Cost of Living in South Africa
November 18, 2009 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Is USD$1,800/month enough to live comfortably in South Africa?

Sorry for the anonymous question, I do not want people connecting my name with this post.

I am relocating to South Africa for 18 months to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine of writing a novel. I have enough savings in the bank to spend $1,800 per month on living expenses while in South Africa, probably Cape Town.

Is USD$1,800/month enough to live comfortably in South Africa?
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Its a good amount. I lived in South Africa on around $560 (CAD) per month.

Food is very cheap, lodging varies a lot, and things like electronics/cds/books are expensive. Taxis (of the non-minbus variety) are very expensive, and flights are cheap.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:23 AM on November 18, 2009

Oh yes, phone calls are a terribly expensive and interest rates are much higher than in North America.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2009

Yes, $1800 should be plenty to quite comfortably given the exchange rate and generally lower cost of living.

If you are thinking of Cape Town, may I suggest Clifton and Camp's Bay? Beautiful area near great beaches.
posted by fenriq at 11:42 AM on November 18, 2009

Remember that it will take you a few months at best to sell the novel, and that most novel advances are around $10,000 US, of which you usually get half on signing and half when you turn in the final, edited manuscript.

Just in case you weren't planning to go back to the day job right after you finished the book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's what a good friend of mine, currently living in Cape Town, has to say -

"Is $1800/ month in addition to some estimate of flights/ moving/ set up costs? Even if it's not (that is, if you have $1800*18 total), you can probably live for 18 months but it may be a bit tighter.

Living is fairly cheap. A room in a shared apartment can be R1600-R3500/ month (check at least in the City Bowl. I think rent can be significantly cheaper in the communal houses of Observatory and surroundings. Food is fairly cheap; you can eat out for R60-70 fairly easily and R30-R40 for cheaper places/ fast foodish sort of fare. A friend estimated he lives on about R9000 a month total, but my estimate for a recent month was closer to R12000 (though that includes some residual set-up costs, I think). I live fairly comfortably on that. My definition of comfortable doesn't mean eating out every night or going out to drink every night, but I'm certainly not skimping either. Internet is expensive, as are electronics and name-brand clothing (bought at retail at least). I'd also count on everything getting more expensive around the time of the World Cup.

As far as set-up costs, flights from the States are fairly expensive, depending on time of year, but I'm assuming you've seen that already. It's a fairly car-dependent society and I'd budget at least R25000-R35000 for an okay used car. Auto insurance is also fairly expensive. Many rooms aren't furnished even if the rest of the apartment is, so you'll probably need to get a bed, sheets, pillows, curtains (at least my room didn't come with them), and possibly a dresser or whatever else you like to have in your room.

Good luck."
posted by god hates math at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2009

« Older All my dreams are coming true!   |   GamerTag Activity RSS Feed Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.