Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Cost of Living in Mexico for Expats: Keeping it real
People often ask "How much money do I need to live comfortably in Mexico?" and my answer is always "It depends." It depends because "comfortable" is so subjective. Is it important that you have someone to cook for you 7 days a week or are you fine cooking for yourself (and your family if that's the case)? Do you want to live in a secure building in a nice area with other expats and Mexicans or do you want to live in a place where you are the only expat for miles and you can interact with the locals?
Many people have the misconception that Mexico is cheap. While it is less expensive in many aspects, it is by no means cheap.
MORE EXPENSIVE IN MEXICO:
Cell phone service
Land line service (Thanks Telmex! Mexico has the highest phone rates in the world behind Iraq)
Clothing* (yes, you can find cheap clothing at the tianguis (farmer's market type setup) but I'm talking about walking into a store and buying something)
Magazines in English (expect to pay over $6 USD)
LESS EXPENSIVE IN MEXICO:
Medical services (doctor, dentist, etc)
Haircuts (at MOST places)
Utilities (gas, water, electricity)
Drivers (you can hire someone to drive you around so you don't have to deal with traffic)
Rents in big cities (ie, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey)