How Much is a Big Mac in Madrid?

Our nifty in-app cost-of-living calculator helps movers estimate their cost of living in any city. To celebrate, we've gone and found a lot of photos of people loving their burgers. Enjoy!

A Costly Pain Point

In the ideal world, every city prices food like your local Tesco, Gazprom heats your home the same as Scottish Power, and city centre rent is constant (and cheap). What a world.

‘To the laptop’, you say? Cue long nights of furiously Googling outdated blog posts from that reliable expat who knew the price of milk in 1983. Or that friend of a friend’s mum whose neighbour interrailed in Almaty for a bit and knows her stuff. Short term notice movers or those with little time can’t spend weeks budgeting a move, let alone comparing lifestyles in multiple countries side by side.

On the other end of the problem, RMCs spend a lot of time answering the same questions about the price of a two bed in London’s zone one, or what council tax bands even mean. Too many people hours spent answering the same questions...

What Have We Built?

We’ve made it possible to view a reliable cost of living breakdown in any place, and in any currency. No new tabs, no new windows. The PerchPeek app lets customers browse and budget at the same time.

The budget feature gets detailed. Like, super detailed - we weren’t joking about the Madrid Big Mac. As you can see from the snapshot below, there can be a marked difference in prices for even the most basic necessities. A loaf of bread in San Francisco costs almost four times as much as a loaf in Madrid! Who would have thought the mighty PB&J might go down better in Europe?

Budget the weekly food shop in the PerchPeek app

From mobile tariffs to imported beer (the essentials), we’ve got all the key stats to make moving that much more informed and data-driven.

We know some movers aren’t confined to one destination, and these users might want to check out how Madrid stacks up against Cordoba or Lisbon. With this in mind, we provide a comparison tool so users can assess the relative prices of multiple locations with a cost of living index.

Customers can see their budgets grow or shrink in real terms, and learn exactly where their spending will go.

This hypothetical customer input London as their primary destination (red)

One of our beta testers, James, liked how our API got into the details. ‘Lots of places online list average salaries and things, but if I already know what I’m being paid then I want to look at where my money’s going,’ he said. ‘If I want to Airbnb and work in Europe for a month, this is how I’d decide.’

How do we calculate the cost of living?

Where does it come from? A very handy API whose reliability is grounded in the millions of people contributing to its data sets. That’s a lot of imported beer.

Customers can even convert the price breakdown into their desired currency, so a mover from New York can view Munich’s cost of living in dollars or pesos or colóns.

With the vast collection of data supplied by the API and the ease of access supplied by us, we think this will ease the burden of moving for global movers in a major way.  

No stone unturned

How Can We Take it Further?

We’re excited about this feature because it aids us in our pursuit of the best possible customer experience.

The data we get from customer searches can help us figure out which stats are most important to our customers, and we can respond with more relevant content.


So there you have it. We’d love to hear your thoughts on PerchPeek’s cost of living tool, so leave us a comment below.  

This article is part of the Perchpeek Deep Dive Series

At PerchPeek, our goal is to make relocation cheap, fast, and simple. We’re new to the industry, but the problems we want to solve are not. People associate moving with stress for a lot of reasons, but they boil down to a lot of unknowns: what documentation do I need for a move to Berlin? Will that estate agent ever call me back? What’s the currency in El Salvador?

We don’t think it needs to be that way, and every choice we make is engineered with painless relocation in mind.

In these posts, we’ll debut a product feature we believe will help facilitate “the big move” with less stress.

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