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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in George 2024
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Cost of Living in George

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in George helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Category Cost
Apartment Rental (1 bedroom in City Centre) Approximately R5,000 - R7,000 per month
Apartment Rental (1 bedroom Outside of Centre) Approximately R3,500 - R5,000 per month
Apartment Purchase Price (City Centre) Approximately R10,000 - R15,000 per square meter
Apartment Purchase Price (Outside of Centre) Approximately R7,000 - R10,000 per square meter
Transportation (Monthly Pass) Approximately R500 - R700
Transportation (Gasoline, 1 liter) Approximately R16 - R18
Groceries (Milk, 1 liter) Approximately R15 - R20
Groceries (Bread, 500g) Approximately R12 - R15
Groceries (Rice, 1kg) Approximately R20 - R25
Groceries (Chicken Breasts, 1kg) Approximately R70 - R80
Restaurants (Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course) Approximately R300 - R500
Restaurants (Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter draught) Approximately R25 - R35
Utilities (Basic Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage for 85m2 Apartment) Approximately R1,000 - R1,500 per month
Private School Tuition (Preschool or Kindergarten, Full Day, Private) Approximately R2,500 - R4,000 per month
Private School Tuition (Elementary School, Private) Approximately R3,000 - R5,000 per month
Private School Tuition (Middle School, Private) Approximately R4,000 - R6,000 per month
Private School Tuition (High School, Private) Approximately R5,000 - R7,000 per month
Please note that these are average costs and actual costs may vary based on specific locations, quality, and other factors. The currency used is South African Rand (R).

Monthly Budget for Retirees in George

"The cost of living in George is considered to be relatively affordable compared to other major cities in the country. Housing is quite reasonable, with options ranging from apartments to standalone houses. The cost of utilities such as electricity, water, and internet is also fairly low. Groceries and dining out in George are also affordable. Local markets offer fresh produce at lower prices, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant is reasonably priced. Transportation costs are also low, especially if you use public transportation. However, owning and maintaining a car can be more expensive due to fuel costs. Healthcare in George is of good quality and is less expensive than in larger cities. Both public and private healthcare options are available. Overall, the cost of living in George is lower than in cities like Cape Town or Johannesburg, making it an attractive option for those looking for a more affordable lifestyle in South Africa," said one expat living in George.

Can I live in George on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in George for a few years now and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but it does require some careful budgeting and lifestyle adjustments. The cost of living here is relatively low compared to many other places, but it's not exactly cheap either. For instance, rent for a decent one-bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood like Heatherlands or Kingswood Golf Estate can run you about $400 to $500 a month. If you're looking to save, you might want to consider more affordable neighborhoods like Pacaltsdorp or Blanco where you can find places for around $200 to $300 a month. Groceries can be quite affordable if you shop at local markets and avoid imported goods. I spend about $200 a month on groceries. Eating out can be a bit pricey, especially in touristy areas, so I try to cook at home most of the time. Utilities including electricity, water, and internet cost me around $100 a month. Transportation is another area where you can save. Public transportation is quite affordable, and many places are within walking or biking distance. If you choose to have a car, petrol costs can add up, so it's something to consider. Healthcare is relatively affordable here, especially if you qualify for public healthcare. However, I opted for private health insurance which costs me about $100 a month for peace of mind. As for entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy. The Outeniqua Mountains offer great hiking trails, and the beaches are free to access. However, if you're into golf or other high-end leisure activities, those can be quite expensive. In terms of sacrifices, you might have to give up certain luxuries like eating out frequently, having a large apartment in a prime location, or owning a car. But in return, you get to live in a beautiful city with a relaxed lifestyle, stunning natural scenery, and a rich cultural heritage. One thing to note is that while $1,500 a month is doable, it doesn't leave much room for savings or unexpected expenses. So, it's important to have some sort of emergency fund or backup plan. Overall, living in George on $1,500 a month requires some adjustments and sacrifices, but it's definitely possible and can be quite enjoyable if you're willing to adapt," commented an expat living in George.

Can I live in George on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in George for a few years now and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but it does require some careful budgeting and lifestyle adjustments. George is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, but it's also one of the more expensive cities in the Garden Route region. The cost of living here is lower than in major cities like Cape Town or Johannesburg, but it's still higher than in many other parts of the country. The biggest expense is housing. If you want to live in a modern, upscale neighborhood like Kingswood Golf Estate or Fancourt, you're looking at rents of around $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. These areas are beautiful and offer a lot of amenities, but they're not the most budget-friendly. On the other hand, more affordable neighborhoods like Denneoord or Dormehlsdrift offer rents around $500 a month for a similar apartment. These areas are still safe and pleasant, but they're a bit further from the city center and don't have the same level of amenities. Food is another significant expense. Eating out at restaurants can be quite pricey, especially in the touristy areas. However, groceries are relatively affordable, especially if you shop at local markets and avoid imported goods. I spend around $300 a month on groceries for two people, and we eat a healthy, varied diet. Transportation costs can also add up, especially if you're used to having a car. Public transportation in George is limited, so most people rely on cars. Gas is more expensive here than in the US, and car maintenance costs can also be high. However, George is a small city and it's quite bike-friendly, so if you're willing to cycle, you can save a lot on transportation. Other expenses like utilities, internet, and healthcare are relatively affordable. For example, I pay around $50 a month for high-speed internet and around $100 a month for utilities. Healthcare is also much cheaper here than in the US, even if you opt for private healthcare. In terms of lifestyle adjustments, you might have to give up some of the conveniences you're used to. For example, online shopping is not as prevalent here, and you might not find all the brands and products you're used to. However, George has a good selection of shops and you can find most things you need. Overall, living in George on $3,000 a month is definitely doable, but it requires some adjustments. You'll need to be mindful of your spending, especially on housing and transportation, and be willing to live a bit more simply. But in return, you get to live in a beautiful city with a great quality of life," said one expat living in George.

Can I live in George on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in George for a few years now and I can tell you that living on $5,000 a month is not only possible, but you can live quite comfortably. The cost of living here is significantly lower than in many other parts of the world. For instance, you can rent a nice 3-bedroom house in a good neighborhood for around $700 to $1,000 a month. The utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, would cost you around $200 a month. Groceries for a month would be around $300. So, you're looking at basic living expenses of around $1,500 a month. This leaves you with plenty of money for other expenses like eating out, entertainment, travel, and savings. In terms of neighborhoods, I would recommend looking at places like Heatherlands, Kingswood Golf Estate, or Fancourt. These are nice, safe neighborhoods with good amenities. Heatherlands is a bit more affordable, while Kingswood Golf Estate and Fancourt are a bit more upscale. On the other hand, I would avoid neighborhoods like Thembalethu or Pacaltsdorp. While they are not necessarily bad neighborhoods, they are a bit more crowded and less secure than the ones I mentioned earlier. In terms of sacrifices, I wouldn't say there are many. You might have to get used to the slower pace of life here compared to a big city. Also, while George has all the basic amenities you would need, it doesn't have the same variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options as a big city. But if you're someone who enjoys nature and a quieter lifestyle, you'll love it here. The beautiful Outeniqua Mountains and the stunning Garden Route are right on your doorstep. So, in my experience, living in George, South Africa on $5,000 a month is not only doable, but you can live quite comfortably. You just need to choose your neighborhood wisely and be prepared for a slower, more relaxed pace of life," commented an expat living in George.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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