Rio de Janeiro is one of the pricier parts of Brazil and how much you spend really depends on where and how you choose to live.
Travelling through here you could live on as low as 50 reais ($20) a day if you ate in the cheapest places, caught buses everywhere and slept in a really fleabag hotel.
If you stay somewhere decent though and like to eat, drink and party well then it’s easy to spend between $40-100 a day.
Obviously if you live here you’re on a different economy and you’ll be getting by on between 1500-3000 reais a month ($700 – $1400). It all depends on where you find an apartment in Rio, whether you take taxis or buses at night and whether you hit the expensive nightclubs.
So you’ll see that Rio de Janeiro is not among the cheapest places in the world to live and you might need to accept the indignities of an honest job. English teaching is definitely a possibility here but the pay in the English schools is unimpressive and it’s doubtful if they’ll fork up for your work visa.
You can give private English lessons though and charge about $10 an hour. Just make sure that the Brazilians pay in advance or they’ll blow you out and go to the cinema instead without telling you.
Otherwise, if your Portuguese is good and you get to know the town fairly well, then you can make commissions on arranging apartments, tours and guides for the dumb gringos just off the bus. But it’s not recommended that you sell drugs– to them – check out the Brazilian jails in the book and movie, Carinduru. Can you imagine arriving in jail and finding out that you have to rent your bed for $300 from the previous prisoner to stay there?