August 18, 2011

The Cost of Living in France - Part 3

Assiette de Fromages

I get a lot of comments and blog traffic on the subject, but never realized just how difficult it is to find information about the cost of living in France until I did a bit of Googling today.

So I've decided to update my cost of living in France posts. Obviously I can only offer personal experience, but hopefully it will help any of you dreaming of or already planning a move to France.


So, what does it cost to live in a small village in rural France?

A few things to consider before you read the breakdown of costs:  our house has about 1000 square feet and has no garden or outdoor space, which affects the price of water, electricity and taxe d'habitation. Our village has a population of about 420 and is in the Hérault, another important factor, as each French département has a different tax rate.
Also, we own our house and car outright, thus we pay no mortgage or rent, have no car payments and also have no credit card debt.

EDF (electricity) €105
Phone and Internet €50
Heath Insurance (to cover the 30% that isn't covered by the state) €145
Car and Home Insurances €70
Taxes (habitation and foncières and TV) €70
Water €25
Fuel (to fill up the car twice) €120
Groceries (approx.) €420

Total €1005

That equals $1450 at today's rate of 1€=$1.44. When I wrote the first post, 1€ was equal to $1.48, and in the second installment, 1€ was equal to $1.24.

Since moving to la belle France, we've learned the art of living well on a small income.
We're surrounded by delicious local food, cheese and AOC wine. We eat a lot of vegetables, eat meat sparingly and other than the occasional pizza from the pizza van or a poulet rôti, I cook all of our meals from scratch.
We eat out maybe once a month and "going out on the town" means spending the evening having dinner with friends, either at our house or theirs.


How does our situation compare to the cost of living in a French city, the obvious example being Paris?
Of course, costs are higher in a city vs. the country, and even though I have a rough idea of what it would cost, we've never lived in Paris (even though we almost did). So I decided to ask a few Parisian friends for their input.
Here are a few links that they shared:

Anne of Prêt à Voyager
Shannon of Je Ne Sais Quoi
Emma of liberté, égalité, crème brûlée!
La Canadienne of Pain au Chocolat

If you've written about the cost of living in Paris and would like to share it, please do!

Previous cost of living in France posts:
Part One
Part Two Pin It
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