Cost of Living in Mexico

Aside from the FAQ's I answered a couple of months ago, the question I am asked most is...How much does it really cost to live in Mexico?  This isn't an easy question to answer, because everyone's budget, expenses and way of living are very different.

Here is a breakdown of the basics.  I'm not including groceries because that deserves it's own post!
  • Rent:  We've lived in the same rental house for 7 years.  We were paying the ridiculously low price of 600 pesos a month for both house and shop. (50 dollars a month! Shocking isn't it?)  But after the owner's visit last month, we will now be paying 600 pesos a month for each.  A 100% increase, but still quite a bargain for being so close to El Centro (downtown).
  • Phone/Internet:  500 pesos a month.  This could be much cheaper, but the way the owner of the house has it set up, we can't get a cheaper deal. 
  • Electricity:  750 to 1000 pesos every two months.  (Covers both house and shop!)  Oddly enough, we pay more for electricity in the winter than in the summer.
  •  Cable:  200 pesos a month.
  • Propane:  500 pesos every three months.  (That's 166 pesos a month.)  Having a stationary tank is much cheaper than the smaller cilindros that cost about 200 pesos each and only last 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Gasoline:  250 pesos a month.  We live in a small town where EVERYTHING is within walking distance.  Hubby only uses the truck to pick-up or deliver furniture and when we go out of town.
Sub-total monthly basics:  2800 pesos  (I rounded it out!)   

 A few extras:

  • Eating out:  We only eat out once a week.  While a taco dinner for 6 will cost us 50 pesos, we usually order Chinese take-out and spend 200 pesos a week. 
  • Entertainment:  I can't really put a price on this one.  Again, you must remember we live in a small town.  Most entertainment is GRATIS (free)!  There are no malls, movie theaters or fancy restaurants.  Nor do we go out of town often, because Hubby only has one day off (Sunday), which is spent with my in-laws.
  • Medical Expenses:  We don't pay for doctors or dentists, because they refuse to charge family members.  We do buy medication and spend about 300 pesos a month.
Sub-total extras:  2000 pesos  (I'm being extremely generous with this amount!)

Total monthly cost of living (excluding groceries):  4800 pesos  (That's a little less than 400 dollars, which is less than what we paid just for our rent back in the U.S.)



  1. Thank you, I've been stressing about this exact topic because it is so different everywhere, although your rent can't be beat! We're trying to find something under $200 but I'm thinking I'll have to drive around and look for signs because the ones online are spendy. Hopefully we can survive for about $500/mo because we're leaving with debt here to pay like student loans, etc.

  2. Wow that is indeed frugal living - we spend at least twice that - but still a bargain by U.S. standards.

  3. wow!!! in guadalajara living is expensive. We pay 7000 pesos a month in rent ALONE. Three bedroom house with small yard and cochera. it's nice but certainly not fancy!
    CRAZY the difference.

  4. um, you don't even want to know how much our rent is! besides rent and eating out, i would say the other things are comparable to prices in el DF.

    and i'm curious about your chinese take-out -- can you do a post on that sometime because i'm fascinated by the variations of chinese food around the world, esp. in small town mexico. are the owners chinese? i wonder what their story is...

  5. We spend much more on gasoline since hubby has to drive the truck 40-60min. to and from work when he works 2nd shift. Food is also more expensive here, like you, we eat out once a week. The big plus is we pay no rent. We actually collect rent (when they pay). Our monthly total is about 4500pesos but that's for 2 people not 6. :-)

  6. Also, it might seem like a real bargain to those NOB but I think its relative to what the earnings are in Mexico.

  7. That's great. Husband and I over here do just fine with our costs since our home is paid off and we have no bills. So we are okay, but I think it's awesome what you pay. Take care.

  8. We pay more for internet, but we got the higher speed. It's just internet and phone for $600 pesos. Our electricity is less, but there are only two of us. we average 400 to 600 every two month, usually 450. I think our propane is the same, we get it about every 5 months.
    We spend about $100 a month on the car if you factor in car insurance and repairs, we spend about $400 a month on gasoline but we don't drive that much.
    Our house is paid for so we have no rent, but we do have a fidiecomiso and taxes, so almost $6000 a year for the trust payment and about 200 for the taxes which makes our housing costs about $515 a month plus repairs. We pay about $60 for agua potable and drinking water is 22 a garafon but I guess that's groceries too.
    Our meidcal bills are more but then Husband is medically retired.

  9. Wow Leslie, I can't believe the cost of your rent.... Absolutely amazing :)

    Our maid pays $1000 pesos a month for her place...and it is dreadful. Not a fan or window in the place.... You have an entire house for less!!! Our rent is another story :( Cancun is very expensive, to give you an idea just a lot we are looking at (no house) is asking price 1,200,000 pesos!! Just for the lot!!

    Food isnt' too bad as long as I stay clear of Costco, but the Gringa in me can't do without for too long!! I'm hoping I grow out of this! LOL! I went grocery shopping today (Costco and Commercial Mexicana) and spent your entire months budget!!!

    I keep telling hubby we need to move... LOL!!!

  10. Let me add my vote. You are the queen of budgets. My rent is almost twice as much as your total monthly budget.

  11. Grrr I'm jealous!

    That's about what my rent costs here in Cancun (still pretty inexpensive, if you ask me) :)

    Jorge and I definitely spend a lot on going out! We don't like to stay home too much haha transportation is a big cost for us, too.

  12. KRYSTAL: Don't stress! I know people in town who survive on much less.

    CALYPSO: It may seem like frugal living, but really there are families who live on much less. And wait 'til you see my grocery bill! :)

    GRACE: That is crazy! I told my Hubby how much you pay for rent and couldn't believe it!

    ALICE: I will write a post about our Chinese take-out soon!

    OMT: Why would you want to move away from Cancun? But if you do, you're always welcome to move to my pueblito! :)

  13. Our rent in Reynosa is 6000 pesos a month for a 4 bedroom 2 bath house...central ac downstairs only. We have a HUGE back and front area.
    About 90 USD every 2 months for power..dont have a clue why our power is not higher considering we have central ac...but its one of those dont ask dont tell deals
    $45 usd for satellite
    $40 usd for internet
    Gas..have no clue...we have a large tank outside..he probably gets it filled once every 4-5 months.
    We were paying 800 pesos a wk for a house helper to come 5 days a week.

  14. That's it I am moving to Mexico. Heck our food bill alone each month is well over $400, US. UGH!

  15. man, all you guys have it good. That's nothing compared to my rent for the house and shop are about 14600 alone!!!!! i'm moving. pronto.

  16. 4800 pesos might not sound like a lot when converted to u.s dollars, but considering what most people earn in mexico that is a lot of money.

  17. I guess I will not be going to Mexico! I have always been told the rumors here in the US that it was dirt cheap to live in Mexico. I get $612 a month SS and it sounds like that is about $7400 in Pesos. Sounds great until we see the inflation that puts me right back in the states! I have a low income apt here and qualify for many things. I must go to a border town to get allot of dental work done and at least I can do it in Mexico not the US!
    So that's that!