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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, and 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 some insight in 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 because 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 spending.

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
  • and 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
  • and 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.