Could you afford to live in these fictional worlds?
Fed up of that stressful morning commute, and longing for adventure instead? Fancy hunting on horseback in the highlands of Skyrim? Perhaps you want to settle down in The Shire and live the simple life or move to Springfield for cool Duff beer down at Moe’s Tavern.
We’ve calculated how much it would cost to live in some of the most popular fictional worlds in real world money, so you can start planning your big move from the 9-to-5 to adventuring with your guild in Guild Wars 2.
Could you afford to live in Skyrim?
Bethesda, the creators of some of the most popular RPG games like Skyrim and Fallout 4, seem to create the most expensive worlds to live in, with Skyrim oddly being less expensive than the nuclear wasteland of Fallout.
If you wanted to live the heartland of Skyrim, you’d have to earn at least £50,000 or $60,000 in today’s money to afford the lavish lifestyle of a Whiterun homebody.
The food in Skyrim is not the cheapest either, as a pack of 12 eggs will set you back £29.20 / $36.72. A jug of milk (about six pints) and a loaf of bread cost £2.43 or $3.06 each and a wheel of cheese is £15.82 / $19.89, so buying all of the staples would make for a costly grocery bill.
Dining out, however, is surprisingly affordable, with hot venison stews, a bottle of spiced wine and a delicious snowberry crostata for dessert setting you back just 21 gold / £25.60 / $32.12 for two.
The cost of property will only set you back around £6,000 / $7,650 for the keys to the beautiful Breezehome. When in the land of the Nords though, prepare to get a little cold, as heating the spacious old property will set you back £170.33 / $214.20 every month with all the firewood you’ll need to purchase.
On the other hand, you won’t have to pay for broadband, so you might as well splash out on spending your days being cosy and warm (although it might not be quite the same without Netflix!).
Personal care in Skyrim is quite costly, mostly because there isn’t a local barber in any of the towns and the only way to get a haircut officially is with a creepy woman called Galathil “The Face Sculptor” who hides in the Ragged Flagon who charges £1,216/$1,530 a pop. She will also alter your face for the same cost (which we suppose is a fair price for plastic surgery) but there is no discount on hair-only changes.
Could you afford to live in the Fallout Universe?
The Commonwealth, despite being in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4, is the priciest fictional world to live in with the minimum amount you need to earn to live there being about £53,000 / $60,000. You might need to be a crafty tradesman or own a few fields of Brahmin to hit those yearly salaries!
The reason the wasteland is an expensive place to live lies in the difficulty of finding decent food that is free from radiation poisoning. A packet of potato chips costs £3.19 / $4.02 making them one pricey snack while fruit and veg are around 7 caps / £3.19 / $4.02 each. A simple daily meal of Iguana soup and the popular Nuka-Cola costs an extortionate 41 caps / £18.71 / $23.52 so the monthly costs adds up.
Housing in the Commonwealth is much cheaper than Skyrim, with a “Home Plate” in Diamond City costing only 2,000 caps / £912.50 / $1,147.50. However, prepare to feel the heat with the cost of heating, which we estimated to be 2,800 caps / £1,277.50 / $1,606.50 a month as it might take half a power core a day to keep your house warm. On the other hand, a haircut is much more affordable than Skyrim (15 caps / £6.84 / $8.61).
Can you afford to live in Middle Earth?
The third most expensive place to live in our list is Middle Earth – but it is probably worth it, with the lush Greenland and hobbits roaming about!
A house in The Shire would cost an estimated £227,871 making it your most expensive purchase in this fictional universe. Lucky then that Bilbo had so much gold lying about from all of that adventuring.
Food isn’t too badly priced, with a basic meal and a drink costing only 0.08 Ducat / £11 / $13.83. Alcohol is very cheap, with beer only costing .013 Ducat / £1.81 / $2.49 - probably why so many hobbits go to the pub every night!
Based on Bill the Pony, who was sold for 12 silver pennies, your transport will only cost 0.25 Ducat / £36 / $45.27 a month if you split the cost over 12 months – much cheaper than the monthly bill for the daily work commute. (And the views are a lot nicer too unless you work in Mordor.)
Can you afford to live in Guild Wars 2?
If you want to be in a world where you live alongside alien-looking creatures and form guilds to slay dragons, the universe of Guild Wars 2 is definitely for you… if you can afford it. You will need to earn a salary of at least £40,000 or $45,000.
While a “home instance” is free in Guild Wars, making a home with all the basic packs and racks will set you back 131,812 silver coin, which is £322,895.17 / $406,051.73 in real world money.
Personal care is also pricey, with a basic hair styling kit costing 100 silver coin / £244.97 / $308.05. If you think the right helmet will help you save on regular haircuts, think again; armour is not cheap at 288 silver coin / £705.50 / $887.19 for a basic cultural armor set.
Food, on the other hand, is far cheaper than other worlds with a basic meal consisting of a glass of melon juice, a bowl of simple poultry soup and a strawberry tart only costing 0.71 silver coin / £1.74 / $2.19, while the steak only costs 2.46 silver / £6.03 / $7,58. So if you can stomach the high expenses, you can at least stay full on the cheap.
Can you afford to live in the Star Wars universe?
The Star Wars universe is a dangerous one, but the chance to fly around space and potentially become a Jedi is too good to turn down. Thankfully, you’ll only need a salary of £30,000 / $36,000 to afford to live in this universe, and you’ll still have some credits leftover to splash on extra colo claw fish.
We couldn’t find the cost of a Starfighter, but for those who want to stay on the ground for their morning commute, public transport will only cost 52.7 credits / £62.47 / $84.87 a month. Dining out isn’t too pricey, regardless of those pesky trade disputes, with an average meal and a drink costing just 8.68 credits / £11.12 / $13.98. If you’re on a budget, you can buy a meal at Five Points Station formed of a can of nutritive milk and a tube of dehydrated vegetable protein straws for only 6 credits / £7.68 / $9.66.
Can you afford to live in the Harry Potter universe?
Hogwarts, in the highlands of Scotland, was certainly cheaper than some of the video game universes with the required yearly salary to live there, being £26,000 / $30,000.
You’ll still have to save up on galleons however, as the average cost of a house is estimated to be 34,195.78 galleons / £144,990.11 / $182,605.47.
If you aren’t travelling by broom, you can spend 9.04 galleons / £38.33 / $48.27 on public transport or go for a muggle car for 10.84 Galleons / £45.96 / $57.89 a month. Although we’re not sure if there is a spell to pass your MOT checks!
Healthcare is free thanks to the NHS, keeping the personal care costs down, and food costs are average with basic meals costing about 1.81 galleons / £7.67 / $9.67.
Can you afford to live in The Simpson’s universe?
The cost of living in Simpsons' Springfield requires a minimum salary of £42,000 to $48,000 – Homer Simpson must be doing pretty well at the nuclear power plant, despite being asleep most of the time.
The cost of an average house is 425,000 in Simpson Dollars / £294,914.45 / $370,865.02 but looking at The Simpson family home, it looks like your money goes far with the large interior. Health care is a little costly at 176 Simpson Dollars / £122.13 / $153.58 which must be Homer’s biggest expense with all his tomfoolery.
Going out for a meal (and finishing at Moe’s Tavern) will cost you a modest 40 Simpson Dollars / £27.76 / $34.90 while a good steak costs 12.94 Simpson Dollars / £8.98 / $11.29, but we imagine the entertainment in Springfield must be top notch with the Simpson family at large.
Can you afford to live in Stranger Thing’s universe?
In 1980’s Hawkins, Indianapolis, the value of money was greater, with a salary of only £17,000 / $21,000 required to live in the suburban town. That is, if you don’t mind the freaky new arrivals.
The average home in 1980’s money only cost 41,497 Stranger Things Dollars / £99,235.94 / $124,792.59 in real world money.
Transport is reasonable, with a year’s car insurance only costing 211.70 Stranger Things Dollars / £505.04 / $635.10. Utilities will cost you a modest 37.65 Stranger Things Dollars / £89.82 / $112.95, although this doesn’t include Joyce’s excessive Christmas light usage.
How we calculated these estimates
To estimate the cost of living in each fictional universe, we researched the cost of food items (chicken, milk, eggs etc.) or closest equivalents to these items, the cost of housing with mortgage estimates using online calculators, the native transportation costs (such as a horse on Skyrim or the Vertibird in Fallout 4), personal health care costs (whether health potions or toilet paper) and the cost of going out for a meal for two.
These prices were then normalised to the average cost of chicken (which every universe had a set cost for) in the United Kingdom and the United States. Where no in-universe costs were mentioned, we looked at the closest possible estimation (for example with Stranger Things, costs were taken from Indianapolis and then the relative 1980s value was calculated from those numbers.)