You have to first note that the Hungarian Forint isn't exactly the highest in the world. As it stands now, the exchange rate of 1 Euro to 1 Hungarian Forint is 362.49 Ft. So this means what may seem incredibly expensive in Hungary isn't all that much in other countries. Most especially if you got a good job that pays well here! Case in point: renting in Budapest. The common price range for a one-bedroom flat in this city is from 140,000.00 Ft to 200,000.00 Ft. In Hungarian Forint, yes, that seems a lot. But in Euros, that's only €386.06 to €551.52. Compared to the rental fees in other European capitals, these ones are a steal!
Buying your own property in Budapest is another story. Sure, because of the massive difference in the exchange rate, it may seem like getting to own an actual home in the city isn't so expensive. But you have to remember that the price for one is often determined by the square meter and a comfortable home will have several of that. A typical one-bedroom apartment will commonly have 50 square meters. The common median price for a home in any Budapest neighborhood is 1,034,421.32 Ft. Multiply those numbers and you'd get a total of 51,721,066.00 FT, which in Euros is €142,844.86—quite high indeed!
At the very least, when you do get to rent or own your place in the Hungarian capital, your utilities costs won't be that high. The common price range for the total of all your basic monthly bills is from 35,416.67 Ft to 74,375.00 Ft. In Euros, that's from €97.84 to €205.55. And that total already takes into account your electricity, water, heating, garbage disposal, and more. Meanwhile for you to have wifi in your home, expect to pay around 3,500.00 Ft to 8,000.00 Ft every month. That'd only be €9.40 to €22.11 in Euros. Totally not bad, right?
Food won't be that much of a problem in Budapest as well. Though it ought to be, Budapest isn't exactly a food capital, so while the country has an interesting cuisine, it won't take you a lot of money to buy ingredients to cook any dish here. In fact, the total common median price for a trip to the grocery store is 14,393.58 Ft. In Euros, that's only €39.78! For less than €50.00, you can stock up on food items (and other goodies) to fill your fridge, pantry, and food shelves that can last you a week or two!
Dinner in Budapest won't be that expensive either! For instance, for around 8,500.00 Ft to 15,000.00 Ft, you can already pay for a three-course meal for two in any mid-range restaurant in the Hungarian capital. Now, if you're wondering how much those are in Euros, they're only €23.48 to €41.42! Can you believe that? For less than €50.00, you can already enjoy quite a heavy meal in Budapest. And it's not just for you, it's for your date too! That'd be quite the score for Valentine's Day! Budapest should probably cash in on how it'd be easy for lovers to go on romantic dinners here!
What about transportation? Surely it'd cost you a lot to travel around the city? Well, not really! Budapest's public transport is both efficient and affordable. For only 350.00 Ft, you can go on a single-ride to any of the modes of public transportation available here. Double that for a round-trip and you'll only have to spend 700.00 Ft to get to your destination in back. Converted to Euros, that'd only be chang in your pocket! Though if you prefer to buy your own car here, it'd cost you around 5,600,000.00 Ft to 7,400,000.00 Ft. In Euros, that'd be €15,470.04 to €20,442.55.
In Hungarian Forints, a simple piece from any brand, no matter how well-known it is, will already be in the tens of thousands. Now, this may seem a lot for an article of clothing, but remember that when you convert it to Euros, the actual price isn't all that high. A good example is a pair of sneakers from a sportswear brand, let's say, Nike. It'd cost you 15,000.00 Ft to 35,000.00 Ft for them. But when you convert it to your Euros, you're only really paying around €41.45 to €92.72 for the pair. Essentially, it's cheaper to shop for clothes and shoes in Budapest than in other European capitals!
Even leisure costs, while they may seem expensive in the local currency, aren't all that high when you convert it to Euros. And it's a good thing the country, overall, allows you to pay in Euros. So if you want to go for a monthly membership in a mid-range gym or fitness center, you'll only really be paying €24.88 to €55.28 per month. Why? Because the common price range for such is from 9,000.00 Ft to 20,000.00 Ft. And if you want to go to the movies, you'll only be spending around 1,600.00 Ft to 2,500.00 Ft for a ticket each. In Euros, that's only €4.42 to €34.54.
Even the costs for your child's care and education aren't all that high when you convert them to Euros. When you register your kid to a private daycare center here in Budapest, you'll be paying 75,000.00 Ft to 200,000.00 Ft a month for that. In Euros, that's only €207.26 to €552.61. And when your child grows up, enrolling him/her to a year in a private international school will cost you 1,500,000.00 Ft to 6,500,000.00 Ft a year. Those are only €4,144.36 to €17,958.88 in Euros. Not necessarily the most affordable but not as expensive as in other cities!
It's easy to think that living in Budapest will cost you a lot of money. But in reality, most especially when you consider the exchange rate of the local currency in Hungary to Euros, the costs here aren't that high! You can still enjoy life here without spending too much.
What you need to invest in a lot of money on, however, is a luxurious Budapest rental! Now that’s money well-spent!