How Much Money Does a Foreigner Need to Live in Uruguay in 2023?

Uruguay is a Latin American republic that will make you feel like you are in Europe! This is an actively developing and economically stable South American country that attracts a lot of foreigners looking for a jurisdiction for permanent residence and starting a business.

Cost of living in Uruguay

In 2023, Uruguay is open for relocation from nearly every country and can become a second home for European companies and a permanent place of residence for retirees. But it is important to know not only the conditions of migration to Uruguay but also the cost of living and prices.

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Cost of Living in Uruguay: Prices in 2023

According to the statistics, the cost of living in Uruguay in May 2023 has the following indicators:

  • Monthly expenses for a family of 4 — UYU 141,769 (USD 3,604)
  • Monthly expenses per one person — UYU 60,553 (USD 1,540)
  • The cost of living in Uruguay takes third place in Latin America (No. 3 out of 16)
  • The cost of living in Uruguay is more expensive than in 63% of the countries (No. 29 out of 75).

It is important to understand that the salary in the country is not high at all (especially by the amount of required costs). In 2023, the minimum labor remuneration threshold in Uruguay was raised by 9% and came to 540 US dollars (21,106 Uruguayan pesos). And the average salary in the country hardly reaches USD 1,000.

If you want to know how much money you should have for comfortable living in Uruguay upon relocation from your current country of residence, please take a look at the prices in the country current as of the first quarter of 2023 (general indicators across cities).

What Other Countries Are Good for Quick and Affordable Relocation?

In addition to the Republic of Uruguay, there are some other countries where you can get a residence permit or obtain the right to permanent residence at an affordable cost. The shortlist includes:

  • Serbia that is very friendly to foreigners and offers a residence permit in return for buying housing at any price. 
  • Turkey, a maritime state that gives a warm welcome to foreigners. Today you can get a residence permit and Turkish citizenship by investing at least 60,000 US dollars in real estate.
  • The UAE. This is a quiet splendid country where you can live and work, carry out your business activities without paying taxes, and also invest in luxurious apartments and receive a residence permit from the Arab Emirates in return.
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Prices in Uruguay’s Restaurants

A lunch in a low-price restaurant will cost about $15 per person, and a three-course dinner for two in an average restaurant (by service quality) will amount to around $52.

Price of separate products in Uruguay’s cafes and restaurants:

  • McDonald’s menu (or an equivalent combined menu) – $10.42
  • Local beer (0.5-liter glass or a pint) – $3.73
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle) – $3.86
  • Cappuccino – $3.89
  • Coca-Cola/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle) – $2.10
  • Drinking water (0.33-liter bottle) – $1.65

Reference: in Uruguay, you can freely exchange dollars for pesos and withdraw currency (dollars) at ATMs. However, most local establishments prefer settlements in the local currency.

Product Prices in Uruguay’s Shops and Markets

Meat, cereal, and fruit prices in Uruguay’s local markets differ from those set by shops. You can buy food products at a lower price on the market, but it is better to check their quality.

Of course, you can cook your own meals instead of going to cafes and restaurants. It will help you save on expenses and choose what to cook for lunch or dinner.

Prices of popular products in Uruguay on the markets in spring-summer, 2023:

  • milk (1 liter) – $1.09
  • a loaf of white bread (500 g) – $2.52
  • white rice (1 kg) – $1.53
  • eggs (12 pcs.) – $3.73
  • local cheese (1 kg) – $11.62
  • chicken fillet (1 kg) – $9.74
  • a piece of veal (1 kg) – $11.09
  • apples (1 kg) – $2
  • bananas (1 kg) – $2.51
  • oranges (1 kg) – $1.41
  • tomatoes (1 kg) – $2.85
  • potatoes (1 kg) – $1.72
  • onions (1 kg) – $1.83
  • lettuce (1 pcs.) – $1.20
  • water (1.5 l) – $1.56
  • a bottle of cheap wine – $7.72
  • local beer (0.5 liters) – $2.20
  • imported beer (0.33 liters) – $2.95
  • 20 packs of cigarettes (Marlboro) – $4.89

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Transportation Costs in Uruguay

The transportation costs after relocation to Uruguay depend on the foreign immigrant’s place of residence and financial capabilities. Someone prefers driving a car, which means that you should buy one. 

The approximate cost of a car in Uruguay:

  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 ,90 kW (latest model or an equivalent new car) costs about 42,000 dollars.
  • Toyota Corolla sedan, 1.6 l, 97 kW Comfort (or an equivalent new car) costs about 40,000 dollars in a car salon.

However, vehicle owners in Uruguay (especially foreigners) should take into account petrol prices in the country that have gone up (like everywhere). However, the cost is still affordable and amounts to $1.99–2.00 per liter.

Other transportation costs in Uruguay:

  • One-way ticket (local transport) – $1.23
  • Monthly combination ticket – $47
  • Taxi price per 1 km is about $1.7, and one hour of waiting will cost about $12

Reference: you can use your driver’s license in Uruguay. However, you will have to replace it with a local one after you receive the right to permanent residence/citizenship.

Cost of Utilities in Uruguay

It would be useful to know utility rates in Uruguay as you are unlikely to reduce them:

  • General utility payments (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for a 85 m² apartment cost $140 a month.
  • Mobile communication (1 minute) costs about $0.21
  • Internet (speed from 60 Mbit/s) costs $39.50

Montevideo is the most expensive city in Latin America. The prices in the capital are not as low as in other parts of the country, but it has everything for comfortable and luxurious life on the Atlantic coast (La Plata River Bay).

Cost of Children’s Education in Uruguay

Parents that relocate to the Latin American country along with their children start looking for affordable establishments to educate their children. Here are the average prices for kindergartens and schools in Uruguay in 2023:

  • Preschool private establishment (nursery school) – the monthly fee per one child is $353.
  • International primary school (an academic year for one child) – $6,650

Cost of Renting and Buying Real Estate in Uruguay

Here is the average rent in Uruguay:

  • Rent of a 1-room apartment in the city center – $560 a month.
  • Rent of a 1-room apartment uptown is about $450.
  • If you have a family of two or more, you can rent a three-bedroom apartment at a price of almost $1000 in the center and about $850 at the outskirts.

And if you want to buy real estate in Uruguay, the prices are quite affordable as compared to those in Europe and the world’s largest megalopolises. For example, the price per one square meter of living space in the center of Uruguay’s towns and cities is on average $2,580. If you look at the country’s regions located far from the center, you can buy housing here at about $1,900 per square meter.

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Cost of Living in Uruguay: Summary

And finally on the dark side. You will hear a lot of people say that life in Uruguay is expensive though the prices are not very high. Why is it?

The main problem is the salary and the local labor market where there are not so may vacancies (especially for immigrants). The minimum and average salary in the country is quite high for Latin America, but it is still low for many foreigners.

If we compare the level of expenses by country with possible income, the cost of living may be high and average:

  • The minimum salary in Uruguay in 2023 is 540 US dollars (21,106 Uruguayan pesos). The average salary in Uruguay in 2023 is USD 975.
  • The minimum income of a foreign retiree that decided to get a residence permit or obtain the right to permanent residence in Uruguay is 1,500 US dollars. This amount is sufficient for comfortable living in the country.
  • The monthly income received by a rentier with passive sources of income abroad cannot be lower than USD 1,500, and you will also have to receive at least 500 USD a month per each additional family member. Thus, the cost of living in Uruguay will not be expensive for wealthy investors, rentiers, or retirees.

If we compare the prices with other countries, the cost of living in Uruguay is lower than in Europe. 

Foreigners, especially those that have a passive source of income abroad, will be pleased with their life in Uruguay thanks to accessible prices and comfortable conditions. Entrepreneurs, highly-qualified specialists, and investors will also feel good in Uruguay from a financial point of view. 

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