Cost of Living in Chile

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Expats will find the cost of living in Chile affordable and on par with that of a medium-sized USA city like Houston, or an emerging Asian metropolis like Bangkok. While its political and economic stability means it's one of the more expensive South American countries, Chile still remains far cheaper than the continent's industrial giants of Brazil and Venezuela.

Expats moving to Chile's capital will find their money well spent. Santiago was ranked as having the continent's third highest quality of life by Mercer in 2015 and it boasts one of the highest ratios of executive salary rates to cost of living. The latter factor is certainly a lure for expats and top management positions in multinational firms are especially coveted, so those planning to move to Chile shouldn't assume they'll be high-rolling all the way home.

Chile also claims one of the continent's largest wealth disparities, and while it's unlikely expats will ever toe the poverty line, it does mean that it's possible to pinch pennies if need be.

The purchasing power of foreign currencies like the US Dollar, Euro and British Pound is strong when compared to the Chilean Peso (CLP).

Cost of accommodation in Chile

 

cost of housing in ChileChile boasts a range of accommodation options, and even top-quality housing tends to be affordable when compared to other global expat hotspots. Buying and renting prices in the country are among the cheapest in Latin America and a construction boom yielding sleek skyscrapers and an array of housing developments means that standards aren't sacrificed even in the face of lower costs.

There's also plenty of opportunity to negotiate incredibly cheap shared housing, either with a Chilean family or in a furnished space with other expats.

Food costs in Chile

 

The cost of food in Chile registers as cheap on a global scale, but more expensive cost of food in Chilethan in neighbouring South American countries like Peru and Argentina. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables from the large central markets is a great way to save money and to sample the local flavour. Supermarket prices are slightly higher and buying typically Western, imported food items can be costly.

Eating out is a popular pastime in Chile and won't necessarily run your bank balance dry. Many restaurants in Chile offer two-course set lunch menus at an appetisingly low price, and dinner in a moderately priced Chilean restaurant, including multiple courses and alcohol, also amounts to a manageable fare.

 

Cost of transport in Chile

 

Chile prides itself on its urban infrastructure and its systems of public transport are well connected and affordable. The country's main modes of transit are buses (micros) and the metro (for expats in Santiago), both of which are efficient, safe and economical.

Taxis are more expensive and the drivers are notorious for ripping off foreigners. Fortunately, losing this small battle is a blip on the front of the larger cost-of-living war.

Cost of living in Chile Chart

Prices may vary across Chile, depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Santiago in July 2015.

Food and Drink
Milk (1 litre) 710 CLP
Rice (1kg) 825 CLP
Eggs 1,700 CLP
Loaf of white bread        875 CLP
Cheese (1kg)  6,700 CLP
Tomatoes (1kg)   820 CLP
Cappuccino  1,500 CLP
Beer (500ml) 1,500 CLP
Utilities
Basic utilities per month (gas, electricity, water) 86,000 CLP
One minute prepaid mobile phone call 121 CLP
Internet per month 20,000 CLP

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