A couple blog followers / friends who live in Boquete have shared their living expenses with me so I could also post them on the blog. Boquete is a beautiful town up in the mountains that is very popular with expats, but this popularity has driven up costs a bit, especially costs of housing. Otherwise their costs seem similar.
LP Gas (for cooking) $10.70
Food $371.61 (includes household goods like paper towels and toothpaste)
Entertainment $161.76 (going out for dinner drinks)
Vices $305.73 (beer, alcohol, one of them smokes)
Taxi / bus $56.00
Bank fees $32.76
Other $25.00 (house cleaning, hair cut)
Thank you for sharing your information! This is so helpful to many people, and I’m glad to be able to post something from another popular area. I’m sure many people will be very interested to see how your numbers work out in Boquete.
I live in the house here in Boqueron for FOUR MONTHS for what it’s costing them for one up in the hills but we’re each getting a bargain compared to the States.
Yeah, but you don’t get to live in Boquete! 😀
Seriously, I know you are very happy where you are. We all know that if you are willing to live in a Panamanian neighborhood in a smaller town it will be a lot cheaper. If one likes Boquete and can afford it, why not. I’m sure there are people there who pay way more than that. We don’t all want the same things which makes the world a more interesting place. And, most important, we are all enjoying life in Panama!
My comment wasn’t a put down of people who live in Boquete, but rather to point out that there’s a big gap in what housing costs are around here. I understand why people chose to live up there, and if that’s what lifts their skirts good. But as someone investigating the possibility of moving here can see, even $800/month is a bargain compared to the States, and I’m sure that the $800 house is, undoubtably nicer than my $200 house, though I’m not living in a dump by any means.
I am interested on your take of Boqueron. Will be looking around that area during our coming visit. Just have a few questions (i.e. How’s your internet connection?) Thanks! You can use my name above at yahoo dot com
Hi and thanks for stopping by the blog. I don’t know a lot about Boqueron but I have a friend who is very happy living there. He has a blog http://onemoregoodadventure.com/
Awesome. Thanks for the link. I left him a message. Thank you for your informative blog. My wife and I will probably end up somewhere in the outskirts of David. We stayed near Boqueron last visit. We are aiming for a permanent move September, ’15.
My pleasure 🙂 How exciting, best of luck with the move
Someone posted on google+ from El Valle and said these costs are pretty accurate for that area too.
Wow, that’s a good deal, but it’s good to see that, if this is average, that would be out of reach for my husband and I. I think Volcan or David is where we might end up.
I don’t think Volcan is overly expensive, but we haven’t researched it either. You have a lot of options though and there is something for every budget. A lot of Panamanians live on very little so it can be done.
Thanks Kris… another great perspective. Live is what you make of it.Everyone finds there own nirvana.
Thanks, and yes so true!
Another viewpoint from slightly outside Boquete:
Rent $600/yr lease (3br, 2ba)
Gas $5.00 for small tank/mo
$75 for lg tank for cooking, haven’t had to fill it yet, supposedly every 3 months
Internet $39, hi speed
Food $200 includes eating out
Entertainment….nothing extravagant so far…. 🙂 maybe coffee and a brownie and people watching $25/mo
Taxis/Bus $36 (far far cheaper than a car!)
Misc $50 (30 massage, odds and ends)
Total: approx. $1,010/mo. for two people.
Not too shabby. We could have chosen a cheaper rental but we loved this neighborhood and the house. On Taboga we rented a condo for 750+. Hated it. In Panama City, we rented in Diablo for 800+, it was fine but not for us. Both turned out way more expensive than we anticipated. I know there are cheaper rentals, you just have to put out the word on the grapevine and keep looking and figure out what you are willing to compromise on. One of the best things here, no A/C needed! We sweated buckets in PC and Taboga. We just drove around until we found this one, not listed. Asked the neighbors about it, got lucky!
Wow, you are doing well! How do you keep your food budget so low? That’s less than $7/day.
We rarely eat out, buy from the local fruit and veggie vendors not the grocery store and cook stuff that goes a long way, chili, soups, rice with sauteed veggies, leftovers and not much meat. We love veggies and that is a plus. After years of cooking meals, we are over it. So, we buy simple, fresh and cheap. It was expensive for a couple of weeks getting stuff set up in the cupboards and fridge, but we don’t buy much processed stuff and that stuff is expensive here! We can make our own fresh sauces too instead of buying them. We can buy a chicken breast and make it last 3 meals then use the bones for a soup. Without men to cook for anymore, food goes a lot further! LOL!
You sound like you eat a lot like we do, but are even better at it! There is a meat loving man here though so I’m sure that makes a difference. Good for you, cheaper and healthier 🙂