Cost of Living in Argentina: How Much Money Do You Need?

Anyone who has traveled to Argentina has probably asked themselves, “Can I live here permanently?” The cost of living in Argentina is cheaper compared to European and East Asian countries. For Americans, the transition would be much easier as Argentina offers health packages and low prices on daily commodities.

Because of its low population, the overall experience is much more convenient. Buenos Aires is a tourist hotspot, and many people prefer moving there. But there’s so much more to Argentina than just Buenos Aires. Places like Bariloche and Cordoba can add South American flavor to your life within the budget.

Argentina has a lot to offer. The chill and family-oriented lifestyle, European vibe of the cities and towns. But what makes travelers become permanent Argentine citizens is affordability. If you compare it with American prices, daily expenses, including groceries, food, transportation is almost 55% cheaper in Argentina.

Renting an apartment is the best choice if you’re planning to live in Argentina. Compared to the US, the average price is about 70% cheaper. If you can get used to the Argentine culture, living in Argentina is the best choice you can make.

Why Live in Argentina?

The landscape in Argentina is very diverse. You will find dry and placid desert up north. Throughout Argentina, there are coastline and sunny beaches, modern cities, and farmland. Down south, you will find freezing glaciers. Living in Argentina won’t be boring by any means.

As we have said before, the prices are very reasonable, especially for people who use Dollars and Euros. A good way to start the livelihood in Argentina is by bringing the Euros or Dollars with you. This will help you with the initial hurdles of moving to a new place.  

The import restrictions have been lifted recently. Plus at one point the visa fee for foreigners was very high, but now the government has lowered that. Argentina had two different exchange rates back in the day; one was the official rate; the other one was for the streets. This caused a lot of trouble for new immigrants and led to a lot of people getting scammed. But now only the official exchange rate is taken into account throughout Argentina.

Argentines are known for their expressive lifestyle. Like all the other South American countries, Argentina is accepting of different cultures and religions. They care who you are as a person, not where you came from.

When you arrive in Argentina, you will hear a rumor that Argentines never sleep. The rumor spread because of their crazy nightlife. The people of Buenos Aires know how to have an exhilarating night. And the very next morning, they go to work as if nothing had happened.

If you want a quieter lifestyle, you can live in the suburbs. Bariloche and Cordoba are two such places where the lifestyle is a combination of city and suburban life.

Cost of Living in Argentina
Source: worldatlas.com

Complete Cost of Living in Argentina

The expenses are based on people who have moved to Argentina. 

The current exchange rate is 1 US Dollar= 73.16 Argentine Peso. 

Through extensive research, we have come identified the following cost structure to give you a rough idea of Cost of Living in Argentina.

Grocery and Food 

Argentina is food heaven for people of different taste buds. The strong European influence on Argentine cuisine is evident. You will find pizza, pasta, and calzones almost in every street. Argentina arguably has the best steak in the world.

Even if you’re going out to eat, it won’t cost you much. Small meat pie which is also known as Empanada, costs less than a dollar. You can combine a cappuccino with that for as much as 2 dollars. If you’re in a group, you can get a family-sized pizza that costs $10.

Dine-in restaurants offer a set meal that includes all the essentials. By spending $8, you get a starter, a main, a dessert item, and lastly a drink of your choice. Go to restaurants where the locals eat as the prices are lower rather than tourist restaurants. Tourist cafes charge around $15 to $25 for a complete three-course dinner, including wine.

Buying groceries and then cooking for yourself is always a money-saving option. You can go to the local markets instead of a high-end super-shop for better deals. Learn how to bargain and heckle as most Argentines do this when buying groceries. Saving a few bucks will help help you in the long run. 

The local fish and meat market bring in fresh products on weekend mornings. So, get up early and take a shopping bag with you and buy for the entire week and then keep them in the fridge. You can buy all the essentials for less than $25. 

Restaurants

Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant): $3 -$6

Meal for 2 People (Three courses in midrange restaurant): $15- $30

McMeal at McDonald’s (or similar combo meals): $4-$6

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter): $0 .80 -$ 1.30

Cappuccino (regular) $ 0.70 – $1.5 

Groceries 

Milk (regular), (1 liter) : $0.62- $1.03

Rice (white), (1kg): $0.50- $1.50

Eggs (regular) (12): $0.80 – $2.00

Chicken Fillets (1kg): $1.7 – $4.70

Beef Round (1kg): $3.50 – $7.00

Housing Expenses 

The housing rates are one of the main reasons why people move to Argentina. The argentine currency, which is known as the peso, constantly fluctuates that’s why the housing business is done based on US dollars.

For the best prices, search properties on the outskirts of metropolitan cities. Inside the city, good properties are always in high demand. So, the smart thing to do would be to get a place from where you can easily commute to your workplace.

You can go for rental options as well. Affordable rental costs mean if you’re an international student, then you can live outside campus. This is one of the many reasons why ex-pats are attracted to Argentina. Compared to the prices in the US, you can get similar-sized apartments or houses for a third of the US price.

Just to put things into perspective, if you rent an apartment with three bedrooms in the Santa Monica area of California, it would cost you roughly about $6,000 per month. Whereas, in Mendoza, Argentina, a similar apartment would cost you somewhere in the region of $400. In the current economic situation, this is unimaginable.

Couples could go for a single bedroom apartment outside the city center in Buenos Aires. It would cost them around $250. A similar apartment would cost approx. $270 in Rosario. Three bedroom apartments in Bariloche costs around $430. No matter where you decide to stay, you won’t have to spend all your savings on housing, unlike the US.

Rent per Month

  • One-bedroom Studio apartment in the city:  $180 – $350 
  • One-bedroom apartment outside the metropolis:  $120.00 – $280
  • Three-bedroom apartment in metropolis: $ 300 – $ 700
  • Three-bedroom apartment outside the metropolis: $220 – $550

Apartment Prices

  • Price per sq.m. (in City): $1,650 – $3,494.52
  • Price per sq.m. (Outside of City): $1,200 – $2,800

Transportation Cost 

Flights from the USA to Argentina are in the inexpensive range. Especially the flight prices from New York and Miami are comparatively lower. But in Argentina, if you’re not a permanent resident or citizen, you will find the local flights to be on the expensive side. This is because the government has introduced taxes for foreigners on local flights 

The main mode of transportation in Argentina is the bus. Buses in Argentina are reliable, modern, inexpensive, and also comfortable. They will take you to any street in the country. The bus routes are well planned and predetermined. Some of the buses even have advanced features like Wi-Fi, movie screening, message seats, and seats that go completely flat. It costs around $42 to get from Cordoba to Buenos Aires. It takes 9 hours to complete the trip. 

Like most things in Argentina, the trains are inexpensive as well. You can get some extraordinary views from the train window on your way to places like Mar del Plata, Rosario, and Santa Rosa. On some routes, the trains even have sleeper coaches. 

For traveling within the city, you have two options. You can use colectivos (bus) or taxis. Both of them are reliable and cheap. You go to the other side of the city for as much as 30-50 cents on the bus. Taxis charge 1 dollar per mile. You can get them on the street, or you could use the Easy Taxi app to call one from wherever you are. 

Travelers and residents often buy a monthly transit pass as it saves a lot of money from the total cost of living in Argentina. A monthly card costs around $20

Another option for transportation is buying your car. If you have enough money in the back, and you want comfort, you can buy a medium-range reconditioned car for a reasonable price.

Transportation Cost Summary 

  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport): $ 0.30 – $0.50
  • Monthly Pass:   $15 – $20
  • Taxi Start (Starting Tariff): $0.60 – $1.10
  • Taxi 1km (Per kilometer tariff): $ 0.50 – $1.00
  • Gasoline (1 liter):  $0.70 – $ 0.90
  • Volkswagen Golf (Or Equivalent New Car): $15,009 – 2$9,526
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan (Or Equivalent New Car) $15,405 – $22,971

Medical Expenses 

A good number of Argentine doctors got their medical training from overseas. They offer some of the best services in the world. You will have a similar sort of medical experience compared to the US. But the prices are lower. But outside the big cities, the quality of medical services can fluctuate a good amount.

Patients can go to either a private hospital or a public one. The private medical care isn’t out of reach, that’s why many ex-pats prefer private healthcare. The advantages of private facilities are less waiting time, quality service, and affordable prices.

Non-Argentines can sign up for the Argentine healthcare package. The 6-month package can cost as low as $50 per month. There are options to apply for a medical visa as well if you have a specific health issue.

It costs around $30 to $60 for a visit to a specialist doctor. The dental care prices are a third of North American prices, and the quality is top class. The pharmacies stay open 24/7. Overall you wouldn’t have to worry about emergencies. And even if there is a health emergency, you can get it sorted at a reasonable price. 

Other Relevant Expenses 

Utility Expenses 

Claro and Movistar are Argentina’s two top network providers. Personel and Nextel are also known to be good operators. You can get a pre-paid Sim just for a couple of dollars. A 7-day data plan costs around 3 dollars. The quality of internet connection depends on where you are living. But the prices are half of the normal US prices. 

The standard utility bill rounds up to $100 per month. This includes cooling, heating, water bill, electricity bill, and other typical expenses. You can cut the utility bill down even more if you live on the outskirts of a city.

Leisure Expenses

Leisure expenses depend on your lifestyle mainly. But we have gathered the common leisure activities that ex-pats normally spend on.

Gym memberships can cost between $30 to 50$. The big names are going to be expensive, especially the ones that are in the city center costs a fair amount. There are other ways to exercise, as well. You can get a bike in Buenos Aires for 3 dollars per hour. For an entire day, it would cost around 15 dollars.

A movie ticket costs roughly 5 dollars if it’s an international release. The leisure expenses will be similar, no matter where you go.

Summary 

In the end, the complete cost of living in Argentina comes down to your personal preferences. From where you eat to how you travel, everything depends on your choices. But the good news is, you can live on a budget in Argentina.

You can live a comfortable life by spending $1000 to $1500 per month. Couples could get everything done by spending $2000 per month. If you get your place and a car, you can cut down the expenses quite significantly.

Final Thoughts

No matter what your budget is, you can move to Argentina and live a comfortable life. The cost of living in Argentina is quite less compared to countries with similar traits.

So, when are you moving to Argentina? 

Leave a Comment