Brian Armstrong

Total Expenses Living in Buenos Aires Last Month: $1,018

I just finished doing my financial statements for last month, and was pretty happy when I noticed that it only cost a total of $1,018 USD for me to live and work in Buenos Aires last month!  That’s really cheap, certainly much cheaper than living in the U.S.

This proves the point I wrote about a while back, which is that it really isn’t that expensive to travel the world if you do it right.

How can you afford to travel the world? It’s not that expensive. Most people think of world travel like a vacation – and that’s not the right way to think about it.

Vacations are expensive because you still have all your expenses back home (mortgage/rent, car payment, gym, cell phone, etc) to make in ADDITION to the new expenses you just rang up (plane ticket, hotels, etc). It’s basically like living in two cities at once.

But I’m not taking a VACATION to South America – I’m actually MOVING there. This means I will not be paying any living expenses in the U.S., I will be selling my car, and will be canceling or putting on hold all other expenses (phone, gym, etc).

I won’t be staying in hotels there or paying tourist prices. I will be renting an apartment (probably month to month). The plane ticket to get there isn’t cheap (about $1,000) but once there most travel around South America can be done on buses or trains (or even short plane trips city to city) very inexpensively.

So what did I actually spend my money on?  Here’s the breakdown…

Monthly Expenses Living In Buenos Aires June 2009

  • $450 - renting this room

  • $88 - my health insurance from the U.S.

  • $480 - everything else (cash expenses) mostly food

Normally I’d break down expenses further by looking at credit card statements, but people don’t really use credit cards much in Buenos Aires so I don’t have a good record of it.  I pay for everything with cash so it’s all lumped into that $480.  Probably most of it is food and drinks though.

For that amount you can live pretty nicely here…I think I ate out for dinner almost every night in June (might have cooked dinner at home once) and my room is in probably the nicest neighborhood in Buenos Aires.  But on the other hand, it’s not like I had a penthouse with a private pool or did any lavish shopping or anything like that (although those are pretty reasonably priced too).

So anyway, if you have a business that let’s you be mobile while working, “moving” to Buenos Aires can be a great way to save some money and have an adventure in the process.