6 Cost of Living Comparisons in Mexico From Real People

In the past few months, I have interviewed over 20 different expats living across Mexico on our YouTube Channel. We’ve covered everything from why they moved to Mexico, what they do for healthcare and their cost of living expenses.

In this post, you’ll get to see a cost of living comparison from 6 of these different lives so you can get a better idea of how expenses in Mexico can range and help you to prepare a budget to live in Mexico.

Sue and Paul- Huatulco, Oaxaca

Sue and Paul moved from Dallas Texas to Huatulco, Oaxaca. They had always dreamed of living near the ocean, and even though they were first considering Panama, they ended up choosing Mexico. They love living in Huatulco, are more active than ever, and have even lost some weight without intentionally trying. Paul and Sue were able to retire a bit early since their cost of living decreased when they moved to Mexico. Here are some of their expenses:

Huatulco, Oaxaca
  • Oceanfront Rental $1,100 USD/Month (3 Bed 3 Bath)
  • Electric: $30 USD/Month (They don’t turn on the A/C most days)
  • Groceries: $100/Month (They eat out a lot)
  • Eating Out: $400/Month

Learn How to Move to Mexico and Have a Better Life for Less! Check out our Complete Mexico Relocation Guide.

Sarah- Mexico City aka CDMX

Sarah is a young teacher who moved to Mexico City from England to teach English. Sarah shared an apartment with a few other teachers from her school but was able to find a very centrally located 3 bedroom apartment where she could walk to most places. She mentioned being able to live well under $800 USD/Month. Keep in mind that Sarah’s school also paid for her health insurance while she lived in Mexico. Health insurance is an expense you’ll have to calculate separately. Here are some of Sarah’s expenses:

Living in Mexico City
Mexico City aka CDMX
  • Room in a shared apartment $400 USD (all bills paid)
  • Metro: 5 Cents or $1 Peso
  • Ubers: $15 USD for an 1Hr long ride
  • Groceries: $150/Month (Shopped mostly at Farmer’s Markets)
  • Eating out: $10 USD a meal. (Mostly dined out at inexpensive restaurants)

Sheree- Ajijic, Jalisco

Sheree decided to retire in Lake Chapala as she always had dreams of being able to retire in a place with great weather year-round, and found the Lake Chapala area to meet all her needs. Sheree lives in the San Antonio Tlayacapan a town right next to Ajijic. Her condo has a community pool, and a community garden with barbeque pits. The community she lives in is small and intimate, with only 13 condos in total. Each one has a balcony and is within walking distance of most basic needs. To give you an idea of what Sheree’s lifestyle is like, here are some of her basic expenses:

Lake Chapala, Jalisco
  • Rent: $600 USD/month 2 Bed 2 Bath Condo
  • Utilities- $15-$30 USD every 2 months
  • Healthcare Insurance – $150 USD/month (coverage in Mexico only)
  • Personal Trainer and Spanish Teacher – $13 USD/hr
  • Internet – $20 USD/month
  • Groceries – $30 USD/week (she cooks a lot at home)
  • Supplements from Amazon $100 USD/Month


Blake – Guadalajara, Jalisco

Blake, a world traveler, moved to Guadalajara Mexico 3 years ago. He spent a few nights there while traveling through Mexico and loved Guadalajara. After 3 nights there he found an Airbnb and ended up negotiating a long-term contract. Blake is a Youtuber who catalogs his life in Mexico through his videos. He moved to Mexico with his dog. They have lived in Guadalajara, Merida, and most recently CDMX. Blake is single so his expenses are for one person living alone in Mexico:

Downtown Guadalajara
  • Immigration Lawyer and Residency Visa: $600 USD
  • Rent: $14,000 pesos/Month- All Bills Paid (~$700 USD) 2 Bedroom Apartment
  • Eating Out: $300 USD/Month (Blake doesn’t cook)
  • Doctor’s Visit: $40 USD (Without Health Insurance)
  • Vet Checkup- $350 pesos (~$13 USD)
  • X-rays for his Dog- $600 Pesos (~$30 USD)

Russell- Huatulco, Oaxaca

My friend Russell left the rat race in Florida to find his sunny paradise in Mexico and fell in love with Huatulco. Russell lives very comfortably on his social security alone, including entertainment, dining out, and beach trips. Most months, his expenses are less than $1,000 USD/Month. Russell doesn’t drive, so he doesn’t have gasoline to worry about.

YouTube video

Here are some of his expenses:

  • Rent: $275 USD/Month for a 1 bedroom apartment
  • Groceries: 225 USD/Month
  • Taxis: $20 USD
  • Laundry: $20 USD includes folding
  • Entertainment: $200
  • Electricity: $10/Month (he doesn’t use his A/C much)

April- San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas

April is a lovely lady I met while doing some research on some Facebook groups. We quickly became virtual friends, and I knew she was a special lady in our interview. April, her husband and 2 young kids all live in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Because San Cristobal is so cool year-round, electricity is generally very low. April and her family of 4 are all able to live on less than $2,000 USD/Month! Below are some of her monthly expenses:

San Cristobal De Las Casas Mexico
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas
  • Rent: $420 USD/Month (fully furnished and including all utilities)
  • Gas: 13 USD/Month (Used for cooking)
  • Cellphone Service: $10 USD/Month
  • Eating Out: $100 USD/Month
  • Water: $20 USD/Month

Your Lifestyle Will Dictate Your Budget

One thing you may notice in the article is how much people’s rent can vary. Even in the same city. Your housing will likely be one of the reasons that stand out the most for the differences in cost of living.

People have all kinds of different tastes and comfort levels. Luckily, Mexico has a place for all budgets, tastes, and comfort levels. This is just a slice to show you that. ​

Everyone I interviewed agreed that their initial reason for moving to Mexico was the attractive low cost of living. However, it’s the quality of life in Mexico that has made them stay. They love the rich culture, the food, the warmth of the Mexican people, the proximity to the U.S., the great year-round weather. And those are just a few reasons people end up moving to Mexico.

What’s your reason for wanting to move to Mexico? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below.

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions


  1. Steve Winser says

    Hola to all. My wife and I have decided to move to Mexico for a variety of reasons. It is not a decision that is going to be easy for us. We live in the Okanagan valley, one of the most desirable areas of Canada, people from all over the world come here to experience the scenery, weather, wineries, recreation. However at this stage of life we are both looking to start living again, as opposed to just existing. Get off the hamster wheel, slow life down and start enjoying new scenery, culture, food. We are planning to be relocated by next October, not spending another winter in Canada!!! We have purchased property near the community of Copalita and are so excited to start the process of becoming part of the community.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Congrats! You’ll find a lot of fellow Canadians in Mexico also

  2. Bobguide says

    Thanks a lot for sharing this article as I find it amazing and it has been very useful

  3. Martin Goodnews says

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout of your blog. And also this article is really useful and informative. I have similar blogs in the aspect of the latest news, Tech, School Information, Enlightenment, Job opportunities, Finance, and lots more. They are very helpful and you won’t want to miss out.

  4. Sylvia Pinedo says

    So I want to move to Cancun, Mexico. I’m going to do temporary residency. I was thinking of staying with a family first. What do you think? Any help, guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Mariana Lange says

      If you want help with your residency visa process, we include the steps in our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide. But because we know Mexican bureaucracy is hard to navigate on your own, we also include our directory of immigration facilitators in Mexico.
      When you buy the guide, you get instant access to the easy to follow steps, and also our complete directory.
      Find out what’s included here mexicorelocationguide.com/guide

      If you plan to stay with family, that’s totally fine. Just keep in mind you are required to change your address with immigration within 90 days of moving to your permanent address.

  5. Michael Dante Abate says

    Mariana…I am a male, mid eighties, single, with an income of $1,898 social security, and in relatively good health except for some cardiac problems and high blood pressure. I currently live in San Diego in a nice mobile home park where I own my own home , 50 miles from the border, and am a veteran so all my medical needs are covered by the VA. I have been following your posts for the past 2-3 years and am seriously considering a move to Mexico. I would prefer renting in a climate with no humidity and temperatures rarely below 50 or above 80, preferably in a rural setting. If there is such a place in the Baja, I would like to explore that. Otherwise, where would you suggest? I can afford one or two of your tours to relocate if you have some suggestions. Thank you for your advice.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Michael,
      Because we are a company of 2 people I don’t really focus on helping people narrow down the places they should consider based on their likes and wants.
      However, I have put together a quick guide that can help you to do some research before deciding and tells you what questions you should be researching in a place. https://mexicorelocationguide.com/where-should-you-live-in-mexico/

      Hope it helps!
      Once you’re ready to book a tour, you first have to buy the Mexico relocation guide. And you’ll get instant access to the contacts in the guide we recommend across various towns and cities.

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