How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Brazil?

Brazil is a beautiful country, with great people, amazing food and paradisiac places. However, to live here and enjoy the great things that the country has to offer, you’ll need some money. It brings up the question: how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil?

As a general rule, to live comfortably in Brazil a couple will need a monthly income of about 1221 USD. For a family of four, the necessary salary per month to live a comfortable life in Brazil is around 1741 USD. These values can vary depending on which region of the country you are in.

These values can vary depending on the city that you choose to live in, but as you’re about to see in the results of our research, at current trading rates, 1221 USD is enough money to live a comfortable life in Brazil as a couple, or 1741 USD for a family of four.

This number is not the same for every city, that’s why we have considered the monthly costs of 5 different Brazilian cities in our research. Also, we assumed three different lifestyles: a single person, a couple, and a family of four.

This way you can have a better picture of how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil.

The Cities Used for The Estimate Cost

Brazil is a country with continental dimensions and more than five thousand cities. That’s a lot, different realities and monthly costs.

However, people that are intending to live in Brazil are usually looking for the same things: safety, different life experiences, a new job, contact with nature, or even retire in a place where your money (currency) has more value more getting a better life quality.

In either case, in Brazil, you can find all of this. If you’re thinking about moving here and will still be able to keep your income in a strong currency, such as the Dollar or Euro, this can be the best decision of your lifetime!

If not, well, then you need to dive deep into this post and see if these costs of life make sense for your reality.

Comfortable Is Not Luxurious

To keep your expectations aligned with reality, It’s important to notice that a comfortable life is different than a luxurious life. By comfortable, this research means living well in a place that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

I have tried the find the perfect balance between comfort, quality of life, and average income.

For example, if you’re single you absolutely don’t need a waterfront penthouse with 7 bedrooms to have a comfortable life. In another way, you have to be crazy to assume that a family of 4 will live in a studio and consider it comfortable.

In the research, my North was common sense. I’ve studied a lot and picked up what I think is a pretty standard monthly cost for each lifestyle to have a comfortable life around here.

In that sense, I’ve personally picked-up 5 different cities in Brazil, from 5 different states for you to be able to have a better idea of how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil.

São Paulo

São Paulo is the most populous city in Brazil. The biggest financial center in Latin America, the city is a common destination for a lot of people trying to make their careers in a metropolitan center.

How Much Money do You Need To Live Comfortably in Brazil?

The city is gigantic with all the problems that large population centers are used to. But the biggest city in Brazil is not made only of problems. It’s the quite opposite.

São Paulo is a vibrating city with the best restaurants in Brazil, a lot of cultural destinations, art, and great people trying to make it over there.

Nevertheless, São Paulo is also the most expensive city in Brazil.

Population12,3 million
Average Wage829 USD
HDI0,783 (High)

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most famous Brazilian city is the second-most-expensive place to live in Brazil. Rio is a true paradise on the East Coast of Brazil by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The city is full of culture, excellent food, and entertainment options. However, in the past years, the problems with safety have grown fast and this is a big concern for a lot of people.

Population6,74 million
Average Wage810 USD
HDI0,796 (High)


Have you ever wondered What is The Best City to Live in Brazil?

According to the 2020 ranking developed by “Macroplan”, the best city to live in Brazil is Maringá, a city located in the state of Paraná.

To be honest, for me, this ranking is absolutely right. I’ve been to this city a couple of times and you can feel the great energy of the place. Hundreds of parks and diners, a well-functioning system of transports, great schools and universities. All of this surrounded by the beautiful fauna of the region, because Maringá is one the most wooded cities in Brazil.

Located in the South Region of Brazil where the HDI levels are usually higher than in the rest of the country, Maringá is perfect for those looking for a beautiful, calm, and affordable place to live.

Average Wage648 USD
HDI0,808 (Very High)


Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of the country. The city is full of history, culture, gastronomy, and beautiful beaches.

How Much Money do You Need To Live Comfortably in Brazil?

However, that city has been suffering and escalade of violence in the past years. Even so, it’s important for the research to consider the cost of living in a big city in the Northeast region of Brazil.

Population1,64 million
Average Wage578 USD
HDI0,772 (High)


Oh, Florianopólis… one of my favorite places on earth!

This city is over an island and is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina. With more than 100 hundred beaches on its shore, the city is a paradise in the South Region of Brazil.

This city is perfect for those of you that want to live in a big city (a capital), with beautiful beaches and natural beauty, but still wanna be living in a safer place than Rio, for example.

Average Wage926 USD
HDI0,847 (Very High)

Now that you have a better context of the cities involved in the research, let’s dive deep into the numbers and see exactly how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil.

Costs of a Comfortable Life in São Paulo

To get to these numbers for the city of São Paulo, I’ve considered the different realities of each lifestyle. For singles and couples, I’ve included more options of entertainment and nightlife. For families, important things like health care and school for the kids were considered.

Those are the final numbers of How Much Money do You Need to Live a Comfortable Life in São Paulo:

SingleU$ 963R$ 5568
Couple with no KidsU$ 1383R$ 7823
Family of FourU$ 2046R$ 11829

Costs of a Comfortable Life in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the second-most-expensive city in Brazil. This is expected. With so many options of recreation, fun, and night-life, It’s hard to imagine living there and not enjoying what the city has to offer.

Even so, these impacts directly on the costs. Singles and couples with no kids usually expend a lot more money in bars and night-life and don’t need to worry that much about safety. Families with kids use to worry a lot more about safety, which means they have to select with more criteria their neighborhoods and very often buy a car.

Considering the individuality of each lifestyle, those are the final numbers of How Much It Costs for You to Live in Rio de Janeiro:

SingleU$ 890R$ 5146
Couple with no KidsU$ 1317R$ 7506
Family of FourU$ 1919R$ 11094

Costs of a Comfortable Life in Maringá

“Maringá” is a small city in the state of “Paraná”, in the south region of Brazil, and was elected the best city to live in Brazil in 2020.

Living in a city like Maringá is a great option for those that are not so worried about visiting hot tourist spots and beaches, but still want to have a great life considering different lifestyles (singles, couples, and families). The city has excellent options to offer to each one of these ways of life!

With an HDI of 0,808, considered very high, the city of Maringá has a lot to offer with a cost of life way better than Rio and São Paulo:

SingleU$ 546R$ 3160
Couple with no KidsU$ 890R$ 5073
Family of FourU$ 1419R$ 8208

Costs of a Comfortable Life in Recife

“Recife” is the capital of the state of “Pernambuco”, in the Northeast of the country. A city that is full of history, culture, gastronomy, and beautiful beaches.

As Recife is a city a seaside town widely visited by tourists, there’s a lot of options of street-food, little tents selling souvenirs, bars, restaurants, entertainment, and recreation.

As always, It all comes with a cost: living in Recife is cheaper than São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but way more dangerous and expensive than a lower city like Maringá.

The safety of the city for tourists is good overall, but living there can be very dangerous depending on the places that you go.

This table gives you a good idea of how much money do you need to live in Recife:

SingleU$ 709R$ 4102
Couple with no KidsU$ 1115R$ 6536
Family of FourU$ 1654R$ 9566

Costs of a Comfortable Life in Florianópolis

I live in the state of “Paraná” in a city that is not as good as Maringá” (located in the same state) but still an excellent place.

Even so, my favorite city on the list is “Florianópolis”. The capital of the state of “Santa Catarina”, this city is located in a region of Brazil that is safer than places like Rio or Recife and the HDI levels are way higher than the country average.

More than that: Floripa (how the city is called by intimates) is a real paradise. An Island with more the 100 beaches that could easily be your computer landscape.

The cost of living in this city is not the cheapest on the list, but it’s better than São Paulo, Rio, and Recife. With better life quality and more security.

Let’s check out how much money do you need to live comfortably in “Florianópolis”:

SingleU$ 696R$ 4025
Couple with no KidsU$ 1108R$ 6315
Family of FourU$ 1669R$ 9650

It’s Hard to Make This Kind of Money in Brazil

Depending on where you live, in the US for example, you’re probably thinking that you don’t need much to live a comfortable life in Brazil (and you’re right if you can move to Brazil and still keep your source of income in a developed country).

It’s no secret that moving to a less developed country and keeping your income in a strong currency is one of the best ways to improve life quality.

Some may say “how can I have a better life quality in a less developed country”? Well, the answer is simple: sometimes, a person that is considered poor in a “first-world” country, can live like a rich in another place.

How Much is a Good Salary in Brazil?

Let’s get the example of Brazil one more time. The New York Minimum Wage is $2166 and with this kind of money over there you’ll have hard times. But with the exact same amount of money in Brazil, considering the current trading rate (0,18 USD for 1 BRL), you would end up making R$ 12220. That’s a lot in Brazil. I mean, a lot!

With this salary, you would be making more money than 99% of the Brazilian population. You did not read it wrong. The same salary that makes nothing in NYC, puts you between the 1% elite in Brazil.

As a general rule, an income of 1000 USD can be considered as a good salary in Brazil. To live comfortably as a couple, you’ll need a little bit more, about 1221 USD. To afford a comfortable (not luxury) lifestyle for a family of four, you’ll need 1741 USD.

If you have a different salary and want to compare it with the Brazilian reality, just convert it to Brazilian Real (BRL) and paste it on this website. It will return you an infographic of your salary compared to the rest of the country.

The Numbers Used For This Research

Now it’s time to send some shoutouts and provide more credibility to the research “How Much Money do You Need to Live Comfortably in Brazil?”.

The first shout-out goes to Expastistan, one of the best websites to check the costs of living in different places around the planet. If you’re curious about how much money do you need to live in a specific, check it over their site.

I’ve used their statistics to find the average monthly cost of living in each one of the cities described in the post.

All the numbers of the population, HDI, and average wages in the cities mentioned in this article comes from the official website of IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).

Last but not least, the BRL/USD trading rate that I’ve used for the calculations was the one from March 31, 2021 (0,18 USD for 1 BRL). This is important to have more context of the value of your money in Brazil. Always check it before traveling or moving to any country.

Final Considerations

Guys, this one took a lot of time and effort, but I’m very happy with the final product article. I hope you have enjoyed the content and have learned exactly how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil. I love my country and It’s so nice being able to share my experiences with you.

If you liked it and believe that it can help a friend of yours, please, share this post with him. It helps me a lot. Also, don’t forget that I always read all the comments here. So feel free to leave me a message 🙂

PS: There’s a lot more great content on my website. Just click here and you’ll see.

Thanks a lot and I see you next time.


What’s up! I’m André, a Brazilian born and bred living in the South of Brazil in a little city called Guarapuava. I’m passionate about traveling and knowing different cultures and that’s why I love to share useful information about the Food, Travel, Facts, and Culture of my beloved country, Brazil.

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