Whenever you move, there are upfront moving costs. Even if you’re moving across town or even within the same state, there will be moving expenses.
Even though you can expect to reduce your living expenses when you move to Mexico, there will still be some expenses you need to plan for when you move. In today’s post, I will detail some of these expenses you should plan for, and I’ll also give you some tips on how you can save money with a few moving tips.
One of the highest upfront costs when moving to Mexico is securing a rental since you’ll have to factor in one month’s rent as a deposit and your monthly rent. Some other common expenses when you first move to Mexico could be the cost of getting your residency visa. See the chart below with estimated moving expenses for a couple to move to Mexico. Keep in mind that if you’re single, your expenses can be less. (all prices are shown in USD and calculated based on an exchange rate of $20 MXN to $1 USD)
|Airfare to Move to Mexico (est $300 each)||$600|
|Immigration Lawyer’s Fee||$400-$800|
|Mexico Driver’s License||$30|
|First Month’s Rent & Security Deposit||$2000|
|Stock Up on groceries||$200|
|Eating Out Expenses||$200|
WHAT COULD INCREASE YOUR COSTS MOVING TO MEXICO?
If you buy a car, that could be an additional $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the car you select. Full coverage insurance for a $20,000 car, will cost about $500 a year but you can opt to pay monthly.
If you wanted to import your car you could be looking at $2-3K depending on which customs broker you use.
If you pick the wrong immigration contact or the wrong real estate company, it will increase your costs substantially. Some lawyers and real estate companies do price gouging and you could end up paying the gringo price.
If you don’t have pets, you can remove that expense from the chart above. But if you have more than one pet or a large pet that needs to go in cargo, the expense could be substantially more than $600. The $600 is the estimate for pet airfare, possible health certificates, and paperwork the airline may require. You can save a significant amount if you decide to drive with your pets to Mexico as opposed to flying. However, if you hired someone to drive your pets for you to Mexico, then you could easily add $4,000 to the cost of moving.
The first month you move to Mexico, you’ll be more likely to eat out more often to try out different restaurants, so I added $200 for eating out expenses. Even with the best intentions to start cooking right away, it can take some time to unpack and unwind. You should plan this expense.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE YOUR COSTS TO MOVE TO MEXICO
To reduce your costs to move to Mexico, you should wait to get your residency until after you’ve spent time in Mexico and decide this is where you want to live. If you’re from a country where no visa is required, you get up to 180 days in Mexico. You can use that time to scope different areas before moving forward with residency.
If you rent for less than $900 per month, that can reduce your upfront moving expenses, but if you rent for more than $900 a month, it will increase your upfront moving expenses. Ideally, you should find a furnished rental that includes all utilities, so you don’t have any other upfront rental expenses like electricity or internet. Also, avoid pushy agents who make you get a rental bond (fianza de arrendamiento) if you don’t meet some of their criteria. There are plenty of rentals in the city you’re interested in that won’t require you to get a bond.
We advise that you only rent a furnished rental. Otherwise, you’ll also have the expense of buying furniture, which could double your upfront expenses. See what a $900 per month furnished rental looks like in the picture below.
An affordable place to buy furniture, bedspreads, curtains, kitchen appliances, and more in Mexico is Coppel. Their furniture quality is similar to a Walmart.
If you buy health insurance in Mexico, it could add another $150-$200/month for Mexico-only private insurance. International Health insurance could be an additional $250-$400 per month per person. You can also self-insure with no fixed monthly expenses. Self-insure means that you’ll pay for a doctor visit as you need them. It’s $20-$40 to see a doctor in Mexico, depending on where you go and whether it’s a specialist or just a general practicioner.
We really recommend that you come to visit Mexico before you decide to move to Mexico. As much as we love living in Mexico, we know it’s not right for everyone. To see if Mexico is right for you check out our FREE Living in Mexico Guide.