The cost of living in France – 5 budgets to plan

cout de la vieWe invite you to find in this article, the 5 budgets to plan which determine the cost of living in France. 

Indeed, before leaving to work in France, you must have an idea of ​​the different budgets that you must plan for.

Moreover, the cost of living in France is among the highest compared to other European countries. Several services and budgets are much higher than in other countries in Europe.

Anyone wishing to settle in France will quickly earn the cost of living in order to prepare the appropriate budget. If France is recognized for its exceptional quality of life and the many opportunities offered to those who wish to settle there, several essential elements are to be known.

Indeed, you must have an overall idea of ​​the cost of living before you even leave for France. To live in France, it is desirable to have a monthly budget of 1400 and 2200 Euros to cover the costs of food, transport and accommodation etc…

Of course, this sum varies according to the place of stay and the type of residence of the worker. Moreover, to get an overall idea of ​​the cost of living in France, we will focus on the budgets that we consider essential to know:

  1. Food
  2. budget Housing
  3. budget Transport
  4. budget Health
  5. budget Leisure budget
  6. And finally, the clothing budget

So, let’s discover together more details on these different budgets!

1. Food budget

On average, the French devote nearly 400 euros per month to their food. This figure may vary depending on the city where you live and your consumption.

In general, the cost of living is significantly higher in Paris.

here is the average prices of a few basic products :

  • a baguette: 1 euro;
  • a fast food meal: 9 euros;
  • a croissant: €1.20;
  • 1 kg of pasta: 1.80 euro;
  • a coffee: 2 euros;
  • 1 liter of milk: 1.20 euro;
  • 6 eggs: €1.80;
  • a meal in a restaurant: 15 to 28 euros;
  • a bakery sandwich with a drink: 7 to 9 euros.
  • Rice (white), (1kg): €1.95.
  • Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), (1 kg): €12.79.
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle): €0.65.
  • Bananas (1kg): €2.81.
  • Potatoes: €1.94.

2. Budget Rent

Many options are available to you for housing while you work in France.

You will have the choice between accommodation in an apartment, alone or in shared accommodation, in a homestay or in independent accommodation.

Here are some examples to help you estimate your leisure budget :

  • Private apartments and shared accommodation in Paris: €800.
  • Private apartments and shared accommodation in the region: €400.
  • More details on housing prices in France.

3. Transport budget

If you live far from your place of work, your transport budget can represent a significant part of your total budget.

It is important to anticipate it well.

Here are some basic rates to help you prepare your transport budget :

  • a monthly transport pass in Paris: €51;
  • a monthly travel pass outside Paris: €40;
  • 1 liter of gasoline: 1.68 euro;
  • Taxi 1km (Normal rate): €1.58.
  • A round trip Paris-Barcelona by plane: 150 euros;
  • 1 SNCF reduction card for 18-27 year olds: 60 euros per year;
  • 1 round trip Paris-London by Eurostar: 190 to 260 euros;

4. Health budget

In France, doctors are free to apply the prices they want.

To keep control of your health budget, give preference to “sector 1 contracted” doctors who practice the tariff reimbursed almost entirely by social security.

You will pay less and you will be better reimbursed.

If you consult a doctor at the university health centre, the consultations are free.

Here are some examples of tariffs for medical consultations at the “agreed sector 1” tariff and the part reimbursed by social security:

  • Consultation with a specialist: €25 (€16.50 reimbursed);
  • consultation with a gynecologist, an ophthalmologist: €30 (€20 reimbursed);
  • consultation with a dentist: €30 (the part reimbursed depends on the treatment).

5. Leisure Budget

The price of leisure and cultural activities varies greatly.

There is something for all tastes and for all budgets.

Here are some examples to help you estimate your leisure budget:

  • 1 admission to the cinema at the rate for under 26s: between 5 and 7.50 euros;
  • 1 entry to a museum or a national monument: free for all nationals of the European Economic Area under the age of 26 or between 5 and 15 euros;
  • Entry to the swimming pool at a reduced price: between 1.50 and 3 euros;
  • 1 paperback: between 5 and 10 euros;
  • 1 theater ticket: from 10 euros;
  • A national daily: between 2 and 3 euros.
  • Fitness club: 35€ / month.

6. Clothing budget

It should be noted that the sale of contraband or imitation clothing is strictly prohibited in France. You will only find branded clothes in France and no imitations.

Here is an idea of ​​the prices:

  • Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 or Similar): 78€.
  • Summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, etc.): €33.
  • Pair of Nike running shoes (Mid-range): €93.
  • Pair of leather sports shoes for men: €172.


Thus, you must take into consideration even before your arrival in France that life is quite expensive and especially compared to African countries.