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France - Cost of Living
When eating out a meal at a fairly basic restaurant could cost you around €12 per person and a three course meal for two at an averagely priced restaurant could cost around €50. These prices are fairly similar to those in the UK, as are the costs of having a meal at a fast food restaurant. The cost of beer is fairly high, with a 0.5 litre of draught beer costing in the region of €4.50. Branded soft drinks cost around €2.25 for a 330ml can or bottle which is also more expensive than in the UK and the US, although these prices are much reduced if you purchase them yourself in the supermarket.
The cost of many grocery items is on a par with those in the UK and the US. A loaf of bread costs around €1.20 and a litre of fresh milk is €1. The cost of purchasing a wine of reasonable quality is around €5. The cost of public transport is also very similar to the costs in the UK and the US with a monthly ticket available for an average of €45 and a 5km taxi ride in a city setting you back in the region of €17. The cost of purchasing petrol or diesel changes frequently but prices are similar to those in the UK.
Utility costs in France are fairly reasonable. It is estimated that the average home will pay around €110 per month although those with larger families can pay up to €200 per month. The cost of using a phone line and internet can be €30 or more each month, which is on a par with the UK, but as in the UK there are deals to be had and shopping around can be cost effective.
The cost of leisure pursuits in France can be more expensive. The average cost for gym membership is in the region of €55 each month and to go to the cinema is almost €9 per ticket, both of which are more expensive than the UK. Shopping for clothes is very similar to UK costs with branded sports shoes at an average of €75 per pair and a lady’s summer dress at an average of €33 at a high street store.
Property rental in France is similar to that in the UK, with the possible exception of Paris, which is a very expensive city in which to rent property. A small apartment in other city centres is rented at around €600 per month, while a similar property outside the city centre would be less than €500 per month. Large city centre apartments are available at an average cost of €1500 per month, while a similar sized apartment in the suburbs would be close to the €1000 price range. In France the cost of an apartment to buy is usually based on the square meter size of the apartment and this varies wildly from region to region. These prices are considered to be cheaper than those in the US though, particularly in the cities.
There are some aspects of life in France which are much cheaper than in the UK. While many people pay a local ‘council tax’ in the UK which runs to many hundreds of pounds, local taxes in France are much cheaper and usually include the cost of a television license, which is a separate charge in the UK. The cost of education and child care is much cheaper than in many other countries as these are subsided by the French government. Health care is something that needs to be paid for but is reimbursed by the government.
On the other hand, those with assets of property and valuables will be charged wealth tax in France, a levy which does not exist in the UK.
It is also worth noting that the minimum wage in France is slightly higher than in the UK, although the amount you are allowed to earn before you need to begin paying taxes is less than the UK equivalent.
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