My wife (Argentinian) claims you can live "well" on $1500 a month in Argentina. True?

squall

Registered
How is cost of living in Saudi Arabia compared to Argentina?
you can say almost double
all prices I'll put here will be in USD for easier calculation

Electricity: 0.080 per KW
Water: 0.27 per M3
Fuel 91: 0.39 per Liter
Bottled water: 0.27 per Liter
Average Electric Bill: 100 - 200 per Month
Average Fuel Consumption: 100 - 200 per Month (it is normal to drive 100 - 200 per day because there is no public transportation)
Mobile Call Rate: 0.13 per Minute
SMS Rate: 0.13 per Message

Rent: nowadays rent is down because of the huge numbers for expat are leaving back to their countries because of new taxes
Studio = 1600 Annual Contract
2+1 = 2670 Annual Contract
3+1 = 4000 Annual Contract
4+1 = 5400 Annual Contract
5+1 = 6700 Annual Contract

Milk: 0.80 per Liter
Youghrt: 0.53 per 1/2 KG
Soft Drinks: 0.67 per 330 ml Bottle
Vegetables: 1 - 3 per KG
Fruits: 2 - 4 per KG
Beef (Local): 8 - 14 per KG
Seafood (Local): 8 - 27 per KG

Dinner for 2 @ below average or unrated restaurant: 10 (local or street food)
Dinner for 2 @ average restaurant: 20 (Fast Food like MAC or KFC)
Dinner for 2 @ nice restaurant: 54 (cheap Italian or chinese resturant)
Dinner for 2 @ semi-high restaurant: 80 (TGI Fridays, AppleBees, American Resturants)
Dinner for 2 @ expensive restaurant: 160 - 300 (5 stars hotels)

The average monthly salary is:
Labor: 400 - 1000
Bachelor Degree or Certified Technical: 1500 - 3000

now the worst part of living costs here if you have a family
You have to pay 100 per month for each member of your family under your sponsorship (wife - child - sister - parent) as tax or fees as they call it but without anything in return from the government (not even healthcare because as an expat you have medical insurance and your children wont be accepted in public schools).

if you have any question about Saudi Arabia you can ask me directly because I spent my whole life here
 

oldgringo

Just Joined
I don't post (mainly because my writing skills are nonexistent) but I have been reading this forum for many years. I have been living in B.A. off and on for 13 years. The reason also was my wife wanted to move back because she wanted our daughter to grow up there. The main thing I took from your post is that you don't want to live here. I have tried to enjoy it here and sometimes I do, but I do get tired how difficult even some of the simple things are here. I would just caution you it would be easy to resent the fact that you are being forced to live somewhere you don't want to live. I don't know your own family situation but you would be cut off from them for long periods. I have gone back and forth to the U.S. for all those years to work and sometimes my family would live there but always wanted to go back. Now I am retired and trying B.A. again and already looking forward to going back next year and working for the summer season. I am going to enroll my daughter in an online school based in the U.S. so she can get a U.S. diploma I know she is going to want to go to the U.S. for better career prospects , so who knows where we will live then. As for the money at 38 to 1 exchange we live on 3000 comfortably ( that makes us peso millionaires lol )
 

ExpatDad

Registered
Make sure you fully understand and get informed about laws and regulations regarding children ( Argentine or foreign ) travelling abroad with one of their parents from Argentina.
My company is moving my family (Wife and 2 young kids pre-school age) down to BsAs and my office is going to be in Martinez near the mall. Based on the sound of things, we live a similar lifestyle of enjoying mostly free/public entertainment, not big shoppers, cook ourselves almost always. Recoleta seems a bit far of a commute for me by walk/bus, but I would love to talk to you or anyone else on here more about what life is like, what neighborhoods are good to find a rental, etc. I'm definitely looking to do a furnished one at first, but i have the option to extend from a 1 year thing into just staying if it goes well, so then i would just buy my own place (I am selling my house in the US).

Looking for any and all thoughts and advice - I'm definitely looking into the more expensive/newer apartment buildings that have laundry and a gym as our "splurge/luxury" at least until we finish transition of lifestyle and decide to move, but otherwise I'm really trying to give up the american focus on "stuff". Already got my 2 kids sharing a room so we only need 2BR for the whole family, things like that...

Maybe I should just start a new thread for advice?

I'm in a position where I won't find out for another week or two what my pay will be (I'm getting paid in Pesos, so they are adjusting the offer and putting in an inflation clause), but since I know nothing about lifestyle there, I'm just making guesses.
 

ExpatDad

Registered
Hmm , if that's the case then maybe the parents of the cases I know didn't follow the proper procedures somehow, I'll have to see if I can ask more details...

If the child can easily get USA citizenship with one USA parent despite being born abroad then that'd be great though!!

Hopefully the OP can double check the details with the relevent US authorities etc.
Keep in mind that the USA is putting in some harsh changes in regard to immigration and citizenship that are temporary, but may stick depending on the elections on Nov6 plus the next 2 years plus today's supreme court debacle.

When in doubt look up the policy and contact the consulate in BsAs since you'll be working with them to process everything if your kid is born there.
 
I don't post (mainly because my writing skills are nonexistent) but I have been reading this forum for many years. I have been living in B.A. off and on for 13 years. The reason also was my wife wanted to move back because she wanted our daughter to grow up there. The main thing I took from your post is that you don't want to live here. I have tried to enjoy it here and sometimes I do, but I do get tired how difficult even some of the simple things are here. I would just caution you it would be easy to resent the fact that you are being forced to live somewhere you don't want to live. I don't know your own family situation but you would be cut off from them for long periods. I have gone back and forth to the U.S. for all those years to work and sometimes my family would live there but always wanted to go back. Now I am retired and trying B.A. again and already looking forward to going back next year and working for the summer season. I am going to enroll my daughter in an online school based in the U.S. so she can get a U.S. diploma I know she is going to want to go to the U.S. for better career prospects , so who knows where we will live then. As for the money at 38 to 1 exchange we live on 3000 comfortably ( that makes us peso millionaires lol )
Thanks for taking the time to post oldgringo. I've noticed more people joining and some non-active posters posting lately so that's great!

Don't be hard on your writing skills as your post was great. I've had many American and European friends that were in a similar situation where the wife was the Argentine. What I've found is it's much easier for Europeans to adapt vs. Americans for the most part.

Honestly, Buenos Aires can be a fabulous place to live if you don't have to deal with hassles of working or dealing with salary in peso, don't have to commute so much and make Dollars/Euros. And keep things in perspective or try to compare it too much with home.

I think one reason why locals miss Buenos Aires so much (at least was the case with my wife) was that they are leaving behind family and friends and also BA is such a walkable and livable city. You can get by if you wanted walking to many places, things are always open no matter how late it is. Public transportation available everywhere! BA has more taxis than London, Paris and NYC combined. Buses, subway. You never feel like anywhere is far away and you don't need a car.

On the flip side, in many many cities in the USA the cities aren't walkable. You MUST have a car. Things are very long distances between places. Public transportation might not be good. So if they have never had to drive in BA and have to either learn or be more dependent on you to take them around. They feel like they have less freedom.

In BA, there is a vibrant, youthful energy and vibe. Even during times of recession you have restaurants and cafes buzzing even until late. You have senior citizens strolling out or having coffee until late. In the USA most cities are completely dead early and the senior citizens are sleeping early. Really sad and pathetic.

So they miss that. It would be similar to a person from NYC moving to Kansas and having to adapt. They would strongly miss home too. And multiply that many fold.

My best advice for retired moving to BA is find some great local friends. Not good to just hang out with ex-pats. The locals can be a bit guarded at first but once they get to know you, they are very loyal, very charismatic and warm and my true friends there would do anything for me. I consider them like family. So really try to integrate with friends of your wife. Many educated locals all speak English and quite well.

Also, I'm not sure if you're fluent but really work towards even getting conversational if you aren't. That will probably be the single most important thing that will improve your quality of life and enjoyment and give you a big sense of freedom. Being able to fully communicate with anyone any time or place. You're never too old to start learning and you can start out with vocabulary and flashcards but really take the time if you don't speak Spanish and I can promise you that will give you the single biggest chance to improve your quality of life in BA.

Explore the city. BA is a HUGE city and many ex-pats stick around the same barrios they feel comfortable with but really take the time to explore. Do things like just jump on a random bus line and take it until it goes somewhere that you don't know and just get off and walk around exploring. Constantly try new places to eat/drink. Doesn't have to be fancy or expensive but with the internet you can easily compile a list of "Best Of" lists and work to try to go to them throughout the year.

Continue doing the things that you enjoy back home. It sounds like a duh moment and so simple of course you would. But I can't tell you how many times I have friends (or even myself) like doing something back home but they don't do it in Argentina. Simple things like fishing, or golfing or camping, etc. At home they are very comfortable with their surroundings and they know exactly where to go so it's automatic. But it can feel like work going to somewhere new and having to find out. So really try to do the same things that you do back home that you enjoy doing.

I know for me personally when I retired I love golfing here where I live but I never golfed in Argentina when I went there. So when I spent several months living there I'd start golfing there and really enjoyed it. Good luck on your retirement in Buenos Aires.
 

PaulBee

Newcomer
I think when comparing safety in US vs. Argentina, one has to consider more specific locations and lifestyles. Safety varies from city to city and barrio to barrio. Some walk the streets late at night, others stay cocooned in a car in the suburbs, using a remote control to enter the garage.
 
I think when comparing safety in US vs. Argentina, one has to consider more specific locations and lifestyles. Safety varies from city to city and barrio to barrio. Some walk the streets late at night, others stay cocooned in a car in the suburbs, using a remote control to enter the garage.
Well, to be fair though in almost any city in the USA there is NO life at night after a certain hour. In Buenos Aires it's a VERY late night city so you can come out at midnight and the city is hustling and bustling with tons of people around, tons of places still over. In the USA, in most cities (even major cities) it's totally dead at 12:30 AM.

Sure, you have to consider specific locations but there just isn't active lifestyle like Buenos Aires. It's a unique city to have so much life and energy so late. Ironically, my friends that own houses in the northern suburbs have experienced more crime than all my friends that live in a building in Recoleta, Palermo, Barrio Norte, etc. Most of my friends live in buildings that have doormen or security. In the Northern suburbs, several of my friends have gotten their houses broken into and most likely it's the security guards telling the thieves when the owner's leave.
 

PaulBee

Newcomer
Well, to be fair though in almost any city in the USA there is NO life at night after a certain hour. In Buenos Aires it's a VERY late night city so you can come out at midnight and the city is hustling and bustling with tons of people around, tons of places still over. In the USA, in most cities (even major cities) it's totally dead at 12:30 AM.

Sure, you have to consider specific locations but there just isn't active lifestyle like Buenos Aires. It's a unique city to have so much life and energy so late. Ironically, my friends that own houses in the northern suburbs have experienced more crime than all my friends that live in a building in Recoleta, Palermo, Barrio Norte, etc. Most of my friends live in buildings that have doormen or security. In the Northern suburbs, several of my friends have gotten their houses broken into and most likely it's the security guards telling the thieves when the owner's leave.
I think it`s wonderful to see young Porteños having their final "one for the road" - while I`m have breakfast !
 

MarkArgentina

Registered
@ExpatDad
That zone (Martinez near the mall), is a beautiful residential neighborhood.
Note that Recoleta and Palermo, even are beautiful and expensive areas, they have a lot of movement, due the tourism and commercial stores.

If you ask me, as an "argentino" with children, I prefer zones like Martinez near the station (https://goo.gl/maps/h9BY8TfPePr) or Vicente Lopez (https://goo.gl/maps/tmQgYpEjyxz).
Are more family friendly areas. They are middle upper class. And quieter and safer than Palermo. Also, less "caza-turistas" than Recoleta and Palermo. "Caza-turistas" are stores where the prices are higher only because their regular clients are tourists and fashion hunters.

If you are looking for a school in English and Spanish, I recommend BAICA (https://www.baica.com/?lang=en). They follow the US calendar and they have both curricula (Argentina/US). My children go there, and some parents works in the US Embassy. BAICA is in San Fernando. Near of Martinez, but an hour from Buenos Aires Downtown.
Sorry for my English.
my office is going to be in Martinez near the mall.
 
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