What does it cost to live in Panama? The answer can vary widely depending on where and how you live. I can tell you though what it cost us to live in David, Chiriqui, for the month of October.
|Car insurance, monthly (2 cars)||$50|
|Other||Gas for the kitchen (a can lasts at least a month)||$5.12|
|Electricity (it is usually around $40 but we were gone for part of the billing period)||$27.07|
|Gas for the cars||$65|
|Minutes for phone||$16.05|
|Medicine (the Nicaragua bug)||$14.49|
|Optional and/or one time expenses||Eating out||$44.03|
|Pricesmart membership (for a year)||$37.45|
|Beer / alcohol||$98.60|
The grand total is $1652.71. But, this is the first major car repair we have had in almost two years. The charitable donation is optional, of course. And, the total would also be lower if we hadn’t just gone to Pricesmart and stocked up on some food and household items, as well as enough beer/alcohol to last for quite a while.
If you subtract the car repair and charitable donation the total is $1247.21, which I think is a more realistic representation of what we usually spend in a month. Of course this is for basic living expenses. There will always be something additional like the car, travel plans, or something else.
Our biggest expenses are rent and food. We are very fortunate to have found an affordable house in a nice neighborhood of mostly professionals, business owners, teachers, and some retired people. Housing costs will vary greatly depending on where you live.
Food is another variable. We eat mostly local food and buy all our produce from the local markets. We eat very little imported and/or processed food because it is expensive and we don’t like it as well. We also never eat out unless it is a social thing with friends.
If we are home in November I’ll track our expenses again. It is interesting for us also to see what we spend and where.