How much you spend on living costs in France each month will depend on your own lifestyle and where you plan to take up residence. Opting for the high life in Paris is likely to make larger holes in any budget than modest tranquility in a quiet corner of France, such as the Charentes or the Auvergne.
Tips To Reduce your Expenses
- Your weekly food costs will depend on whether you shop at an out-of-town supermarket chain such as Carrefour or at a local grocer, which will be more expensive. Stores in most towns are small, quirky, and individual—not dedicated to one-stop shopping. If you want a baguette, you go to the boulangerie. You buy cigarettes from the Tabac, meat from the Boucherie, chocolate from the confisserie.
- If you’re renting an apartment, you will have to pay for the maintenance of the building and other facilities. The charge covers such things as staircase cleaning, concierge charges, elevator repair, water, etc. The more luxurious the residence, the more you’ll pay. These charges are often included in the rental price as “charges compris.” If it’s not, it’ll appear as a separate item as “charges.” The average cost in Paris for monthly maintenance charges is €25 ($29.75) per square meter per year (€2.32 [$2.76] per square foot).
- Utility costs will also depend on the size of your property, as well as the climate. For most couples living in a typical village house outside of the coldest alpine regions, gas and electricity costs are likely to be in the region of $50 per month in spring and summer, and around $100 monthly in winter. With respect to phone, internet, and basic cable TV, you can usually get a “package deal” that drives the cost even lower—sometimes as low as €60 ($68) a month (or less) for all three…including calls to the U.S. and UK.
Cost of Living in France: Sample Monthly Budget
To give you an idea of how much you might spend in a month, here are the costs of running an apartment for two people:
|Rent||$800 to $1,200|
|Groceries (incl. wine)||$600|
|Landline rental fee (excluding call costs)||$21|
|Gas for heating/stove||$59|
|Transportation (car maintenance plus diesel/petrol)||$175|
|Cellphone plan (excl. phone handset itself)||$20|
|Regular purchases of coffee/croissants/baguettes||$80|
|Ticket for the movies||$19|
|Health insurance top-up (hospital-only plan)||$29|
|Lunch for two with wine five times a month||$200|
|Monthly Total||$2,083 to $2,483|
Published By, Shubham Sharma