If you’re thinking of locating to Paraguay, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask yourself is: how much will it cost to live here?
Well, we’re here to tell you!
In the following article, we’ll give a full breakdown of what your living expenses might look like here in Paraguay.
But first, an important note.
Cost of living assessments tend to be controversial. Whatever number you throw out, you’ll always have people claiming they live on less money, and others claiming they need much more.
So, a quick disclaimer!
The following breakdown is based on basic living expenses for a single male or female (ie, one person). In other words, take the follow as a bare minimum amount to live in Paraguay.
If you’re married or have a family, you can adjust these numbers accordingly.
Here we go!
How Much Will it Cost to Live in Paraguay: The Short Answer
We’re not ones to bury the lead.
If you’re planning to live in Paraguay, we recommend having a minimum of $1000 USD/month at your disposal.
With this amount, you can live a reasonably comfortable life anywhere in the country.
Again, keep in mind that this is the minimum we recommend to cover living expenses. In other words, this does not account for eating out at fancier restaurants several times a week, taking multiple taxi rides each day, or overindulging in the nightlife scene!
However, it should be enough to cover the rent, utilities, groceries while allowing for the occasional splurge, like a few nights out with friends or a weekend trip to another city.
Let’s dive a bit deeper.
How Much Will it Cost to Rent a House or Apartment in Paraguay?
Far and away your biggest expense here in Paraguay will be your rent (buying a house is a topic for another post, so we’ll stick with rent here).
How much will that cost?
It depends. As you might expect, renting in larger cities like Asuncion or Ciudad del Este will be more expense than smaller cities like Capiatá or Concepción.
Most expats are interested in Asuncion, so we’ll base our figure off of renting in Asuncion.
For a one or two bedroom apartment in a middle-class area of Asuncion, you can expect to pay around $280 USD – $420 USD/month.
We won’t bog you down with a breakdown of Asuncion’s many barrios (we’ll save that for another post!), but rest assured that$280 USD – $420 USD a month will allow you to rent in a safe, middle class neighborhood here.
Something basic, but nice.
Here’s an example of a furnished, one-bedroom in a nice area of Asuncion that goes for around $400 USD/month (expenses included).
If you choose to live in one of Paraguay’s smaller cities, you should be able to get something of similar quality for around $300 USD/month or less.
How Much do Groceries Cost in Paraguay?
Another big expense is going to be food.
How much can you expect to pay for supermarket necessities?
Some good news here!
Food costs in Paraguay are very reasonable. As a cattle ranching country, you can get high quality meat at a relatively low price.
Fruits and vegetables are also reasonable.
- Bananas: $1.10 USD/kg
- Potatoes: $1.15 USD/kg
- Apples: $1.85 USD/kg
- Onions: $1.00 USD/kg
- Tomatoes: $1.70 USD/kg
A few other common items.
- Milk: $1.15/liter
- Cheese: $2.15/200 grams
- Bread: $1.50 for a bagged loaf
- Rice: $1.00/kg
- Eggs: $1.50/dozen
- Coffee: $5.50 USD/425 grams
- Cheap Argentine Wine: $5.70/bottle
If you’re OK sticking with a basic diet of standard meats, fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy, you can eat cheaply here.
As you might expect, if you buy products that are made in the United States or Europe (some of which are available here too!) expect to pay even more than you would at home.
Feasible, one could get by here on about $50/USD per week in food costs. Keep in mind this is a minimum! If you’re a high-activity person, or like to eat out at restaurants, you’ll need to bump this number up somewhat.
But yes, $200/month on food is doable here!
Other Living Costs in Paraguay
We know that most don’t live like hermits, on shelter and clothing alone! With that in mind, here are some things you’ll have to set aside money for.
Buses and Taxis
Bus: 0.50c per one-way trip
Taxi: $2.00-10.00 USD (a taxi within the Asuncion city limits should never cost more than $10.00)
Cell phone data
1G of data for one month: $4.00 USD
One month: $20-$40 USD at most gyms
One month: about $30 USD
A lunch meal at a cheap restaurant can be around $3.00 USD
Cost of Living in Paraguay: Final Thoughts
As you can see, Paraguay is an affordable destination. Even the capital of Asuncion is not going to be too hard on your wallet.
Let’s do a potential breakdown of the living expenses for a single person here.
- Rent: $400
- Groceries: $250
- Entertainment (nightlife, taxis, restaurants, cinema, internet etc): $200
- Misc (all other purchases, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene, etc): $150
Again, keep in mind this is a tight budget. As soon as you add a casual weekend trip + hotel, or a couple nice dinners at an expensive restaurant, you’re likely to sail over a $1000 budget.
Now, let’s address a common complaint with cost of living breakdowns.
It goes something like this:
“$1000/month!? That can’t be right, the average local salary is lower than that!”
While this may be true, you must understand that you will not be able to live life as cheaply as a local.
For one, a large family will live in a small house or apartment (that one of them may own), so their rent cost will be lower than yours.
It’s also safe to assume that their diet will differ from yours. For instance, if you didn’t grow up eating yuca – one of the cheapest and most plentiful vegetables available here – it’s unlikely you’ll develop a taste for it.
Furthermore, having lived here their whole lives, locals may have connections you won’t (at least at first). They may know a farmer or a baker or restaurant owner and be more privy to lower prices than someone who shops exclusively at a chain supermarket.
Perhaps most importantly is that many locals simply accept a lower standard of living that what you may be willing to tolerate. For example, there are still plenty of homes here without modern comforts many of us see as necessary (internet, washing machines or a 4 burner stove, for example).
With that out of the way, we stand by our assessment of needed $1000 USD/month, minimum, to live here in Paraguay.
And that’s about it!
I hope we’ve clarified some things.
Any questions or comments?
Leave them below!