Cost of Living in Chile

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Cost of living in Santiago, ChileExpats 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

 

Chile 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 than 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 June 2016.

Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)
Furnished one-bedroom apartment CLP 315,000
Furnished two-bedroom apartment CLP 450,000
Shopping
Eggs (dozen) CLP 1,685
Milk (1 litre) CLP 760
Rice (1kg) CLP 920
Loaf of white bread CLP 770
Chicken breasts (1kg) CLP 3,890
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) CLP 3,000
Eating out
Big Mac Meal CLP 3,800
Coca-Cola (330ml) CLP 745
Cappuccino CLP 1,580
Bottle of local beer CLP 1,200
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant CLP 25,000
Utilities
Mobile to mobile call rate (per minute) CLP 140
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) CLP 23,500
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment) CLP 75,000
Transportation
Taxi rate (per kilometre) CLP 650
Bus/train fare in the city centre CLP 700
Petrol/Gasoline (per litre) CLP 752

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