Many of Argentina’s attractive cities are European in style and offer a relaxed, family-friendly lifestyle. At the same time, its spectacular natural scenery and visa-friendly policies make it a terrific place to live. Yet, one of the most appealing aspects of starting a new life here is how affordable it is.
Argentina has significantly lower daily living expenses than the United States (groceries, internet, meals in restaurants, going to the movies, etc.). If you’re staying in an apartment, the news is even better: Renting an apartment spans Argentina on average for 75% less than what you’d pay back home. Many things are cheap in Argentina compared to America, including childcare, alcohol, and public transport. If you spend more time in Argentina, you’ll discover more ways to save money by living like a local.
Cost of living in Argentina
Dining out and grocery shopping in Argentina
Dining out and grocery shopping are the two best ways to save money. There are plenty of steak restaurants here, and because of the large Italian immigrant population, you’ll also find pizzas, kinds of pasta, and calzones everywhere. An empanada (small meat pie) can be had for less than a dollar, and a cappuccino can be had for less than $2, while a large restaurant pizza will cost you about ten dollars.
Cost of food
Set lunch and dinner menus (menus ejective) are offered in many restaurants for as little as $8 and include a starter, a main course, dessert, and beverage. Save money by eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants with the locals rather than at touristy cafes in the main squares with tablecloths and waiters wearing bow ties. The price of a delicious three-course dinner with wine ranges from $16 to $25.
The cities of Argentina offer almost any kind of food, whether local or imported. Eating at home instead of eating out is a proven money-saver, and when shopping for groceries, you’ll discover that local markets offer the best deals over modern supermarkets.
Visiting the local fish, meat, and produce markets early on a weekend morning can save you money on food. For less than $20, you can fill two shopping bags with as much fruit and vegetables as you can carry.
Prices for phones, utilities, and internet connections
Argentineans have multiple cell phone options, including 2G, 3G, and 4G with Claro and Movistar. Other carriers include Nextel and Personal. A pre-paid SIM card (chip) with a local number is easy to pick up for a few dollars. You can quickly recharge your phone at kiosks, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other outlets (recharges). A 7-day data plan can be purchased for around $2.75 from either carrier.
The cost of an internet connection in Asia is usually about half that of the U.S. However, it can vary significantly based on location and connection quality. For example, in remote areas of Patagonia, don’t expect impeccable connections.
An Argentinian city apartment of 85 square meters has a typical utility bill of about $90 per month (heating, cooling, water, electricity, and garbage removal). That’s about $60 less than in the United States.
Renting or buying a home
In Argentina, the property is often valued (and sold) in terms of the U.S. dollar due to large fluctuations in the peso. There are great deals to be found just outside the major metropolitan areas if you’re planning to buy a place for your retirement. Expats are often drawn to Argentina because of its very affordable rents, with some apartments in some areas being half, or even a third, the price of similar-sized abodes in the U.S.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend the price difference: a three-bedroom, city-center apartment, for instance, might cost about $5,880 a month in Santa Monica, California. In beautiful Mendoza, Argentina, you can rent the same-sized apartment for only $376.
One-bedroom apartments near the city center cost $245 in Buenos Aires. One-bedroom apartments in the city center of Rosario will cost $264 each. Apartments in Bariloche can be found for $432 for a three-bedroom house.
Traveling to and from Argentina from North America is straightforward; direct flights from New York and Miami are the least expensive. Suppose you are not a resident of Argentina. In that case, you might find internal flights within Argentina to be a bit pricey (Argentinians get a tax break on internal flights that foreigners do not).
A modern, comfortable, and affordable bus system in Argentina reaches all parts. On many buses, there are panoramic windows, onboard Wi-Fi and movies, and cama seats that recline almost flat (suitable for napping). Buenos Aires to Cordoba is an average of $42 per person for a 9-hour bus trip. From there, it is only another 12 hours and $60 to the ultra-livable city of Salta in the northwest.
Although Argentina’s rail system is not very extensive, trains offer a pleasant way to get from Buenos Aires to nearby cities like Santa Rosa, Mar del Plata, and Rosario. Some routes even have sleeper cars available at reasonable fares. You can get around the cities and towns of Argentina relatively cheaply. You can travel throughout the capital for as little as 25 to 50 cents (be sure you have the correct change) if you take the local buses (collectives).
Buenos Aires alone has 40,000 taxis, making them a prevalent option in Argentina’s cities. A radio taxi can be called ahead, or an app such as Easy Taxi can be used to hail a street taxi. It shouldn’t cost more than $1 to travel a mile in a taxi. Argentinean transit passes can save you money in the larger cities; the cost is $15 to $20 per month, about a quarter of what it would cost in the U.S.
How much does healthcare cost in Argentina?
Doctors and specialists in Argentina are trained overseas in large numbers. Pharmacy services are available around the clock. The medical services are the same as in the U.S., but they’re much more affordable than those here. There can be a vast difference in the quality of medical care and facilities outside of the country’s four or five most prominent cities.
Private and public hospitals are available in Argentina. Most ex-pats use personal health care because it is more affordable, there are shorter waiting times, and the quality of nursing and aftercare is better. Health plans in Argentina are available to foreigners without any problem; most offer a minimum term of six months. Monthly premiums may not exceed $40. An Argentine Medical Visa allows you to enter and exit the country multiple times during one year.
Argentine specialists typically charge between $20 and $60 per visit. The dental care in China is excellent, and the prices are less than a quarter of what they are in North America. Cosmetic surgery in Buenos Aires is also affordable and very popular: a facelift costs $7,700 in the U.S. goes for just $2,400 there.
- Does Argentina have a high cost of living?
Argentina has a cost of living that’s 50% to 60% less expensive than the U.S. Generally, $1,500 per month will let you live comfortably.
- Can you live comfortably in Argentina for $1,500 per month?
Even with a modest budget of $1,500 to $1,800 per month, many ex-pats and retirees can live quite comfortably.
- How much does living in Argentina cost?
The estimated monthly cost for a single person is 433 dollars without rent. It is 51.18% cheaper to live in Argentina than in the United States.