Cost of Living in Argentina

Argentina is often cited as a desirable place to retire as it offers expats a good quality, yet affordable lifestyle. There is certainly some truth in this, and if one's income is from an offshore source, their money can go a long way.

That said, foreigners looking to find a promised land should be wary of the yo-yo nature of the country’s economy – one minute booming, the next crashing. Between 2005 and 2010 there was a rise in economic fortunes, but this brought with it a dramatic increase in prices and inflation.

The cost of living in Argentina's rural areas is probably a third lower than a metropolitan area like Buenos Aires, where prices are generally on par with many European cities. 


Cost of food in Argentina

Supermarket prices for certain items are around the same as in the UK. If expats have the time to shop around, particularly for fruit and vegetables, which are much cheaper from the roadside stalls, they can bring their grocery bill down; but this can be time-consuming and expats tend to follow the ‘one shop a week’ pattern rather than the daily food shop that the locals are used to.


Cost of transport in Argentina

Vehicles are a very expensive commodity in Argentina; the country no longer has a car manufacturing industry of its own and import taxes on cars are 30 or 50 percent. Strangely though, second-hand cars hold their value, and it is not unusual to buy a car, use it for several years and then sell it at the same price or even more than one paid for it.


Cost of accommodation in Argentina

It is almost impossible to give average prices for either property purchase or rental as it really does vary hugely from province to province; urban prices are significantly higher than rural prices. As foreigners, expats will pay more than locals and if they wish to rent, they will be required to provide a deposit and several months of rent in advance as well as a guarantor. 


Cost of living in Argentina chart

Prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The table below is based on average prices in Buenos Aires for April 2019.  

Accommodation (monthly)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

ARS 25,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

ARS 18,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

ARS 15,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

ARS 13,000

Shopping

Milk (1 litre)

ARS 35

Dozen eggs

ARS 65

Loaf of white bread

ARS 60

Chicken breasts (1kg)

ARS 170

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

ARS 75

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

ARS 200

Coca-Cola (330ml)

ARS 45

Cappuccino

ARS 75

Bottle of local beer 

ARS 80

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant 

ARS 500

Utilities/Household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

ARS 5

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

ARS 1,000

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

ARS 3,500

Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner

ARS 150

Transportation 

Taxi rate per km

ARS 20

City centre public transport fare

ARS 15

Petrol (per litre)

ARS 35

GillyRich

Gilly Rich is a writer and editor who has travelled and lived abroad for most of her life. Currently living in Argentina with her family, she runs www.sanrafaelatoz.com, which is an A to Z guide of how to get by in San Rafael, Mendoza. She has first-hand experience of the expat life and understands the need for support and encouragement when considering a new life abroad. You can contact her at info@sanrafaelatoz.com

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