I live in Mexico on 1000 euros a month!

After my stay in the Philippines and my numerous posts on living on a budget in the Philippines I moved to Mexico and decided not to post every penny spend here. Yet I do get questions about the cost of living in Mexico from people.

Most of the time people want to know what minimum budget you need to live here

And like I wrote so many times before while in the Philippines, that is hard to say. Because my lifestyle is not yours.

For starters:

  • I don’t go out at night hanging in bars or go to parties
  • I do not buy day passes to rooftop pools
  • I do not smoke
  • I do not drink alcohol by the liter or use drugs of any kind
  • I do not eat in fancy restaurants a lot

so I live a modest lifestyle, in a small studio in the most expensive area of Mexico: Riviera Maya. I have been living in Playa del Carmen for almost a year now and I start to get the hang of it, find my way around the grocery stores and the good restaurants with the best quality/price balance.

At the moment I am spending around 900 euros, some months a little more, other months a little less, depending on my trips to the province. In pesos that equals 18.000 MXN. I want to try to bring it down with another 3000 MXN (150 euros more or less depending on exchange rates)

cost of living Mexico

So here is a rough break down of my monthly expenses during December 2019:

  • Rent all included 7,000 MXN  = 335 euro
  • Restaurants 5,106 MXN = 243 Euro
  • groceries 4,220 MXN = 201 Euro
  • self-care 260 MXN = 13 Euro
  • medical bills 500 MXN = 24 Euro
  • telephone promo 200 MXN = 10 Euro
  • Laundry 245 MXN = 12 Euro
  • clothing 1,120 MXN = 54 Euro
  • city transport 115 MXN = 6 Euro
  • travel 691 MXN = 33 euro
  • lost 140 MXN = 7 Euro

It makes a total of 938 Euros. I still have to pay bank fees since I do not have a Mexican bank account yet. So include the bank fees and exchange rate going up and down a bit, that is around 1000 euros a month.

market, local, cancun, mexico, downtown, discover, explore

And this was an expensive month, I had great steak for Christmas and went out a lot for I did not feel like cooking. In January I started eating more away from the tourist area and in the restaurants around 30th Avenue where prices and tips are more reasonable. I can already see a dramatic drop in spendings.

I know my rent is high, but this little studio offers all I need and feels good

mexico cost of living

So if I want to cut back on living costs I could

  • eat less expensive
  • eat more at home (but I don’t really like cooking and the price difference is so small!)
  • keep better track of finances, for the ‘lost’, should be zero!
  • find a cheaper place to stay
  • not get sick

Well, the last one I cannot influence. But getting sick has been a strain on my budget lately.  When all the bureaucracy is finished and I am no longer required for visits to Immigration a lot, I can find another place to live away from the tourist areas and in a different part of Mexico. That would save up to a 2000 MXN all included I guess.

So basically, yes you can live in Mexico at 1000 Euros (1118 US$). And you live comfortably and not as a stingy person.  I often go out for dinner and lunch. And I take taxis or city busses and take field trips into the province for a few days. And I even had a medical bill to pay.

On average, being aware of the fact that I live in a very expensive part of Mexico I would say: it equals the Philippines when it comes to the cost of living. 

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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher, and iPhone photographer. Always horizon bound preferably on a motorcycle. Currently, she lives in a desert village in Baja California Sur in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

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