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The Cost of Living – The USA vs Portugal

The cost of living in Portugal is significantly lower than in the United States. On average, the cost of living in Portugal is 39.2% lower, and rent is 54.2% lower than in the United States. A couple can live comfortably on $2,500 to $3,000 per month outside of major cities in Portugal. In comparison, the average monthly cost of living in the United States ranges from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on location and lifestyle.

Cost of Living

Housing is the largest expense in both countries. In Portugal, rents for a two-bedroom furnished home in the interior can start as low as $450, while in Lisbon, a furnished one-bedroom apartment close to amenities and public transport may be found for under $1,000. In the United States, housing costs vary greatly depending on the state and city, but the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center is around $1,200.

 

Utilities also differ between the two countries. The monthly cost of utilities in Portugal varies by the size of the dwelling and the number of people living in the space, but the combined cost of electricity, gas, water services, and internet packages generally ranges from $31 to $38. In the United States, the average cost of utilities for a 915 sq ft apartment is $186.22, and the average cost of internet is $70.10.

 

The Cost of Insurance

In the United States, the average cost of health insurance varies depending on the type of plan. For a 30-year-old individual, the average monthly costs are $436 for an exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan, $390 for a health maintenance organization (HMO), and $458 for a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. For a family of four with a married couple aged 40 and two children, the average monthly costs are $1,275 for a Bronze plan, $1,673 for a Silver plan, and $1,837 for a Gold plan.

 

In Portugal, private health insurance prices range from hundreds to thousands of euros per month, with an average of €400. Private insurance in Portugal is generally quite affordable, with costs ranging between €20 and €50 per month, depending on factors such as age and the extent of coverage. Public healthcare in Portugal is mostly free, with some fees for certain services.

 

Comparing the two countries, health insurance costs in the United States are generally higher than those in Portugal. However, it is important to note that the healthcare systems and insurance options in each country differ significantly, so a direct comparison may not fully capture the nuances of each system.

Porto City

Porto City

The Cost of Electricity, Water and High-Speed Internet

In Portugal, the average monthly cost of electricity, water, and high-speed internet access varies depending on factors such as location and usage.

  • For electricity, the average cost for a household of two people is about $0.21 per kWh.
  • According to Numbeo, the average cost of electricity, gas, and water in Portugal is $118.08 per month for an apartment of 85 square meters.
  • For internet access, packages start from around $35 per month.

In the United States, the average residential electricity rate is about 23 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). However, this rate can vary widely depending on the state, ranging from 10.35 ¢/kWh in Idaho to 28.38 ¢/kWh in California.

  • The average U.S. family of four pays $73 for water in a month, based on each person using the national average of 100 gallons per day.
  • For high-speed internet access, the average cost in the U.S. is $59.99 per month.

To convert currencies, you can use the exchange rate. Here are some examples:

  • If you want to convert 1,500 euros to USD, you can multiply 1,500 by 1.146 to get $1,719.
  • If you want to buy an item from America that costs $120 and you know that £1 = $1.30, you can divide $120 by 1.30 to get £92.31. Then, if you want to convert pounds to dollars, you can multiply £92.31 by 1.30 to get $120.
  • If you want to buy a souvenir in Spain that costs €35 and you know that £1 = €1.15, you can divide €35 by 1.15 to get £30.43. Then, if you want to convert pounds to dollars, you can multiply £30.43 by 1.30 to get $39.56.

It is important to note that exchange rates can fluctuate and may not always be accurate due to conversion spreads.

Food Costs

The following would be considered middle of the road prices. The prices are higher in city areas (New York, Chicago, LA, etc.)

Groceries (Average):

  • Loaf of white bread: Portugal – $1.57 vs. USA – $1.34
  • 1 kg of apples: Portugal – $2.21 vs. USA – $1.52
  • 1 kg of potatoes: Portugal – $1.46 vs. USA – $0.99
  • 1 liter of milk: Portugal – $0.87 vs. USA – $0.8
  • 1 kg of cheese: Portugal – $11.97 vs. USA – $9.33
  • 1 kg of beef: Portugal – $10.66 vs. USA – $8.83

Eating out (Average):

  • A meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: Portugal – $44.88 vs. USA – $43
  • Fast food meal (e.g., McDonald’s): Portugal – $8.98 vs. USA – $9.90
  • A bottle of beer from a known brand: Portugal – $2.24 vs. USA – $3.30
  • A cup of espresso: Portugal – less than $1.12 vs. USA – $2-$3

Please note that these are average prices and can vary depending on the location and specific items. Overall, the cost of food in Portugal is lower than in the United States, making it more affordable for groceries and dining out.

Owning a Car (Gas, Maintenance, and Insurance) – Portugal vs the USA

car-man

Here is the information on the cost of buying and maintaining a car (maintenance, gas, insurance, etc.) in Portugal vs the USA, with the conversion of euros to dollars in each example:

In Portugal, the cost of owning a car is relatively high. According to a FINN Auto study, Portugal is the fourth most expensive country in the world to own a car, being only cheaper than Mexico[5]. Here are some examples of the costs associated with owning a car in Portugal:

– The price of a new Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or equivalent new car) is $24,023[1].

– The monthly transportation pass costs around $41.45[3].

– Gasoline costs around $6.28 per gallon[2].

– Car insurance prices vary depending on factors such as age, driving history, and the type of car. Private car insurance plans in Portugal cost around €10-15 per month ($11.60-$17.40) [6].

 

In the United States, the cost of owning a car varies depending on factors such as location, type of car, and usage. Here are some examples of the costs associated with owning a car in the US:

– The average cost of a new car is around $40,000[1].

– Gasoline costs around $3.18 per gallon on average.

– Car insurance prices vary depending on factors such as age, driving history, and the type of car. The average cost of car insurance in the US is around $1,674 per year.

– Maintenance costs can vary widely depending on the type of car and the age of the vehicle.

 

Overall, the cost of owning a car is generally higher in Portugal than in the United States. However, it is important to note that these costs can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, type of car, and usage.

 

Summing it up, the cost of living in Portugal is considerably lower than in the United States, making it an attractive destination for expats and retirees seeking a more affordable lifestyle. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as location, lifestyle, and personal preferences when comparing living costs between the two countries.

Choosing an International Moving Company for Your Move

As SDC International Shipping, we are a great choice for your international moving company when moving to Portugal for several reasons:

International Moving Company

  1. Experience and Expertise: We specialize in international overseas moving and shipments of household goods, cars, and more[1]. Our extensive experience in handling the logistics of moving goods between countries ensures a smooth relocation process.
  1. Professional Packing Services: We offer professional packing services to ensure that your belongings are packed securely and efficiently for the move. Alternatively, you can pack your items yourself and save on ground transport costs by delivering your shipment to one of our warehouses in California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Georgia, or Florida.
  1. Positive Customer Reviews: We have received positive reviews from customers who have used our services, praising our friendly and professional staff, hassle-free moves, and effective communication. This indicates that we have a track record of providing excellent service.
  1. Customized Services: We take the time to understand our clients’ needs, helping to reduce or eliminate surprise charges and potential troubles. We offer various levels of service, such as door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-door, and port-to-port, as well as air freight options.
  1. Logistics and Support: We provide logistical support throughout the moving process, ensuring that your belongings are transported safely and efficiently to your new home in Portugal.

 

Contact us today for more information.

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