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France – Cost of Living

France is a country located in Western Europe known for its rich history, culture, and beautiful landmarks. If you are considering moving to or living in France, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost of living. In this article, we will explore the local currency in France, compare the cost of living in France to the cost of living in the UK and the USA, break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in various categories, and explain the most common forms of payment in France.

Local Currency in France

The local currency in France is the Euro (EUR). It has been the official currency since 2002, when France joined the Eurozone. The exchange rate of the Euro to other currencies, such as the US Dollar (USD) and the British Pound (GBP), can fluctuate daily, but as of February 27, 2023, 1 EUR is equivalent to approximately 1.17 USD and 0.84 GBP.

Cost of Living in France Compared to the UK and the USA

The cost of living in France is generally lower than the cost of living in the UK and the USA. According to data from Numbeo, a crowd-sourced database on the cost of living worldwide, the cost of living index in Paris, the capital city of France, is 79.17, which is lower than London, UK, with a cost of living index of 80.87, and New York City, USA, with a cost of living index of 100.00. However, it is important to note that the cost of living can vary greatly depending on the region, the lifestyle, and the individual preferences.

Breakdown Costs in France

To give a more detailed overview of the cost of living in France, we will break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in various categories.

Housing

The cost of housing in France can vary greatly depending on the location and the type of accommodation. In Paris, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 1,500 EUR, while outside of the city center, it can be as low as 1,000 EUR. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around 3,000 EUR per month, and outside of the city center, it can be around 2,000 EUR per month. For couples and families, the cost of housing can increase accordingly.


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Food

The cost of food in France is generally lower than in the UK and the USA. A basic meal at a local restaurant can cost around 15 EUR, while a fast food meal can cost around 8 EUR. The average cost of groceries for a single person per month is around 200 EUR, while for a family of 4, it can be around 500 EUR.

Utilities

The cost of utilities in France can vary depending on the region and the usage. The average monthly cost for basic utilities, such as electricity, heating, water, and garbage, for a small apartment in Paris is around 150 EUR. Internet can cost around 30 EUR per month, and a mobile phone plan with unlimited data can cost around 20 EUR per month.

Leisure

The cost of leisure in France can vary depending on the individual preferences. For example, a cinema ticket can cost around 12 EUR, while a fitness club membership can cost around 40 EUR per month. A cultural event, such as a concert or a theater performance, can cost around 50 EUR per ticket.

Transport

The cost of transport in France is generally affordable, with a variety of options available. A single ticket for public transportation in Paris costs 1.90 EUR, while a monthly pass costs around 75 EUR. Taxis can be quite expensive, with a starting fee of around 2.60 EUR and a kilometer rate of around 1.50 EUR. However, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Bolt are available and can be more affordable.

Clothing

The cost of clothing in France can vary depending on the brand and quality. The average cost of a pair of jeans is around 80 EUR, while a dress can cost around 50 EUR. Basic shoes can cost around 70 EUR, and sneakers can cost around 100 EUR.

Household Goods

The cost of household goods in France can vary depending on the brand and quality. The average cost of a liter of milk is around 0.90 EUR, while a loaf of bread can cost around 1 EUR. Basic toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, and soap can cost around 2-3 EUR each.

Forms of Payment in France

The most common forms of payment in France are cash and card. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most places, including shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Contactless payment is also very common, with many stores and restaurants offering it as an option. It is important to note that some small businesses, such as market stalls and street vendors, may only accept cash.

Mobile payment apps such as Lydia, Pumpkin, and Paylib are also gaining popularity in France. These apps allow users to pay for purchases and transfer money through their mobile devices. Bank transfer is another popular payment method, often used for paying bills, rent, and other larger expenses.

In conclusion, the cost of living in France is generally lower than in the UK and the USA, but can vary greatly depending on the region and the individual preferences. The most common forms of payment in France are cash and card, with mobile payment apps also gaining popularity. By considering these factors and planning accordingly, individuals and families can make informed decisions about the cost of living in France.


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