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Currency and Cost of Living

Argentina - Currency and Cost of Living


The Argentine currency is the Peso and the local symbol for it is the same as the US Dollar sign ($). This can cause confusion so when US Dollars are referred to, the letters ‘US’ are included. The Peso is divided into 100 centavos.

Inhabitants of Argentina currently enjoy a fairly low cost of living in comparison to other countries. There are provisions for foreigners who buy goods to claim refunds on purchase tax and many tourists visit Buenos Aires for shopping, as prices are so low.

Recent improvements in the economy have seen inflation rise slightly and further rises are possible, though Buenos Aires is still one of the cheapest capital cities in the world for living costs and its European influences mean that it offers more of a western-style culture than most places with a similar standard of living.

It is estimated that a family of four can be fed each month for around $388 (the equivalent of 130 US dollars) and that other basic living costs, such as education costs and clothes can average out at around $760 (the equivalent of 260 US dollars) each month, though it should be remembered that the average salary is much lower in Argentina than it would be in the US or Western Europe.

The cost of renting accommodation is also very inexpensive compared with the US or Europe. Average apartment rentals are in the region of 400 – 800 pesos each month. The essentials for daily life can be purchased easily in the capital or other big towns, though those living more remotely may find that shopping for bigger household items requires a bit of travelling.

In Buenos Aires the bigger stores and supermarkets will generally be open from 10 am to 10 pm. Many smaller shops will close at around 8 pm during the week, and will close at lunchtime on a Saturday and remain closed until Monday morning. Small kiosks and convenience stores may remain open on a 24 hour basis.

When purchasing goods and services, consumers are protected by certain laws in Argentina. Suppliers are obliged to provide clear information on the product or service being purchased, and is not permitted to charge for that information. Any information including in advertising campaigns on a product or service is deemed to be part of the contract with the consumer, obliging the supplier to ensure all statements are correct. Goods which require a warranty now must have a minimum six month guarantee. Expats are protected by these laws too, as suppliers are not permitted to treat native Argentines and foreigners differently.


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