Russia: Financial Snapshot
In recent times, Russia has featured a consistently growing economy; the nation has the distinction of bearing more mineral and natural reserves than any other country. Therefore, the cost of living varies throughout the country's many regions.
Living and Teaching in Russia
The Russian banking industry has gone from nonexistent during the Soviet Union era to a booming business in today’s world. Since the early 1990s, there have been many new banks opened offering a wide range of services for both native Russians and foreign bankers; however, foreign bank branches are currently only available in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Russians typically prefer to use cash. It is extremely rare to see a bank check used in a transaction because of the amount of time a check takes to clear. Credit cards are rarely given to customers applying for them. There are some banks that offer their customers the use of a debit card, and this trend is starting to catch on. ESL teachers looking to open a bank account will need to bring a copy of their employment contract with them.
Russians are known for being a nation of people who love to shop. English teachers in Russia will have lots of grocery store flyers to look at; there are numerous large chain stores throughout the country. Auchan, Kopeyka, Lenta, METRO, and Real are only some of the bigger grocery store chains in Russia. However, unlike North Americans, Russians are not known for being one-stop shoppers. A typical grocery-shopping trip involves many stops along the way. Below are some examples of typical Russian pricing:
- 1 kg of potatoes - 25 RUB
- 1L of milk - 40 RUB
- Bread - 20 RUB
- Beer - 50 RUB
- 1 kg of chicken breasts - 180 RUB
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