Living costs in Brazil are much lower than western countries, but still quite high relative to the income you will receive teaching English in Brazil. You can live comfortably on R$700 (US$450) per month, depending on your lifestyle. Average salaries of R$950 – 1100 (US$600 – 700) are adequate to cover your rent, monthly utilities, and transportation expenses. Teaching extra private students on the side can greatly supplement your income.
In larger cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo you can earn as much as R$24-40 (US$ 15-26) per teaching hour. In more rural towns in Brazil, hourly wages will typically range from R$5-8 (US$3-5) per hour.
In the main cities, furnished rooms in a shared apartment cost anywhere between R$450 (US$235) to R$700 (US$400). Shared accommodation often includes a shared high speed internet connection. In rural locations, rent is much cheaper. It is also safer and less polluted. Rent fees may or may not include water and gas. Ask landlords exactly what is included when you are looking for a place to live.
Expect to spend R$300-400 (US$190-US$250) per month on supermarket groceries. Fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products are relatively cheap, as are local beers. Imported foods are quite expensive, so try to eat local if you can. You can get a decent meal in a restaurant for R$8 (US$5) per person. A McDonald Big Mac set will cost you about R$4-5 (US$2-US$3). A large pizza will typically cost R$30 – 40 (US$19-US$25). Expect to pay R$2-3 (US$1-US$2) for a beer.
Public telephones are expensive so get a cellular phone if you need to make a lot of calls. Internet access in cafes will cost R$3-5 (US$2-US$3) per hour. Your own apartment Internet connection will set you back a hefty R$140 (US$90) per month.
A monthly bus pass will cost R$20 (US$13). Taxi rides costs R$3-6 (US$2 – US$4) per kilometer.
You are not likely to save much money teaching English in Brazil, but you can have a good quality of life while enjoying a laid back Latin American culture.
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Brazil
Information on visa requirements to teach English in Brazil.