cost of living in Paris

Old Jan 19th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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lsr
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cost of living in Paris

How much should my college age child expect to spend to live in Paris for two months over the summer. Just looking for estimates on food and expenses of daily living not travel or housing. Thanks
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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The same as she would spend in a major city living in the U.S.

If travel and housing are not in the equasion, and her lifestyle is similar, I believe budgeting the same as for two months living on her own in any major city will give you a fair ballpark estimate.
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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I agree with Suze, except for the fact that the temptations will raise the cost in the end.
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Sure, but 'shopping' can happen anywhere not just Paris.


If you have a reasonable allowance to start out with, you can make it work by simply adjusting (up or down) daily choices.
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 12:09 PM
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I agree with that, also. We have no idea what kind of places your child likes to eat, whether they will want to eat out a lot or cook in, how much they drink, whether they are thrify or a spendthrift, etc. I was always very frugal my whole life, even in college (probably because I paid for most things myself and was working since age 14), but I know lots of kids who are not and run up debts, blow money on all kinds of ridiculous things, etc.

So who really knows, and we have no idea about the living arrangements and whether they are in an official French university program or something where they can get subsidized dining, etc. But assuming no, you could live on 20 euro a day if you wanted, but you wouldn't be doing much. But you wouldn't starve.
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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I am from western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio and now live in Paris over 6 months of the year. I will give you some present day examples of everyday purchases and you can determine how the cost of living compares with your area in the USA.

The first figure is the cost in euros and the second figure is what it would cost in US dollars based on today's rate of $1.32 for a euro.

McDonald's Big Mac combo/6.60 euros or $8.71

(McDonald prices vary slightly by location so I use the average)

6 pack of Coke at super market/2.30 euros or $3.04 (upwards of 1.50 euro single can at smaller store)

a one scoop ice cream cone or two small scoops/3.00 euros or $3.96

a loaf of fresh bread at the bakery/1.90 euros or $2.51

a metro pass (Navigo) for one week/ 16.80 euros or $22.18

a haircut for a man/23.00 euros or $30.36

a haircut for a woman/ 30.00 euros or $39.60

movie ticket/ 7.00 euros or $9.24

Prices are not much different in small town France. I spend much time in the French Alps, Riviera, Normandy, Bretagne, Alsace, Provence,soutwest, etc.

Keep in mind that the U.S. dollar is pretty strong right now at $1.32 to the euro; a few months ago it was over $1.55 to buy a euro. You can't depend on the dollar's current strength to last.

Larry J
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Old Jan 19th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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We just returned from Paris on Sat. and I have some receipts, so I can give you some idea of food prices. We stayed in an apt. and bought groceries at a supermarket (Monoprix) as well as neighborhood shops: (all prices are in euros)

1 liter oj - 2.57
box of 10 eggs - 1.63
500g oatmeal - 1.75
chunk of gruyere - 5.14
250g coffee - 2.60
butter 2.65
large tub of yogurt - 3.37
1 red pepper .79
1 small zucchini -.67
375g granola - 1.99
3 bananas - .96

Hot chocolate at cafes ranged from about 2.5 - 3 euros. Sandwiches to take away were anywhere from 3-5 euros. A casual meal in a cafe can be had for around 10 euros. Falaffel to take away is 5-7 euros.

We bought metro tickets 10 at a time (carnet) for 11.40 euros.

Sticking to a strict budget would be difficult, I think, because there are so many shops of food and clothing that are so appealing. Your son/daughter should have enough money for impulse purchases, and regular stops at cafes with friends! Not to mention admission to museums, if he/she will be doing that. For example, the Pompidou Center as 12 euros, but I'm sure there is a student discount. Also, consider concert tickets. My 21 year old daughter went to hear a band that she likes, and paid 40 euros for the ticket.

I read in a guide book about some kind of inexpensive meal program for students in Paris, but I didn't pay attention.

Hope this is helpful. I find my thoughts are somewhat disjointed, as I'm still getting over jet lag!

If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.
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Old Jan 20th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Some of the prices that I have just seen above can vary by more than 50% depending on the neighborhood -- not to mention the season, when one is talking about fruits and vegetables.

I pay 0.85€ for my bread and 17.00€ for a haircut, for example. When I take my mother to get her hair done, it costs 19.00€.

Movie tickets, on the other hand, cost 6.90€ before noon but 10.50€ afterwards for people not eligible for discounts, so I am not sure where Larry is going to the movies.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 07:57 AM
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As usual anything one says on this forum will be argued no matter how carefully and accurate the information given.

As for the price of bread I buy a loaf of bread and not a "baguette" or "flute"; usually at the bakery department of Monoprix stores where the price for "cereal or complet" is generally 1.90 euros. If you want a "flute" or "baguette" you may find it for one euro or less but then you will get much less bread and usually less quality.

As I said before the prices I quote are average and it is true prices can vary by location so I use the average. I stick by my average price of 23 euros for a man's haircut and 30 euros for a woman. I too have seen haircuts for less than 20 euros but I would rather pay for and get quality. I have also seen women's haircuts for 35-45 euros.

Movies can vary considerably thus I use the average prices. Since there is much competition in this field between the major theatre owners of Gaumont, UGC and Pathe. 7.00 euros is about the average price. I often go to the Gaumont at Opera where the price is 5.00 euros if the second person in your party holds a monthly cinema pass. Thus you have a low of 5.00 euros and a high of about 9.00 euros or an average of roughly 7.00 euros as I stated. The other theatre owners also offer discounts for certain films, certain times of showings etc.

My purpose is to offer helpful information to anyone asking for it and not to use this forum as a place to argue and nitpick but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do this and those needing help will suffer from it since those with knowledge will hesitate to get involved.

To the original poster I hope you will find some value in the information offered here.

Larry J


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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 02:58 AM
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Especially the price of a Big Mac combo. That's really important to know in Paris.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 03:29 AM
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For a college student who will spend a longer time in Paris than the average tourist, I find it important to know that prices for food, restaurants, bars, etc. can vary a lot in Paris.

Other cities may have the same average, but a less wide range of actual prices.

A student will probably be more willing to "travel" a bit to cheaper neighborhoods or stores than the tourist for a haircut or clothes. Or forego cute little markets for a trip with a friend who has a car to a major Auchan or Carrefour in the suburbs to economize on groceries and stock up supplies for a week.

Here is a link to the current specials of Auchan, to give you a very rough idea what price ranges for groceries are possible.
http://tinyurl.com/cosg8x

Keep in mind that any neighborhood grocery store in Paris proper usually will have higher prices.
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