I understood that living in Santiago was not going to be cheap. Chile is not a low rent country, and Santiago is a city larger than Los Angeles. However, I’m taken aback by the high cost of living in Santiago, especially when incomes for average residents are so low. It gives some perspective into the large disparity between the haves and the have-nots in the metropolitan region.
As far as our expenses, our monthly rent is several thousand dollars per month. Gas for the car is as expensive or more expensive than in the States. Our grocery bills are consistent with expenses back home, with a mixed back of some item prices being astonishingly high while others astonishingly low. Restaurants tend to be a little cheaper than in the U.S., but not by much. One of the additions adding to high bills is a 19% sales tax charged on goods and services. 19% is a lot, twice what is paid in the US on such transactions. For residents, this would be on top of any annual income taxes paid.
While I certainly don’t claim to know the accurate or intimate details of the socioeconomic landscape in Chile, I’ve realized anecdotally there are millions within the city of Santiago who cannot afford to live here. I better perceive the economic imbalance causing underlying tension and social unrest in the population, the reasons cited in past riots and demonstrations.