Before moving to Mexico in 2015, I spent hours searching for information online about the specific costs associated with living south of the border — but I never found anything. The sites I stumbled across would only say that the cost of living was cheaper. Cheaper than what?
Words like cheap and expensive are very subjective and are worthless without hard numbers to back them up. That’s why I post my expenses down to the peso every six months online. My goal is to help other people who are thinking of making the move better plan financially.
It’s important to point out that Mexico is a large country and the cost of living varies significantly from one area to the next. We live in a popular tourist destination along the coast of the Riviera Maya, so the cost of living is significantly higher here than in many other parts of Mexico. Nevertheless, we think it’s worth it in order to be spend our days on a beautiful Caribbean beach.
For more about where we live, check out Moving to Mexico: Expectations vs. Reality (Housing) and Why We Live Where We Do in Mexico.
Monthly Household Expenses
* The phone plan is through AT&T. We took advantage of buying 12 months of service and getting 12 months free. Although we already paid for two years of service, we divided the amount over the term to show the impact on the monthly budget. You can learn more about that specific plan HERE
We didn’t move to Mexico to just sit inside and watch the ceiling fan spin around — we came to enjoy every moment of it. As a result, we spend an average of $18,000 pesos ($995 USD) a month on traveling, eating out, staying at hotels and doing a wide range of other activities that we find “entertaining”.
Annual Expenses People Ask Me About
After the last budget that I posted, a few readers asked me about property taxes, property insurance and vehicle registration. I figured that I would beat them to it this time:
Note: The bank trust, known as a fideicomiso in Spanish, allows foreigners to legally purchase property within 50 km of a coast or 100 km of a border. This is a reoccurring annual fee to the bank for providing the service.
What About Your Mortgage/Rent and Car Payment?
These are normally the two largest reoccurring expenses in a anyone’s budget. Prior to moving to Mexico, I knew that we would be more successful if we could find a way to eliminate them altogether.
Although we had a mortgage and a car payment in Florida, after selling everything and eliminating our debt, we were able to afford a small condo and a car here in Mexico. We now live 100% debt free for the first time in our adult lives.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Readers often ask me how much money they’ll need a month to live in Mexico. That magic number depends on three important factors: 1) location, 2) the amount of debt you have, and 3) the type of lifestyle you want. As you can see, the amount can vary quite a bit.
In this article, I showed you how a couple could live on less than $2,100 a month in paradise while still enjoying a very active lifestyle.
We could easily live on less each month by simply cutting money from the entertainment budget and staying home more — but where’s the fun in that?