Realistic Budget Numbers?

#1
Hello everyone,

We are considering a move to BA. We are a family of 5, 3 small kids 5, 4 and 1. Just wanted to see if these were realistic numbers. If anyone can opine, I would be grateful. No rent to be paid as we have an apartment there already so I will not include condo dues.
This is in dollars and monthly
1. Private school kids- 1000 (1 year old is a bit of so for the 2)
2. Electric- 75
3. Gas -50
4. Phone- 25
5. cable and Dsl- 50
6. Cell phones(2 of them) 80
7. Groceries-800
8. Maid- 350
9. Health Insurance- 300
10. Gas for Car- 200
11. Car Insurance -100
12. Entertainment- 800
13. Misc kids- 500
14. Misc Us- 600

Total about 5000 a month.

This would not include travel back to the states a couple of times a year. Does this seem reasonable for a good lifestyle for the 5 of us? If I am missing something, please let me know.

Thanks
 
#2
Here are a few numbers (in dollars) based on living here two years. For the categories that I have no experience I entered question marks. Does "entertainment" include meals in restaurants? At an average cost of $50 (US) you could go out for dinner every other night, but you can spend considerably less if you don't go for "fine" dining. If you buy clothes here you will replace them more frequently than those purchased in the States. Prescription drugs are reasonable and most health plans pay 40% of that cost. Dry cleaning is cheap. Domestic airfares are high unless you have the DNI. $350 a month might be enough for a full time maid/nanny if you have an apartment with a dependencia and provide room and board.





1. Private school kids..........................................???

2. Electric- 75.....................................................$50-$75

3. Gas -50..........................................................$30-$50

4. Phone- 25......................................................$10-$30

5. cable and Dsl- 50...........................................$50 Direct TV/$35 DSL(Fibertel)

6. Cell phones(2 of them) 80...............................$200 Nextel Radio Phones (2)

7. Groceries-800................................................PROBABLY MORE

8. Maid- 350......................................................LESS (depending on frequency)

9. Health Insurance- 300.....................................PROBABLY MORE

10. Gas for Car- 200...........................................???

11. Car Insurance -100........................................???

12. Entertainment- 800.........................................???

13. Misc kids- 500...............................................CLOTHES (?)

14. Misc Us- 600.................................................CLOTHES (?)



Water will be cheap: About $10.00 every 2 months. Is there a colchera with the apartment? If the apartment does not have A/C you will probably want it. Mini-split units (BGH) will cost about $1000 (USD) per room (installed). Insurance for the apartment and contents would be about $30 per month, depending on the level of coverage.Would you be responsible for the taxes?
In any case, $5000 a month should be enough for a GREAT life here! Just be prepared to pay more for almost everything in the next two years. Since my arrival in 2006, taxes have tripled, my condo fees have almost doubled (along with taxi fares), many grocery items and health insurance premiums have increased by at least 50%. Utilities (regulated by the government) haven't increased yet, but they probably will.
 
#3
Yes, I am responsible for everything as it is my place. I know things are going up and that is ok. A friend of mine who is an economist thinks there will be a major problem next year with the government and that a minicrash is in the works. All of this is speculative and nobody can ever know for sure or time things but he thinks that with dollars,things will get cheaper for expats over the next 2 years but even if not, no worries. I have up to 7k a month so I was shooting for lower but there is a cushion there. Remember no rent or mortgage so I am thinking if we cannot live well on net 7k a month then we may stay home because with no mortgage or rent in the states, 7k a month is plenty.
 
#6
I think your friend is right & we are heading to another mini-crash in the next 2 years.
Your budget seems eminmently doable. Like someone said, I think your estimated costs for health insurance are a little low but other costs (maid, and all your incidental expenses) seem a little high. You should have no problem building in a cushion.
Suerte y buen viaje!
 
#7
Citygirl,

do you think if there is a minicrash it will benefit those who have income in dollars? JUst wondering if Argentina may retrace a bit and costs of living for income in dollars will be less.
Thanks
 
#8
I'm no economist so take my thoughts for what they are worth ;) It is interesting to me to see the decline of the dollar against the peso in the last year (3.30 Sept '07 to about 3.03 today) This coupled with the rise in prices has made Arg much less of a bargain than it was even a year ago.
However, I think due to the nature of Argentina's economy being so export-driven, the exchange rate will always be favorable. And I think if the crisis does hit, it may wind up (not to sound cyncial) working in your favor if you have dollars. The prices in pesos will drop but I don't think the exchange rate will.
Again, these are all my personal thoughts but I will say I've held off on buying a place in Buenos Aires because I think the bottom of housing market in Cap Fed will drop out in the next 2 years and prices will go down.