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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 in 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

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 rate 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. On most months, his expenses are less than $1,000 USD/Month. Russell doesn’t drive, so he doesn’t have gasoline to worry about. Here are some of this 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 engaging 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

One thing you may notice on 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 stands 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.

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