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Uruguay – A land filled with milk and honey, but you need a lot of money

Uruguay is a peaceful country with lots of fresh food and water. You can find a bounty of in and out of season fruits and vegetables. Avocados, lemons, oranges, melons, apples and a lot more. Uruguay has a diverse variety of crops that grown, this includes table and stone fruit varieties. Uruguay produces their own wine, grows blueberries and ships them all over the world.

At the farmers market you can find a variety of local garden produce. Friends of ours made some excellent fresh herbed goat cheese. Water is in great abundance here! With the rainfall in Uruguay, most farms do not use irrigation.

Uruguay may sound like paradise – Uruguay has its drawbacks.

Cost of living in Uruguay

The cost of living in Uruguay is very high in terms of wages earned in Uruguay and actual living costs. The monthly expenses are much like the United States. Punta del Este (a high-end beach city) would be compared to the Hamptons.

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The average, unskilled worker – much like a fast food worker is paid $500 to $1,000 pesos/day. This translates to $22 to $43 US dollars, depending where you are living. Throughout most states in Uruguay, the housing prices may be reasonable, however the cost of electricity is very high.

Example of highest to the lowest costs for Uruguay.

1. Electricity
2. Transportation
2. Rent
3. Food
4. Private health care
5. Phone and internet

Sales tax is included in the price

If you want to purchase clothing or items such as furniture you will be paying United States pricing. They will give discounts, but nothing like Black Friday discounts. Since you have to make a very high dollar amount before you have to file your taxes, Uruguay has a sort of flat 22% tax that is included in services and products.

The price what you see for furniture or clothing already includes the sales tax.

High Tariff

What makes Uruguay one of the expensive places for materialism is that they have a high tariff at this time for importing. The tariff is not the same across the board for all items. Electronics however have a whopping 60% tariff and farm equipment have no tariff. The highest I have seen for the tariff is 60% and regresses from there.

Transportation is costly

Uruguay has a very reasonable, I would even say cheap transportation infrastructure. You can take a bus from Montevideo to Paysandu (4 1/2 hours away) for around $25 US dollars. The buses have very comfortable seats, with a movie playing on a flat screen TV, WiFi, a/c and no chickens riding with you. Taxis are a little pricier, but still very reasonable in my opinion.

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Owning a vehicle is very pricey. A vehicle you would take to the junk yard costs $3,000. You can pick up an older vehicle, no air conditioner, manual roll windows, stick shift for no less than $5,000.

Gas runs around $6.25 per gallon.

In conclusion – if you want to come to Uruguay, you have to have a specialized skill (example: farming specialist, mechanic, information technology, construction experience) or come with sack of money to start your own business or have a revenue source from the United States. If you are educated as an accountant or nurse – you will have to go back to school to learn Spanish terminologies.

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