Consumption
  • House Fuel / Fuel Consumption
  • House Water Consumption
  • Local Home Prices / Fees / Levies

Various: Stationary, Linen and general goods and companies

  • Domestic Support
  • Dried Washing
  • Linen
  • Company Products
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Postage Stamps


Personal Care: Personal Care products and companies

  • Cosmetics
  • Haircare
  • Moisturiser / Sun Stop
  • Nappies
  • Pain Comfort Capsules
  • Bathroom Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap / Wash / Conditioner

Adventure and Culture

  • Books
  • Camera Film
  • Cinema Solution
  • DVD and CD’s
  • Sports goods
  • Theater Ticket

Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotels

  • Organization Meal
  • Meal at Cafe (non fast food)
  • Lodge Prices
  • Take Out Products & Snacks (fast Food)


Transportation: Public Transportation, Vehicle Prices, Vehicle Fuel, Vehicle Insurance and Vehicle Preservation

  • Hire Purchase / Lease of Vehicle
  • Petrol / Diesel
  • Public Transportation
  • Support Preservation
  • Tyres
  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Vehicle Purchase

Each basket class doesn’t count similarly and are measured in the final formula predicated on expatriate spending patterns.

In order to calculate a precise price of residing catalog for a particular specific the basket objects which are not relevant to the average person should be excluded from the calculation. For example if education and housing is supplied by the employer these basket categories could be excluded from the expense of residing catalog calculation. That increases the accuracy of the expense of residing catalog and afford them the ability for every person to have their particular customized price of residing catalog centered on the specific measures rather than using an over all “common” catalog which is likely to includes prices which are not relevant to the individual.

The formula for calculating the particular price of residing catalog for an international assignment is as follows:

Cost of Residing Catalog = Personalized Cost of Residing Catalog for Number Town / Personalized Cost of Residing Catalog for House Town

When moving to a higher price of residing host city, the catalog is likely to be more than 1 (positive). When moving to a cheaper of residing host city the catalog is likely to be significantly less than 1 (negative). Where the catalog is negative it means that in real terms the expense of living in the host city is below the house city. Which means that if the negative catalog where you can be applied to the employee’s wage, they would actually be compensated proportionately less spendable wage in the host city. It is important to note that the majority of companies don’t use a negative price of residing catalog as it makes it hard to persuade an employee to take up an assignment while they often view it as a decrease in salary.

Types of Cost of Residing Catalog Calculations applying our information:

Example 1) An Australian staff moving from Perth to London where healthcare and conversation is likely to be supplied by the employer

More Costly in London:

  • Liquor & Cigarette +4.77%
  • Apparel +21.85%
  • Training +31.53%
  • Furniture & Devices +16.03%
  • Groceries +16.35%
  • House +50.72%
  • Various +137.47%
  • Personal Care +11.18%
  • Adventure & Culture -6.82%
  • Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels +34.99%
  • Transportation +19.80%

The general difference in price of residing moving from Perth and London is +28.06%.

In this case the expense of residing catalog is positive and could be applied because it is.

Example 2) A English staff moving from London to Mumbai where in actuality the employer can provide housing and education

More Costly in Mumbai:

  • Liquor & Cigarette -37.53%
  • Apparel -9.58%
  • Interaction -44.92%
  • Furniture & Devices -19.31%
  • Groceries -24.03%
  • Healthcare -31.24%
  • Various -72.43%
  • Personal Care -24.94%
  • Adventure & Culture -35.73%
  • Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels -33.11%
  • Transportation is -27.99%

The general difference in price of residing moving from London Mumbai is -30.53%.

In this case the expense of residing catalog is negative and wouldn’t be applied.

Net Spendable Income

Differences in price of residing just affect the percentage of the wage that is spendable in the host country. Things in the house place such as for instance pension funding, medical insurance and other house centered prices aren’t impacted by the expense of living in the host country.

To ascertain the Net Spendable Income identify what amount / percentage of the existing wage (in house currency) is used in maintaining the employee’s recent typical of residing / lifestyle. What’ll the expatriate require to invest their wage on in the host place? For example can accommodation be provided or can the staff pay lease, can healthcare be provided etc. Take all objects that are either provided in kind or are spendable in the house country. Take the theoretical level of tax, cultural contributions and any other statutory deductions relevant in the house place from the Spendable Salary. What is remaining could be the Net Spendable Salary.