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Guide to Living and Teaching English in Brazil

June 25, 2013

Cost of living

It would be a mistake to make a simple assumption that prices in Brazil will be cheaper across the board than in North America or Europe. Indeed due mainly to high taxes some items will be more expensive and some "optional" expenses (such as private health issuance) may not turn out to be quite necessary.

First of all, the local currency is the Real. Over the last 4 years it has fluctuated in the range of 0.4-0.6 US Dollars. At the time of writing (July 2013) the Brazilian Real is about 0.45 US Dollars.

The cost of living in Brazil obviously varies widely between the big cities and rural areas. For a single person living in a medium-sized city, a decent standard of living would cost about R$2500 per month, including private health insurance and use of public transport. The cost would be about double that amount for a couple with a car. For a family of four, again with a car and assuming the children go to private school, the average would be around R$8000.

The cost of living in one of the major cities such as Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro is considerably higher, particularly for "ex-pat" expenses such as international school fees and socializing every night of the week.

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