Is this a manageable salary?

Hello again,
Realistically speaking, do you all think I could make it in Puerto Rico with a salary of 31,000? I am a single mother of 2 and I finally landed an interview. I'm just thinking ahead. I have a decent amount saved in my savings account and I will be bringing my car. Thanks in advance!

Hi Jolo,

I am going through exactly the same thing.  I will visit Mayaguez at the end of April.  I've applied for a lot of jobs.  I am a single mom of 2 as well.  In looking at rentals and private schools, it "seems" that you could make it on this salary, depending on your rental and what schools you put your kids in. I'm curious about where you landed the job!?!?!?  I actually have a PhD, but can't even get a job in the mainland and have been applying in the Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Rincon area.  My boyfriend lives in Mayaguez.  We know the job market is not so good, but he has a family farm to work on.  I've actually emailed a lot of resorts, because one thing a PhD is good for is waitressing ;)  Ha ha!! 

Good luck on the interview,


Hi etilley23,
I actually put in for a federal job months ago, and finally received a call. Crazy right?? I was just about to give up on going the federal route. From what I hear, federal employees can put their children in the school on base, that's what I would do if I get the job. I actually went to Antilles Elementary and Middle on Ft Buchanan.  I'm not going to stress because I hear about nepotism in PR, I am just happy I actually got an interview!

That's great!  I had applied for one fed job, but it was cancelled.  Keep on trucking!  Congrats on the interview, and again, good luck1

Yeah, not a problem... especially if you decide to live in a small town, outside of the big cities. I live on less, and I support a wife and daughter.

It should be OK, especially if you don't have to pay for private schools (I understand your kids could go to school at the base?).

Thanks guys, From what I've been reading, my kids would be able to go to Antilles. I plan on calling to verify soon.

The base school has a very good reputation. $31k is enough if you don't need to pay for private school. Good luck with the interview. Practice!

I won't post my offer on a public forum (the hills have eyes) but this post is interesting. Jolo84 did you make the move? Does anyone else have input on salaries that enable "comfortable" living in on the west coast of the island?

The average person in the island makes less than $24K a year. If you  don't have to pay private schools and do you homework on housing, then you can live very well on that salary.
We are budgeting $24K/yr for our retirement in PR house paid off, no kids living with us. My sister in law have 2 kids and live on less than $1K/month in PR. To give you an example and she pays rent, kids are in public school.

I agree with Adlin20.
However, it all depends on your standards and the way you live, what toys you have, how much air conditioner you use, length of your showers, how often you eat out, what do you eat, how many drinks you typically have a month, how often you go to movies, on and on and on.
Some can make it just fine on 20k a years, while others need 250k a year.

Here is a budget example:
-average rent $500
-electricity $100(based on a normal house with 1ac only at nighttime) two people on the house
-water $65
-groceries $400
-phone and internet $45(claro) I know not the best one but....
-cell $100 (based on two cells pre paid)
-gas $120 (one tank a week)
-misc $200 - ?? (Based on how many times you go out to eat, movies, drinks)
-car registration $150/yr including liability insurance
-propane gas $80 tank (this last us 8-10 months cooking twice a day)

We had stayed on our house in PR a month at a time on different times a year and had not gone above this budget. To us, the variables are the unexpected expenses. With so many free activities around the island from sight seeing to beach and mountain exploring will keep the budget on track. Think like the locals do, going to the beach, bring a cooler with food and drinks. Going to the river, do the same. Want some beer, bring then, is cheaper that way.

Those are good numbers, when you look at them you get around 1,500. That example shows cash you need leftover after taxes. You need more for taxes obviously.

Out of your check will be social security, Medicare, medical insurance, dental insurance, and likely PR taxes, likely no federal taxes. No idea what PR taxes will be as that depends on your salary and I do not have the tax tables.
It is very hard to determine what take home pay will be. Usually it is a surprise at any job, even state side.

If it's a federal job you will be taken out taxes. Good news is that most will be refunded and the IRS won't make you wait a year for a refund. Unlike Hacienda.


Thank you all for your responses. I have a lot to consider.

2000 to 2100 a month will likely cover it all and still provide you the 1500 you need based on the above budget. My assumption is 33% coming off your salary for insurances and taxes. I think that is a fairly safe number but I could be wrong.

If anyone know of a better percentage to use, be my guess.

I've never been about about money, but about lifestyle. Maximize resources and you will be fine. It really doesn;t matter how much you make if your life is not enjoyable and you don't have fun. Your projected income should cover it all. Be open and investigate (classificados, farmer's markets,  local craft fairs, free events, etc. for deals) and you will have a wonderful life in PR. The Thunderbirds performed recently and I had a front row seat from my balcony.  I can't wait until I can scale down my business, sell our house and move -- permanently.

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