Cost of Living in Buenos Aires

Argentine Money — By


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Below is a list of different prices in Buenos Aires.  Our most recent update was in Aug 2012.  Surprisingly, there were quite a few prices that decreased in the food category.  This is a nice change from the typical inflation that is usually experienced in Buenos Aires.  We update our cost of living every quarter, and usually there is about a 6-7% increase in prices, although this number varies greatly between categories.

Feel free to comment below with prices you have noticed going up or down, or what your monthly costs are.

EBA Staff

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It is impossible to give a number on how much you can expect to spend while living or visiting Buenos Aires. It all depends on how you like to spend your money, and how much of it you have to spend. Below are approximate numbers to give you an idea of what your monthly cost of living could be in Buenos Aires. Remember that all prices are in Argentine Pesos. These are current prices as of Aug 2012. Keep in mind, there is inflation in Argentina of about 2% – 3% every month.

Here is my monthly budget for Buenos Aires – what you can expect to spend in Argentine pesos.  For more detailed information, see below.

Monthly Cost of Living in Buenos Aires

Monthly Budget in Argentine Pesos
Apartment $1,700 (Living in a shared apartment, all inclusive)
Food $700
Necessities $200 Things like soap, shampoo, garbage bags, etc.
Transportation $100 includes the odd taxi ride, but mostly bus and subway
Cell $60
Entertainment $1,400 (bars, theatre, clubbing, eating out, etc)
Total $4,160

Apartments in Buenos Aires

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

Variations in cost are because it depends on the location, size, and quality of your apartment. These prices are all based on apartments that you´d find in the most popular neighbourhoods for travellers:  San Telmo, Recoleta, Centro, Barrio Norte, Palermo, Belgrano, Colegiales, Villa Crespo.  Keep in mind though that prices vary depending on which of these neighborhoods you are looking in.  Palermo, Recoleta, Barrio Norte, tend to be the most expensive, with Belgrano right up there as well.

A room in a shared apartment: $ 1350+

**This usually includes internet, phone, cable, condo expenses, etc.

Your own studio apartment, as a temporary furnished rental: $2050 + A decent place will likely cost you around $2800 +

**This usually includes internet, phone, cable, condo expenses, etc.

Your own one bedroom, as a temporary furnished rental: $2700 + A decent place will likely cost you around $3400 +

**This usually includes internet, phone, cable, etc.

Your own studio, renting long term with a garantia: $1600+  A decent apartment starts around $2200

**this includes apartment fees (known as expensas). But not things like phone, internet, cable, and electricity.

Your own one bedroom, renting long term with a garantia: $1800+  A decent 1B is usually around $2200+

**this includes apartment fees. But not things like phone, internet, cable, and electricity.

Extras

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

Internet: $215 for 6MB high speed cable with Fibertel, one of the better options.  You can get internet for less if you go with another company or slower with Fibertel.  Also, you can get big discounts when first signing up.

Cable TV: $80+

Electricity: $30+  *Much higher if you use electric heat or air conditioning.

Phone: $30+  Calls to cell phones cost extra.  So are things like call waiting, caller ID, etc.

New cell phone: $140 and up, for an unlocked pay as you go phone.

Cell phone monthly payments: $30+  Can be a plan or pay as you go.  $30 would be if you don´t make many calls, mainly texts. You can get a decent plan on a smart phone for $70+ pesos per month.  Usually more for iphones.

Food

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

Food will probably cost you about $700 – $900 pesos a month. If you are very careful about eating cheaply, and don´t eat a lot of expensive meat or chicken, you might be able to keep it between $500 – $650.

In the following chart, we have been tracking prices through Jumbo.  You can see the current prices, prices in Feb 2012, and prices in Oct 2011.  We have calculated the inflation rate of each item from Feb 2012 and from Oct 2011.  The rate is converted into a yearly total.  So, for example, a Whole Chicken cost $8.25 in Oct 2011, and now costs $13.99.  This increase in price is equal to a yearly inflation rate of 148% – in other words, based on the increase in cost over the last 10 months, the price will increase 148% over 1 year.  The idea of the chart is to see how much inflation there ACTUALLY is.

All prices listed in the chart below (current and past) are prices listed in Jumbo Supermarkets.      


Food  Price – Aug 2012 Unit Avg Yearly Inflation since Feb 2012 Avg Yearly Inflation since Oct 2011 Price – Feb 2012 Price Oct. 2011
Beef Tenderloin Steak (cheap brand)  $                     59.99 kg 24% 24% $53.99 $53.99
Good Ground Beef  $                     34.99 kg 111% 73% $22.99 $25.99
Whole Chicken  $                     13.99 kg 35% 148% $11.99 $8.25
Skinned/ boneless Chicken Breast  $                     42.49 kg 62% 53% $32.89 $33.99
Salmon Filet  $                     98.99 kg 9% 7% $94.99 $95.99
Hake  $                     39.99 kg 71% 71% $29.99 $29.99
Mussels, frozen and without shell  $                     37.99 kg 57% 57% $29.99 $29.99
extra virgin olive oil:  $                     40.79 500 g 40% 53% $34.35 $32.69
Can of good tuna  $                     11.49 170g 46% 50% $9.45 $9.29
Good Rice  $                        6.59 500g 54% 44% $5.25 $5.45
pasta  $                        6.85 500g 36% 30% $5.85 $5.99
Jar of Strawberry Jam  $                     16.45 390 g 24% 37% $14.77 $13.99
6 eggs  $                        8.15 6 50% 43% $6.59 $6.79
Milk – Bag  $                        4.60 1L 21% 28% $4.19 $4.07
Stick of Butter  $                        5.35 100g 43% 46% $4.45 $4.39
Ground Coffee  $                        8.35 250g 1% 1% $8.32 $8.32
Fruits and Veggies
Red Pepper  $                     17.99 kg 82% 27% $12.99 $15.99
Carrots  $                        8.39 kg 43% 184% $6.99 $4.49
Tomatoes  $                     15.99 kg 165% 165% $8.99 $8.99
Zucchini  n/a kg $9.99 $13.99
White Potatoes  $                        7.99 kg 274% 213% $3.49 $3.99
Brown Onions  $                        4.59 kg 32% -90% $3.99 $7.99
Bananas  $                     10.99 kg 80% 177% $7.99 $5.99
Red Delicious Apples  $                     14.90 kg 104% 104% $9.99 $9.99
Pears  $                     11.90 kg 41% 41% $9.99 $9.99
Strawberries  $                     30.90 kg -25% 174% $34.99 $16.99
Kiwi  $                     15.99 kg -34% -42% $18.99 $19.90
Mandarins  $                        5.99 kg -85% -85% $9.99 $9.99
Lemons  $                        4.99 kg -152% -35% $17.59 $5.99
Beverages
Bottle of good wine  $                     60.50 750ml 26% 16% $54.00 $56.19
Bottle of decent cheap wine  $                     25.99 750ml 28% 18% $22.99 $23.99
26 oz bottle of Smirnoff  $                     61.69 750ml 46% 46% $50.68 $50.68
26 oz bottle of Jonny Walker Red  n/a 750ml $104.46 $104.46
Cleaning Supplies
Liquid Laundry Detergent  $                     61.19 3L 53% 71% $48.99 $45.90
Palmolive Body Wash – 250ml  $                     14.10 250ml 33% 22% $12.20 $12.79
Pantene Shampoo  $                     40.10 750ml 33% 33% $34.67 $34.69
Colgate Toothpaste  $                        9.19 180gr 20% 19% $8.40 $8.45
Transportation
Taxi  $                        8.20 26% 88% $7.30 $5.80
Subway  $                        2.50 0% 270% $2.50 $1.10
City Bus  $                        1.10 0% 0% $1.10 $1.10
Train (Retiro to Tigre)  $                        1.35 0% 0% $1.35 $1.35

Entertainment

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

Prices are the usual costs. It can be higher or lower, depending on where you go.

Movie: $45 in a nice theater

Bottle of decent wine: $25+

Bottle of very good wine: $40+

1L domestic beer: $7.50

Entrance to clubs: $20 – $80

Entrance to Milongas: $15 – $35

small bottle of beer in bar/club: $15 – $40

Highball or cocktail in bar/club: $25– $60

Entrée in a nice restaurant: $60 – $100

Dessert in a nice restaurant: $20 – $40

Glass of wine in a nice restaurant: $20 – $35

Bottle of mediocre to decent wine in a nice restaurant: $45 – $70

Dinner for two, incl. 1 appetizer, two main courses, one dessert, and a bottle of wine:

*Cheap restaurant:  $160+

*Nice restaurant:  $220 +

Theater: $20 – $250+ Typical price for a broadway-style show is around $100 – $150

Museum: Free – $25

Live music show: $15 – $100+

Transportation

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

Taxi: $8.20 + .82 every 200m.  From Plaza Italia to Retiro: $35  Prices are higher at night.

Bus: $1.10 – $1.75

Subway: $2.50

Train: $0.80+ (mainly used to go from the suburbs into Buenos Aires).

**prices stated are in Argentine pesos**

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72 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great information. Thank you. Here in Boston you need at least $5,000 a month just to get by..thats no extras -cooking at home. I do speak of a 3 bedroom in the down town area.

  2. red6841 says:

    How much are gym memberships on average??

  3. Richard says:

    I have lived in both Uruguay and Argentina and I love both of them. It always amazed me that Buenos Aires, for being such a beautiful, robust city, is comparatively very inexpensive.

  4. Diego says:

    Hi,
    A membership at a good gym will cost about $120 pesos and up per month.
    – Diego

  5. Mike says:

    My costs are higher, but I am living in an expensive hood. If I was in a comparable area in Toronto my costs would be at least double, but likely more. Transportation, wine, beer and going out to eat is much cheaper. Mixed drinks are not and imported products are not. Subte is up to 2.50 btw and the collectivos will be going up next week for those who don’t have a sube card.

  6. Ashley says:

    Those prices are pretty accurate.
    As for gym membership, I’d say it averages out at about 200 pesos…a bit cheaper for a neighbourhood type gym and more expensive for one of the fancy gym chains.

  7. George says:

    How much do hookers cost in Buenos Aires?

  8. Julian says:

    great website, keep up the updates. i’m planning on heading over to B.A. in September for 6 months or so. Any tips on working visas or working in B.A. that long? extending visas etc? I know the tourist visa is good for 3 months.

  9. Robert says:

    I’m wondering what the availability of employment is for expat americans in argentina. Obviously it will vary based on your occupation, but are companies generally willing to hire foreigners? If I was willing to do manual labor, what would be the chances of getting a job?

  10. Diego says:

    If you’re only there for six months, you will be able to renew the visa by leaving the country and coming back in. If you hope to work, you can try to get a working visa, although that is not an easy feat, especially if only there for 6 months. Good luck!

    Diego

  11. Matt says:

    Hi Robert,
    I have never spoken to any expats that have done manual labour. However, keep in mind that working conditions and pay are often worse in Argentina for certain jobs, and my guess is that salaries for manual labour are very low.
    Getting a job as an expat can be difficult, a lot of companies won’t hire you unless you have a working visa, and you can’t get a visa without having a company sponsor you (you can eventually get one on your own, but it takes a while). Also, you have to speak good Spanish to get a job at most companies.
    There are certainly other options though, and companies that will help you get a visa. Check http://exposebuenosaires.com/work-in-buenos-aires/ for more info.

    – Matt

  12. raghavendra says:

    i read this articale before i arrive at BA, sept 2011, and now i am reading it again. I can say the prices are almost correct. But one thing troubling being an expat here is converting our income in pesos to Dollars. Govt restricted so much, and now i am not able to send any money outside. I think this is not a good idea to work here as a expat. Very sad situation here, u have to earn and u have to spend here , no other go (officially). Only way is grey market. But we have to pay 20% premium, which means we can save only 80% what we can save. I recommend not come, untill everything settles here.

  13. Pablo says:

    Diego, Have you been to a “good” movie theatre lately?
    Tickets are now 42 pesos, and 3D over 50 pesos. The cost of food products in the “tourist” neighborhoods of Palermo, San Telmo, Recoleta, Belgrano, Barrio Norte are considerably higher than what you have quoted above. Red Peppers the other day were 29 Pesos a Kilo, Grapes are at 39 pesos a kilo, Apples and pears hover at 15 pesos per kilo, and bananas have sky rocketed! Good quality ground beef is at 38 pesos a kilo, and “Good” tuna 15 pesos a can! A chicken has become a luxury and yesterday I paid 7.99 pesos for a litre of Milk.!!! Food product costs here have surpassed those in Europe and the U.S., as have just about everything else like clothes, and restaurants. When a cup of coffee has reached 16 pesos in a “nice” cafe, and 20 in some that are “nicer” its time to stay at home until you organize your stuff and leave the country permanently.
    A membership at Megatalon Gyms now cost 250 pesos per month, and is even higher at some locations. Utility bills have soared. Granted it was my summer bill, but it reached nearly 900 pesos and we were away for 6 weeks between Jan and Feb and we keep our usage to a bare minimum. My last bill went down to 667 pesos!
    I realize that the words “cheap” and “nice” are subjective, where as decent is far more expensive. Be prepared to pay a minimum of 200 pesos per person for good food in a good restaurant with good service! We stay at home, eat quality food, and pay the ridiculous prices, its a lot cheaper. My latest shock was a kilo of fresh farmed salmon at 218 pesos a kilo!!! After ten years of living here in BSAS I am leaving and the sooner the better. Hyper-inflation is just around the corner!

  14. Pablo says:

    I work in real estate, and a 27 sq. meter studio in a “so-so” building on the edge of Almagro is running 1,500 pesos a month plus the building expenses of 260 pesos! Utilities, cable, internet, phone are all extra. In this unit the 3 mg. interent and cable TV currently cost 319 pesos per month!! Highway robbery from Cablevision/fibertel with very poor service! By the way Taxis will go up a further 25% in July and be aware of the surcharges after 10PM. You will not find any “soda” in our house as a large bottle of diet coke is now approaching 11 pesos! Cigarettes are the only “cheap” thing left here in Argentina. Thank God I am a smoker and I can continue to indulge.

  15. celia says:

    To raghavendra
    Hi! I have a job offer in Argentina and I am planning to send money to my family here in USA…How difficult has become to send money? Were you sending through banks or Western Union? Thanks..

  16. Bohemiana says:

    I’m actually surprised at the prices being that high. I live in So Cal and it costs us less to eat out in both average restaurants and fine dining. Seems like the average monthly food bill is similar. Rent is lower in B.A. particularly for furnished apartments. I’m weighing a temporary (6-month) move to Madrid or B.A. from an economic standpoint, and it appears Madrid is cheaper.

  17. Diego says:

    Hey, good comments. Its actually time to update my prices, as I agree, they are now too low. Prices rise too fast!

  18. Allison says:

    I think this is a little on the low side. Basically,
    ‘best case scenario’ if you live very frugally and in a so-so apartment.

  19. Diego says:

    Which section are you referring to, my monthly budget? Or just the other prices. For the other prices I show a range, so people now how cheap they can live if they need to.
    Matt

  20. JRoD says:

    Note to readers: You can live anywhere on dirt if you want to just get by. BA by no means is cheap unless your life revolves around wine and empanadas(even the meat now is extremely expensive).

    I survived just fine in the US as a college student on Ramen Noodles, if that’s your way of living now then you’ll do just fine down in the BA on a shoestring budget.

  21. dirk says:

    Super interesting article.. it seems like prices are still going up at about the same rate as they have for the last couple of years, although if earning in dollars you don’t feel the effects quite as strongly.

  22. Vincent says:

    I really like the way you present articles on your website ! Just Keep going it’s really interresting Diego ! I’m planning to go to Buenos Aires for 18 months (work for a french company) and all I need to know is on your website ! Great job ! Cheers

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