Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Saturday February 24 2018
How Can You Cut Your Cost of Living in Half… in the Caribbean

Shawn Bandick

View in magazine >
Rate this article: Thank you for your vote!

I live here in Playa del Carmen with a family of four for just over half of what it cost me to live in B.C. Canada back in the year 2000.

First let’s cover actual costs of day to day living here:

When you travel around the area you often have opportunities to buy fresh produce and fruit at a stand on the side of the road. Last week I was enjoying a great day with some clients traveling near Bacalar. We bought tree ripened finger sized sweet Bananas three bunches for 10 pesos (Less than a dollar).

We also bought a bag of Mandarin oranges, and some bottles of Mandarin juice for 10 pesos each. The pineapples were 5 to 20 pesos depending on the size (Less than a dollar to almost 2 dollars) That night we decided to BBQ some fresh cut T bone steaks they cost 38 to 40 pesos each (less than 4 dollars).

If you prefer to eat out you can buy a fish platter complete with vegetables and salad with a breaded fish filet so big you will have a hard time eating it all (I’m always up to the challenge) for 95 pesos. Or if you prefer Arrachera Steak go to Alfagon on 30th ave. It will come with a bean soup to start, then enjoy a generous portion of Arrachera, baked potato, grilled onions, and a small side salad all for about 85 pesos (Less than 7 dollars).

General services are also very reasonable and really enhance your life style. We pay our maid well, at 220 pesos a visit (less than 20 dollars) She spends the better part of the day and washes floors, windows, dishes, virtually cleans the entire house. She comes twice a week, making my wife very happy. Our Gardener comes every other week. He cuts the lawn and trims everything making our yard look like a small resort. He charges 250 pesos and we usually find an excuse to tip him an extra 50 pesos for something. ( about 22 dollars).

One of our staff needed a plumber to come by and fix several small items, like leaky sinks etc. he came to her house and took care of it for a whopping 100 pesos (less than 8 dollars). Another friend just had a service person come out to replace the agitator and hot water valve for her washer. This house call complete with parts and labor cost 600 pesos (Less than 45 dollars). If you want your car washed, a sport Utility like mine will cost 90 pesos (Less than 9 dollars) cleaned inside and out. If you want a wax and polish the entire thing is about 250 pesos.

General house expenses are also very reasonable. I have a house on a double corner lot with the house, pool, and a stone bungalow in the garden and this year my property tax increased by 300 pesos to 1,698 pesos (well less than 150 dollars). I don’t know anyone who pays even 500 dollars a year property taxes here. House insurance for a nice home in Playacar phase 2 cost 350 usd full coverage including hurricane coverage. City water is on a meter so you pay for water you use. For us cleaning and filling the pool, watering the garden, and all our other house hold uses adds up to about 100 pesos per month for us.

You can fill two 30 kilo natural gas tank to run your stove, hot water, and dryer for 600 pesos. It will last us about 4 months. Electricity can be a little higher, if you run the AC a lot. We have a nice breeze at our home and don’t have AC but we run the pool filter and pressure pumps and our electricity is about 2000 pesos or less each month ( Less than 150 dollars).

How much does your car insurance cost per year? I have complete coverage on my 2006 Toyota 4 runner and it costs me 401usd per year. Two days ago I picked up a screw in the tire it cost 53 pesos to have it fixed. If I had of been on the high way in the pouring rain and wanted someone to change my tire on the road it would cost 150 pesos for a 24 hr. mobile tire service to come to me and take care of it. Let’s say you were out of town traveling and you broke down. In all of Mexico they have a “Green Angel “ service.

This is a mechanic who is assigned an area of highway to patrol and should you have a problem he will fix it or tow you to where you can get assistance and this is a free service by the government! I have a friend who was sharing with me that she prefers to ride a little scooter around town instead of having a car. She fills it with gas once a month for 35 pesos.

What about medical? Well first let me say you can get some very professional care here in Mexico. Most medical professionals were educated in the USA or Europe so the quality of care is very high. You can get a basic dental cleaning for 400 pesos ( less than 30 dollars) One friend of my staff had a quote of seven to eight thousand dollars to have her dental work done in a town near San Fransisco, California. She came here and got a quote of three thousand dollars and had the work done which ended up only costing 2700 usd. A private consultation with a doctor who specializes in a given field will cost about 500 pesos.

If you want medical insurance one of my staff has full coverage in the best hospitals for 18,000 pesos a year (less than 1400usd) and if she has a baby it will even cover half of that cost. Another couple who I know in their 60s pay 27,000 pesos for major medical coverage.

All these financial benefits and you get to live a Caribbean life style too. You will have palm trees and beaches year around. Put your turkey in the oven on Christmas day and go to the beach for a swim while it cooks. (that’s what we do) You will have so many things to see and do right at you front door. You can do some world class fishing from shore or a boat.

There are more golf courses than you can count. I saw a map in Campeche showing that there’s over 6500 ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula (good luck seeing all of them). You can make an easy day trip or stay longer at several Caribbean Island. Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Holbox are a ferry ride away and if you want you can visit Cuba or any of the other islands. You’ve got diving, snorkeling, fishing and many old Colonial cities to explore the list goes on and on.

What about buying a home. Well you can choose many different options to make a quick easy step into the market. Are you ready to cut your cost of living in Half or at least have your place in the sun? The only way to take advantage of this offering is to take action now! and we will get you set up to enjoy a great lifestyle here on the Caribbean coast with us.


Rate this article: Thank you for your vote!
Picture Gallery:

Does Playa del Carmen Real Estate Give You the “Real Mexico?”
When people want beachfront luxury in Mexico real estate, Playa del Carmen is one of the first places that come to mind. But what...
Tulum Real Estate - What is Luxury Land?
When we think of “luxury” we usually think of an elaborate condo complex or a large, beautiful home in an exclusive location. ...
Riviera Maya Condos – History Points to New Opportunities Downtown Playa del Carmen
The Old and The New Downtown Playa del Carmen When we think of the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen, we generally think of bea...
Why Buy Cancun Real Estate During Summer?
When the winter months roll around, retirees and vacationers begin to imagine the possibility of owning Cancun real estate to esca...
Shopping Centers in the Tabasco 2000 area in Villahermosa Tabasco
There are 12 nearby malls in the influence area. Over 90% of their space is occupied. Galerias Tabasco is the most important mall...