São Paulo: One of the South American most expensive cities
São Paulo is the Brazilian economic, financial and cultural capital. It surely impresses anyone who arrives without knowing anything: the cost of living can surprise either on the upside or on the downside.
The Numbeo site that compares the price level on the main cities of the world confirms that São Paulo remains one of the most expensive city in Latin America.
The prices of consumption goods, restaurants, transports and other public services remain expensive relatively to the quality. However, the price of property goods are very accessible in São Paulo, as for renting as for buying, if we compare to other metropoles in the world.
To find a homestay in São Paulo
Housing in São Paulo has still a significant price but remains quite affordable. As an exemple to rent an appartment with bedroom and living room in a central and dynamic district, you will have to pay around R$ 1,500 per month. The same price will be asked for an appartment in a further zone, which is residential and safe.
If you are willing to own your appartment, the price of the meter square in residential districts of South and West zones is around 2,800 euros, against 10,000 euros in Paris.
Considering monthly fees (electricity, gaz, water and other expenditures called « condominium », they are around 160 euros per month).
Naturally cosmopolitan you will find all kinds of food in São Paulo. Going out to the restaurant is a real tradition for Brazilian people, who love to meet there with their friends. Moreover it is often hard to come back home at noon in São Paulo; the lunch break is often out of home.
A normal dish takes place in a sandwicherie, called lanchonete, and will cost between 6 and 10 euros, in average, per person. For instance, a salgado in a lanchonete will cost around R$ 3. For a dinner in a good restaurant, with starter, main dish and dessert, you will have to pay 40 euros.
For food and everyday life expenses, plan a monthly budget of around 170 euros.
The price of transportation in São Paulo
Traffic is THE big problem for Paulistanos (people of São Paulo city). According to the period of the day you will move from one place to another, it is quite usual to stay couple hours in the car to move only a few kilometers.
The metro is thus a nice option. Furthermore its infrastructures are reliable and modern, even if the lines are not well expanded. Buses are well developed but, once gain, take care of the traffic…
The unit price for a way in 2017 is R$ 3.80. It is interesting to think about taking the bus card, called Bilhete Unico, free if you credit it of R$ 15 when asking for it. Indeed, thanks to this card, you will be allowed to take until four different buses in a three-hour interval, for the price of only one trip. For this expense post, we advise to plan R$ 200 per month.
Finally, if you decide to buy a car, you will have to pay at least 10,000 euros for a occasion car like Ford Ka or Fiat Uno. You can also rent a car for a short period or for the week-end for cheap.
The cost of health care in Brazil
Health expenses vary a lot depending on your status :
If you are an employee or student having the right to refund from the French Social Security (expatriate, International Volunteering in Company): you will normally benefit from social care given by the company. Before you leave, it is nevertheless recommended to plan a medical visit and a visit to your dentist, because the difference between public and private sectors in Brazil is huge.
If you are an employee from a Brazilian company (local contract): it will be possible for you to subscribe to a health care plan, with conditions varying according to the company and its size.
This expense is estimated to 100 euros each month. It is essential to take into account that the quality of public health care in Brazil can reserve bad surprises, and that private care is excessively expensive. For example a 30-minute appointment at a generalist doctor will cost you R$200.
The high cost of life in São Paulo will astonish those who are not familiar with this evolving country. For a single person and for a standard quality of life, we advise you to plan a monthly budget of 700 euros (renting, charges, Internet and cellphone, food, transport, health insurance). It is also important to take into account the high variations of price linked to inflation, which are an everyday reality.