Many US cities saw a dramatic climb in the cost of living because of the way the US dollar has strengthened against other currencies.
Currently, New York City is the highest-ranked city in the US, when it comes to cost of living, while cities on the West Coast, including Los Angeles and Seattle, climbed rankings too. At the other end of the scale, Cleveland, Ohio was ranked as one of the least expensive US cities for expats.
When it comes to offering a high standard of living, North America, Canada and the United States all rank highly, with San Francisco, Boston and Honolulu among the best US performers for expats enjoying an overseas adventure.
What are the Cheapest Ways to Send Money Between Australia and the USA?
Shop around for the best exchange rates and be aware that major banks offer rates are a lot different than the ones offered by international money exchange providers.
Transferring small amounts of money bank-to-bank can see you attract fees higher that the amount being exchanged so be careful. Sure, your niece might want her birthday money but it might be more cost-effective to arrange an online gift, or stock up some cash and combine money gifting for family as a birthday/Christmas treat.
Some providers offer to waive fees for money transfers for amounts over or under a designated limit and this changes from provider to provider. Western Union is historically good for small amounts and you can also consider Paypal.