¿Cuánto cuesta?

Some of you may be thinking, “exactly what is the cost-of-living for me and my girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/dog/alpaca/vicuña for a year in Chile?” After getting a feel for things for a week, we feel absolutely prepared to opine on this complex topic.

Our front porch: Million dollar view, $500 price tag

Housing.  After less than a week of searching, we were delighted to find the little gem in which we now reside: a fully furnished expanded studio in Concón, Chile with views of the ocean, a sunny terrace, and  great access to amenities (beach and bus-line)  Throw in cable TV, wifi, hot-water, gas, and electricity, all for the less-than-princely sum of about $500USD/month, and we feel we got a great deal! (Apparently $500 does not get one any insulation, however.)

And what am I going to drink on my lovely terrace overlooking the ocean?  Well… wine of course.  Our first trip to the grocery store greeted us with an ample supply of the local product, with most bottles starting at about $4 USD. We purchased 5 bottles on our first shopping trip.

Aggie takes a trip to the dentist

Now one also has to consider healthcare.  What shall henceforth be referred to only as the ‘popcorn incident’ resulted in an unplanned trip to a dentist’s office a few days ago.  After a quick dental exam and x-ray, we anxiously awaited the bill that would help us determine how many months we’d have to shorten our trip by to make up for this ‘budget overage’.

 Our jaws dropped when we received the bill of $5.000 CLP – the equivalent of a little more than $10USD.   We’ll pause while you process this bit of information.

Now, we post this a little tongue-in-cheek, as we realize that this doesn’t begin to truly explain the cost of living in Chile.  It’s just a small snapshot at what we’ve sorted out for ourselves thus far. Rest assured, Starbucks still feels it’s ok to charge $5 for their lattes, and Dunkin’ Donuts is no bargain either (fortunately, empanadas are everywhere!)

Hasta Luego,

Ágata y Jeff


5 responses to “¿Cuánto cuesta?

  • cathy rongey

    What an awesome post! So glad you guys arrived safe and sound. Other than the “popcorn” incident, it sounds like everything is falling into place. Love the beautiful deck – a great place to enjoy your Chilean wines. Enjoy your amazing journey and take care of one another!

  • Caroline & Mike Murgatroyd

    Unreal view from your new home… so excited that you guys made it and are getting settled. Keep the posts coming – you’re our heroes!

  • Drew

    Next thing you’ll probably tell us is that they have a cheap, expansive public trnasportation network …

    • aggierm

      Chile has a great public transportation network! In fact, we commute by bus every day… A quick post-script: we didn’t mean to imply that everything here is cheap… Prices on gas, groceries, and many items cost equal to or even more than in the US. The average chilean income on the other hand, is less than 1/2 the US median income, so making ends meet can be quite challenging.

  • Janelle

    Your new home looks AMAZING! Any chance you have space for Phil, me and the 3 boys? I’m so excited to hear more about your trip. Keep the blog posts coming.

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