Once in a while I do a cost of living report so we can see how we are doing. Also, many others want to know what it costs to live here and are very interested in our numbers. Of course, this is just us. Others may live in different places, have different lifestyles, and their spending could look quite different.
Basic/monthly expenses –
Electricity $41.46 (this is a pretty typical monthly bill. We have AC but rarely use it)
Cable (TV/internet) $63.29
Internet plan for two iPads – $22
Insurance for two cars (one full coverage, other liability only) $61.35
Gas for the cars $44
Phone $10.70 (I have a pay as you go phone. This should last around a month, and Joel talks less and rarely needs to buy time)
Skype $12 (we both have plans that allow unlimited calls to the USA)
If we had needed to refill a gas tank for the kitchen it would have been $5.12, but it usually lasts more than a month so we didn’t have to refill it this month.
Water and trash is included in our rent, but if we had to pay it would be $5.25/month for water, and $4.80 for trash pickup (twice a week).
Then, there are always a few extra things, many of them optional. I think the list this month was a bit higher than usual –
Beer and liquor $37.97
Printer cartridges $37
Bike repairs $17 (new axle, new stem – I think it’s called, for the handlebars, and new brake cables, parts and labor)
Painting class $50/month
Painting supplies $47 (should last me 3 months or so)
We took a quick trip to Panama City to pick up our cedulas. That cost us $129.76 ($42.40 for 2 round trip bus tickets, $56.67 for hotel, $11 for taxis, and $19.69 for the lunch stops – 4 meals)
Joel also spent around $130 for guitar parts – tuners and other things to rehab a guitar.
All of these extras added up to $318.73
Grand total $1243.26
Other cost of living reports can be found HERE.
Considering it cost us about $3000/month to live in Sarasota, Florida when we left in 2012, just the house, electricity, food, phones, etc, just the basics, I think we are doing much better here. We have seen some costs rise as they have everywhere, but we are still able to live well within our means. And, the bonus we didn’t expect, it is such a good life. If money was no consideration whatsoever, I would still want to live here. We came for economic reasons but the benefits have exceeded our expectations in many other ways.