The cost of living in Paris

So, you’re considering moving over to Paris, how exciting!
One concern you may have is the cost of living in Paris.
How are you going to get by? Will your salary cover your living expenses? Will you have enough left at the end of the month to go out and make the most of this amazing city?

Let’s take a look at budgeting and the cost of living in Paris.

There are a few options when it comes to apartment rental.
You can rent a room in a shared apartment or ‘colocation’. Depending on the size of the room and location this could be between 400€ and 600€ a month.
If you prefer to live alone, the most affordable option is a chambre de bonne. This is typically a room of around 12-15mq with private shower, kitchenette and toilet (down the hall) it is going to cost you 500€ to 700€ per month.
For a ‘real apartment’ you are looking at around 900€ plus.

You can easily get a phone plan for 10€ a month but this can go up to around 20euros depending on exactly what you are after.
La Poste Mobile offers a service with unlimited calls, texts and 30Go of internet for 10€ a month.
Other popular providers include Sosh and Free.
Shop around to get the best deal for you.

Apart from walking, public transport is the easiest (and often quickest) way to get around Paris.
A monthly, unlimited travel ticket costs 75€ and covers all of Paris and the surrounding areas (like Versailles and Fontainebleau), PLUS the airports…this is called a Navigo Pass. With the Navigo you can take the metro, the RER and the bus!
If you are working in France, your employer is obligated to make a contribution towards this cost.

Single tickets – 1.90€
Weekly pass – 22.80€

You could also look into the ‘rent a bike’ option called Velib, a monthly pass is 37.50€

Bank Accounts
Most High Street banks charge you a monthly fee just for the pleasure of having an account with them.
If you don’t mind doing everything online, and not actually having a branch you can visit, I’d advise opening and online bank.
They offer the same basic services but you have no monthly they are super easy to open and set up direct from your phone!
I have used HelloBank (linked to BNP Paribas) and also Boursorama in the past and cannot fault the service.

It’s really hard to make an estimation here because it really depends on your lifestyle.
A baguette from the Boulangerie is 1€
A piece of decent cheese from the local fromagerie is approx 5€
Now I’m not saying to eat this every night, but with the selection on offer…you definitely could.
Paris also has many outdoor food markets that you can take advantage of for cheaper and often fresher food than you can get in the supermarket.

Drinks Out
The average cost of a glass of wine is 4€, a pint of beer is approx 6€ and a cocktail around 9€
Happy hour will be your best friend.
Most bars in Paris have a happy hour in the evening and offer discounted drinks. Keep an eye out in their windows to find out what time it starts!

Eating Out
Eating out in restaurants is pretty comparable to other big cities.
I tend to eat out at lunch time and take advantage of the lunch menu offered by most restaurants.
You get to pick 2 courses at a discounted, set price…usually around 15€
Or, if the weather is nice, you could always just make yourself a picnic and head on down to the banks of the Seine or to Canal Saint Martin. This is an absolute must do if you live in Paris. The atmosphere is just great.

Prices of museums and expos vary but tend to be around 15€ (give or take)
If you’re a student or under 26 there are often discounted prices!
A lot of museums are free on the 1st Sunday of the month too, if you don’t mind it being a bit crowded you can always visit on the free days!

Single tickets are 12€
If you particularly enjoy going to the cinema, or like to watch films to improve your French, you could also get an unlimited monthly pass for approx 20€

Paris is a wonderful city to live in and there is plenty to keep you entertained even if you are living on a budget.
Get googling, there are many great resources online that give more insight into the cost of living in Paris and tips on how to live on a budget.
Don’t forget to read our post on ‘a day in the life of a nanny in Paris‘ to see what could be in store for you!