At first glance this may strike you as an odd subject. After all how could a normal American man not be able to afford a Russian woman? Isn’t the average wage in the FSU around $100 a month? I make $3,500 a month (or whatever). Certainly this does not apply to me! Not so fast.
All of the above may indeed be true. However life in America and life in the FSU are very different. The most basic difference is that Russia and the FSU is a cash economy. Meaning that if want to buy something, you must have the cash physically on you. There is very little use of credit, and checks are almost non-existent. Therefore, if a Russian woman does not have the money, she does not buy. If you think about this for a minute, I am sure you can see both good and bad applications of this fact. For example, this will prevent the over-use of credit cards and other potentially risky types of loans (however, I would be remiss not to say that this situation is beginning to change and more credit is starting to be extended to the citizens of the FSU...although right now this is more along the lines of home loans and limited car loans--very expensive, though, with rates around 10-12% to start).
Compare this to the economic system in America. If we wish to buy something there are a wide range of options. We could pay cash, or write a check, or use a credit card. Or we could even buy it on an installment plan and pay only a small part of it up front (also either using cash, check or credit) and the balance over time.
A Russian woman may go out every day or every couple of days when she has some pocket money. Maybe buy a small gift for a friend, or a new pair of shoes or something she wants. There is no thinking about how much room is left on the credit card or whether such a purchase will over draw the checking account. She either has the money or she does not. Most importantly she has become accustomed to this kind of lifestyle and decision-making. It may be very difficult for her to adjust to "our" ways.
Here is my point: many Americans may actually have less net worth than many Russians! How can this be? Well, consider the fact that if we own a home, we probably have a mortgage on it. So, right there we are in debt. Most Russians do not live in houses, and many even own their apartments outright (handed down from parents or grandparents). True, we may be broke at a higher level, living in a nice house, driving nice cars, but our net worth indicates we are still broke all the same.
When a Russian woman comes to America she may have a conception of what life will be like that is very different from reality. I suggest you have a very serious discussion before you decide to marry and try to prepare her as best you can for the reality of what your life together will be like. She will probably think that you will give her money—cash—each day before you leave for work. She may not even know how to write a check or use a credit/debit card. If she does not have cash in her pocket, or is not able to buy something (even if it is something small) every day or every other day, she may actually feel poorer in America than she did in Russia or the FSU. Ironic, isn’t it?
Many Americans spend more than they make. Due to easy credit, loans, and credit cards this is not only possible, it is REALITY!! As a nation we have one of the lowest savings rates in the world! Many of us are mortgaged to the hilt and up to our eyeballs in debt. To be brutally honest, this is not the situation that you want to bring a wife into. I guarantee you that a Russian woman will stick by you better than an American woman once the true situation is known. But she will not be comfortable with it. She will not be happy.
I strongly suggest that you take a long hard look at your finances before and while you are involved in this process. Clean up your credit, pay down (or off) your debt. Bring her into a situation that will be conducive for building a stable and happy family.
Another reason for all of this is the amount of money it will cost you to do this in the first place. You can do it expensively or relatively inexpensively. You could go on an organized agency tour. This will run you about $3,500 to $5,000 depending upon the company and where and when you go. Let’s assume $4,000. Then you will spend another $500 to $1,000 on gifts for the ladies, meals, souvenirs for your family back home, etc... So, the trip is going to cost you at least $4,500! Probably closer to $5,000. Then, if you are following my advice you will go back again to spend some more quality time with just your beloved. Hopefully this time you will better prepared to do it on your own. By dealing with a reputable local agency (I would be more than happy to give you a recommendation; send me an email with the area you are interested in visiting) you can do this quite a bit cheaper. The plane tickets will probably cost around $1200 or so. To stay for 12 days in an agency apartment should run you anywhere from $30 to $60 a night (again depending on the agency and where and when you are going). Assuming $45 a night the total bill for your apartment is $540. This time you will probably be a bit more conservative on your gift giving and souvenir buying. So we will assume another $500. The total bill for your second trip will be around $2300—about half of what you paid the first time. However, you are still in this thing for $7,000. Now you can add in the expenses of doing all of the fiancée paperwork, maybe even a third trip to the FSU so that you can be with her for the interview, and the plane tickets to get her home. You are looking at $10,000 to $15,000 easily from start to finish!
Can you afford this? These are honest figures and may even be a little on the conservative side. Check out some of my Recommended Agencies list and compare prices for their tours. In addition to the desire, you need the bucks to do this!
Having said all this, please do not let lack of funds stop you. When I started this I was working in a jewelry store making $11 an hour. On paper I could not afford this either! Fortunately a relative gave me some money to pay for my first trip (I went on an agency organized tour). Then I took a part time job and worked there 2-3 nights a week. This paid for all of my subsequent trips to the FSU. Do whatever you have to. I just want you to be aware of the expenses involved in your search.
By Joseph Carducci
|#1 CJT (USA) at 2006-11-03|
|I have throughly enjoyed reading the various articles in your archive concerning all the aspects of Russia, dating, and financial matters. I am currently a trial member. My profession is Engineering. Before I gave much consideration to an "International Relationship", I ran a cost analysis for dating someone from Kiev, Ukraine. I was planning on an "upscale" type of apartment, at $70/night, I checked airline tickets, incidentals, etc. My total cost was very similar to the cost that you provided in your article, "Can you afford a Russian Woman." I commend your honesty in the matter.|
Have a good day
|Author's answer: Hello CJ!|
Thank you for your comment. You see, in our articles we try our best to reflect the real situation.
What’s the point in lying if all we are talking about can be easily checked? :-)
It’s very good of you that you’ve made a cost analysis before getting involved into the correspondence with our women. That only proves that your intentions are serious and hopefully you’ll meet your soul mate among our women. We wish you good luck in your search!