Our Cost of Living - 2014

General topics related to Living in Chile
Britkid
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1546
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:59 pm
Location: Talagante area, Chile
Contact:

Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by Britkid » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:13 pm

Overview/Houses
My thought about cost of living in Chile is that if you come from a first world country work out the difference on schooling, property, taxes and then the total of everything else is reasonably similar. In central Chile a typical cost to rent a house/flat is around 300k/month for a 60-80 sq metre compact 3-bed. However central Santiago or any good area of Santiago where ex pats actually live is maybe 400-600k or 700-800k+ in Las Condes or other fanciest areas. Note: Sometimes you pay a commission to the agent, e.g. 0.5 months’ rent, 1 month deposit is common, and sometimes extra charge of around 20-80k month especially if in a communal block of flats or condominio for joint costs (e.g. a guard).

Anyway, I thought I’d post our actual real costs for 2014. All are in Chilean Pesos, and "k" means thousands. We are a family or four and live in central Chile south of Santiago near Talagante/Isla de Maipo. I have never been to the south of Chile. However I suspect probably all this is probably a reasonable reference point for much of Chile except the extreme south and poshest areas of Santiago.

Rent: 550k/month (average of 2 places we have rented; for 4 bed detached house on a plot with garden all around – this is for 40 minutes from Santiago, 1 hour in rush hour).
Home insurance: 75k/yr (via Falabella: fire, earthquake and theft of personal possessions).
Electricity: 20k/month assuming no electric heaters. Made up of 95 pesos/kwH and 25 pesos per day standing charge.
Gas: 30k/month maybe for bottles for cooking and hot water but not heating.
Kerosene for heater in winter: Maybe 20-70k per month in winter only.
Water: 20k/month.
Internet: 30k/month.
Telephone: 15k/month for fixed line.
Mobile: <5k/month (for just me), pay as you go, I don’t make a lot of calls or have a smart phone, seems cheap to me.
Food/groceries (including bathroom stuff e.g. shampoo) 330k/month for family of four (does not include any eating out, takeaways). Supermarket food and other groceries is perhaps very slightly lower than UK or other first world countries, but not by much. Wine is cheaper of course.
Medical insurance for a family of 4: 192k/month (Colmena). This might be a bit higher than average although it’s on a policy that pays out a high % of things (80-90%).
School: 6,500k/yr (includes everything e.g. books, food, is for 1 child as our 2nd is too young, includes first year sign on fee of 1,700k). That is for the best school in the area of the local town and maybe about somewhere in the best 10-20 in central Chile. With English language education.
Public transport: Cheap compared to European city, a ride on the metro/subway/underground is about 600 pesos, similar for few km bus ride, even the bus from outside my house an hour to the centre of the city is only 1,000.
Buying a car: Expensive for used car (e.g. 2x UK cost for 5-10 years old car), same as elsewhere for new car.
Running a car: Cheap to moderate – low labour cost has an impact on repairs.
Petrol: 925/litre, about 40-50k/month.
Car insurance: 303k/yr.
Road tolls: 10k/month – obviously will vary a lot from person to person though.
Eating out: Similar to North America/Western Europe for fast food and decent quality mid-range. Cheapest possible is lower though; about 2,000-3,000 for cheapest sit down meal, 1,000 for a hot dog maybe with a drink.
Books: Expensive here, and harder to find, especially in English. Worth going Kindle.
Electronics/Clothes: May seem expensive compared to US(?), but seems more reasonable to those from Australia/New Zealand/Europe. Anyway, not a big deal in the overall budget unless you buy a lot.

Not included
I’m just trying to include the main costs. There are many things not included: dental, <SPAM WORD>, pension, maid/nana, gardener and many many others. I’m just trying to cover fixed monthly costs so I’ve ignored larger fixed purchases, e.g. furniture or a TV. Also ignoring the actual relocation costs I incurred in this first year.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

svergas
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by svergas » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:06 am

Very nice post. I have found living in Santiago is more expensive for me than living in Ontario Canada.
Apt in Providencia $500 000clp,gastos 110 000, School for one child $400 000clp. In addition to food, internet, phones, insurances,
gas, clothes, tolls, etc.

Everything costs more and lots of things lot harder to get including books or anything else one wants to order on line.

Andres
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 2696
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 3:09 am
Location: in transit

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by Andres » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:12 am

VERY high gastos!
Chile: My expectations are low. Very low.
I accept chaos. I'm not sure whether it accepts me.

El Lechero
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:52 am
Contact:

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by El Lechero » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:35 am

Yes overall similar to ours some higher some lower like rent but then we spend more on grocerys. Scool is a little less. Fuel and cell phone more. So yeah total prob same. Why is Chile so expensive? Looks like the "free" market as worked out really well here. Cartels and Monoplolies dominate it seems.

jamie_m
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 702
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:52 pm
Location: Santiago

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by jamie_m » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:53 am

the only thing that grabs me as being significently cheaper than australia is the service industry, trades, taxis etc. but then again in most cases with the tradies you get what you pay for, so is it really that cheap?

Britkid
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1546
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:59 pm
Location: Talagante area, Chile
Contact:

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by Britkid » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:06 am

It ic curious how the basic cost of manual labour at the low end is much lower in Chile than a developed country, and that most things fundamentally track back to basic labour as the main part of the cost, and yet that the cost of living can be so similar to a developed country. I suppose it is due to inefficiency in the system, so many things imported, and maybe other things too.

If you are contracting someone 1 to 1 and you are directly contracting the manual labour yourself whether that be a gardener, a maid, or someone too fix something on your car, then the costs of such things at times can be way lower than in the UK, in my experience so far. In the UK, when the minimum wage is about 5,000 CLP per hour and you can in some cases get 2,000-3,000 per hour in benefits for doing nothing, no-one is going to offer very basic services at 2,000-3,000 per hour like they do here. Here you can employ someone directly in some kind of manual labour like cleaning for 12,000-20,000 for a whole day's work.

EDIT: Actually may be more like 6,000 CLP for the UK minimum wage, anyway it was just roughly.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

Britkid
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1546
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:59 pm
Location: Talagante area, Chile
Contact:

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by Britkid » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:21 am

I do wonder if a lot of people saying Chile is MORE expensive than where they came from are trying to recreate what they had back home. Say if you come from North America and decide you want a Detroit car, your favourite brands of North American clothing, your favourite foods imported from outside Chile etc. A house with the same construction standards as North America. You liked your holidays in say Hawaii so you want to keep that up. You want to go home every year for Christmas at the most expensive flight time. You want your kids educated at an international school. I could see that kind of lifestyle being more expensive. But...if you go a bit more local, I think it's usually going to be cheaper or the same.

There might be a Western Europe/North America divide as well here, though. Perhaps the cost of living in North America, outside of a few places like California and New York, may be a bit cheaper than Europe so that North Americans see Chile as more expensive whereas Europeans see it as more reasonable.

If you've been living in a really expensive city like Paris, London, Tokyo, New York etc then Santiago is going to seem really cheap. If you're been living in the north of England, or a small town in Spain, or some less expensive US state and then go to live in Las Condes, Santiago, then your cost of living just went up a lot.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

El Lechero
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:52 am
Contact:

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by El Lechero » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:35 am

Yeah I suppose you compare to what you are used to but Chile is expensive y punto. Expensive compared to a lot of other countries in sth america, expensive to a lot of other western countries, expensive for people earning average wage here. Its more than expensive its a rip off for a lot of things. Why? Because they can, its very similar to NZ where you will get the same lame ass excuses about a small country with big geography. Yet we will charge you more for thr likes of software bought online, for example. Cheese is a rip off, pizza is a rip off, toilet paper and detergents are a rip off, these are just a couple of things that spring to mind. Yes you can live cheap if you want but someone or somebody is really laughing all the way to the bank with Chilean consumers. Look what happened with the don pollo arazita and agro super shit that came to light the other month. Its all a big rip off. Dont even get me started on the banks and insurance and mobile phone companies.
e

frozen-north
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1780
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:28 am

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by frozen-north » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:49 am

El Lechero wrote:
Look what happened with the don pollo arazita and agro super shit that came to light the other month.
The highest fine in the Chilean history of free markets: 61 million dollars. Collusion and price fixing among some chicken producers.
Los e-mails que gatillaron la millonaria multa a los productores de pollos

http://www.lasegunda.com/Noticias/Econo ... -de-pollos
Thanks. I hadn't heard of this.

svergas
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by svergas » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:35 am

Britkid wrote:I do wonder if a lot of people saying Chile is MORE expensive than where they came from are trying to recreate what they had back home. Say if you come from North America and decide you want a Detroit car, your favourite brands of North American clothing, your favourite foods imported from outside Chile etc. A house with the same construction standards as North America. You liked your holidays in say Hawaii so you want to keep that up. You want to go home every year for Christmas at the most expensive flight time. You want your kids educated at an international school. I could see that kind of lifestyle being more expensive. But...if you go a bit more local, I think it's usually going to be cheaper or the same.

There might be a Western Europe/North America divide as well here, though. Perhaps the cost of living in North America, outside of a few places like California and New York, may be a bit cheaper than Europe so that North Americans see Chile as more expensive whereas Europeans see it as more reasonable.

If you've been living in a really expensive city like Paris, London, Tokyo, New York etc then Santiago is going to seem really cheap. If you're been living in the north of England, or a small town in Spain, or some less expensive US state and then go to live in Las Condes, Santiago, then your cost of living just went up a lot.
When you say "people are trying to re-create what they had back home" is true, but the question comes up is how else are we supposed to live????
We had about the same apartment. Chose Providencia because it is ok area and is not as expensive as Las Condes or other around. Have a crappy Toyota Yaris which was purchased used. Need to have gas, food, internet, clothes, shoes. Always try to find best deals on everything. Even drive to the oulet mall on ruta 5 to get clothes. Try to avoid shopping malls because find them more expensive than stores outside.
Chose this particular school (more expensive than others) because it had good reviews. Also people said that their English levels are very good which I was skeptical about and turned to be true. Overall school is good and we are happy with it.

After all this still finding that need lot more to spend on everything. Now i do understand that Santiago is not Chile and that outside is lot cheaper but due to work we can not be outside of Santiago.

I think we even do less on weekends in Chile. Everything does have to do with hobbies/relaxation/sports is extremely expensive. I am not counting going to parks, ferias and similar which we do a lot.

scandinavian
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by scandinavian » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:21 pm

Always interesting discussions on whether Chile (Santiago) is expensive or cheap. I think as Britkid mentions, a lot of it comes down to what you compare with. Secondly, people have a tendency to compare with when they lived in their former country (which might be years ago, and thus does not include inflation), instead of comparing today prices in Santiago with today prices in former location. Last time I went to a supermarket in my home country to shop for a BBQ night with friends, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the bill. In my mind, I was expecting 2010 prices.
http://www.expatistan.com/ tries to compare costs between cities. Now, this is of course not an exact study, but according to their comparison (based on user input), Toronto is +60% more expensive than Santiago in terms of living costs.

john
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 6130
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:11 am
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile

Re: Our Cost of Living - 2014

Post by john » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 pm

scandinavian wrote:Always interesting discussions on whether Chile (Santiago) is expensive or cheap. I think as Britkid mentions, a lot of it comes down to what you compare with. Secondly, people have a tendency to compare with when they lived in their former country (which might be years ago, and thus does not include inflation), instead of comparing today prices in Santiago with today prices in former location. Last time I went to a supermarket in my home country to shop for a BBQ night with friends, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the bill. In my mind, I was expecting 2010 prices.
http://www.expatistan.com/ tries to compare costs between cities. Now, this is of course not an exact study, but according to their comparison (based on user input), Toronto is +60% more expensive than Santiago in terms of living costs.
Interesting observations! I just ran a comparison (http://www.expatistan.com/) between Santiago and San Francisco, CA and here's what it shows:

Overall, the cost of living in San Francisco is 109% more than in Santiago. The specific categories measured were:

Food = 109% higher
Housing = 214% higher
Clothes = 25% higher
Transportation = 39% higher
Personal Care = 40% higher
Entertainment = 66% higher.

Based on my personal experience, this study is pretty accurate...the only category that I think may be off is Clothes, which (my wife says) are slightly cheaper in San Francisco.
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

Post Reply