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.
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.
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!)
Ágata y Jeff