moving to mexico

Cost of Living

Many expats come to Mexico for the low cost of living. And they stay for everything else. The food, the music, the art, the chaotic mercados, the aguas frescas, the warm and welcoming people.

When we first got to Mexico, we kept meticulous records and stuck to a budget. By the third month of living here, we threw that out and just lived. And, my, did we live well.

There’s something extravagant about being able to go out to the nicest restaurant in town, order anything you want—drinks, appetizers, dessert—and not spend more than $50.

After living in Mexico for a year, we saved enough money for a down payment on a house and were able to buy a car in cash back in the States. And that’s on top of a pretty luxurious lifestyle with trips to Costa Rica and Tokyo thrown in for good measure.

You can make Mexico work on just about any budget. You can live large—or you can keep it simple.

Location matters a lot too—we were based in Guanajuato City, a notoriously affordable city. If we had been in Mexico City or San Miguel de Allende, our costs would have been much higher.

In Guanajuato City, we paid 8,000 (around $400-420 depending on exchange rate) pesos for a two-bedroom casita in easy walking distance to the center of town. Before we moved, we were looking at upgrading to a large, sprawling house on Panoramica (the road that runs above the city, halfway circling it) for 15,000 pesos (around $750-800). You can find much cheaper rentals if you go smaller, go farther from the center, or if you know someone. For security reasons, I don’t recommend chancing it in neighborhoods outside of Centro, unless you know locals who can advise you on security. I would apply the same logic to other cities—spend your money getting a good place in a good location. You’ll more than make up for it in the other budget categories.

For a complete break down of how much we spent our first two months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, watch here:

For food prices, watch:

And for details about how we made money in Mexico, watch this:

Looking to rent a house in Mexico? Read on…