admin wrote:this subject was lightly touched on in another thread, and I have had many people argue with me about it over the the years, that ask things like, "how can chile be so expensive if Chilean minimum wage is only like 200-250,000 a month (about $400-500 a month)"?
Simple. THEY ARE CHILEAN.
If you are making minimum wage in Chile, are a Chilean born and raised here, you additionally receive major benefits from the government to subsidize your income.
--- free health care
--- free housing or subsidized housing (or otherwise own their own home)
--- various miscellaneous and sometimes random yearly government payments
--- free legal services
--- free education
All on top of just generally being use to living in a relatively humble lifestyle, while knowing how to max your resources (e.g. riding the cheapest local buses, knowing where to shop).
I might also point out that often families have several members living in the same household, with multiple sources of income. The overall household income, for a lot of households in Chile, is well above 500,000 pesos a month even on the low end of the economic scale.
So, you could likely say that just about anyone making 250,000 pesos a month, they are receiving, in many cases, with subsidies, something more like double that per month.
Some extra financial skills Chileans posses include living month to month with zero savings, relying on cash from their large network of family in emergencies.
Using credit to purchase things, where I would never dare on the income they're on, making themselves often look wealthier then they are.
I often got funny looks from my neighbours, not sure if they twigged I owned my car unlike them though. A lot of then had their posh cars on credit, that were worth close half their house value. Why is the gringo driving that old car.
A lot earn money on the side in legal and not legal home business opportunities. Your neighbour makes out there doing you a huge favour by giving you a lift, but still wants to get paid for it.
Second hand bargins are hard to find on Chile. Normally well or over priced.
Whilst in UK you can get a lot of very good stugg practically free just as they're happy your collecting it, saving them hassal.