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Paris on a Shoestring

Paris on a Shoestring
The question was asked today if it's possible to survive in Paris on 1500 euros a month.
I was so surprised by the number of people who think it's not possible that I felt compelled to write this post to put forward the other side of the argument. It most definitely is possible and I, along with the large majority of students in this city, am living proof of that. 
Ok it means you're not able to afford luxury handbags and Michelin-starred dinners on a weekly basis - but hey, you're in Paris, the city of lights. There's so much this city offers which doesn't cost the earth.

As a rough budget, you would need (in euros, per month):
  • rent 600
  • utilities 100
  • transport (monthly navigo, zones 1&2) 62
  • cell phone 30
Assuming your budget is 1500, that leaves you with approximately 700 euros for food and entertainment per month, or 175 euros per week. 
If we break that down further (in euros, per week):
  • weekly food shop for staples 40
  • daily baguette 7 x 1 = 7
  • dinner out (one with a formule @ 20 euros, plus a glass of wine) = 25
  • drinks 30
That comes to approx 100, thereby leaving you with 75 euros per week still in the bank, even after one night in a restaurant and another in a bar! 
I concede it does depend on your circumstances. It helps massively if you're between 18 and 25 and from the EU because you barely ever have to pay for entry to museums and art galleries.
If you're only here in Paris for one month and you want to do everything in that time (especially if you don't fit into the 18-25 bracket) you might want to up that budget so you don't feel like you're missing out on anything. 
Equally, if you're here for over three-six months, you may want a little bit more to pay for the new season's clothes, but if you're here for that amount of time and you're employed, you'll get discounts from your employer for things like food ("ticket restos") and transport (I have my transport fully paid for by my company) and I pay less in rent than I put down on the back of the envelope calculation too. 

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