Is it possible to live in San Miguel on $700. a month?

Hi;  I'm bill from New Orleans.  I'm wondering if it's possible to live in San Miguel on $700. a month?

Hi William Risbourg,

Welcome to :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the San Miguel de Allende forum for more visibility and interaction with the members.


Priscilla  :)

I've changed my destination...and could be going to San Jose,Costa  I've read
there are more freedoms....less govt.,'s what everyone wants.  We can
protect ourselves...and don't have to be frightened into 'more surveillance and
security'....(it's a very old game)....take care, cj

With that income you do not qualify for a visa unless you have at least $25000 in a bank account every month for a year. Or come and go on a tourist visa every 6 months. It is difficult to live on that amount and certainly no car, practically no dining out and shopping at local Tuesday market etc for food, second hand clothes etc.


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As said, it is a bit dicey. Yes, you would have to leave every six months, for a short time but still that is an extra expense. San Miguel is not near the border. It would depend on your rent. You can find nice places that are fairly inexpensive but not cheap. Craigslist can give you an idea. And of course, you would have to mostly cook simply at home, and budget carefully. However, you do not need a lot of fancy clothes or warm clothes, boots, etc. I knew a guy once upon a time who survived there by housesitting, but I do not think that is so easy or simple. You would probably need to find a roommate situation. That is not a huge income anywhere, although some places in Guatemala or even Mexico could be cheaper. Good luck!

One room flat, no smoking or drinking and learning to cook for yourself.  Central location so you don't need a car.  SMA central is too hilly for a bike

San Miguel de Allende … e-allende/

Hah - that is amusing - you are assuming the inquirer does not know how to cook for himself! :)

I suppose that you could live here on $700/mo. On the outskirts of town, eating a strict diet of beans and vegetables. Walking or taking the bus the few places you go.  There are many free events to attend, and the climate does not require heat nor A/C so you can survive here inexpensively I just don't think anyone from the US would want to.
The budget cost to renew your tourist visa may be the deal breaker.

One can stay for six months on a tourist visa then just leave for a few hours then get another six months. The exit fee is the only charge. Therefore I think the best solution for those on a low budget is to live near the border! (north or south)

You can live on 700usd per month and this will depend on the amount of rent you pay. Security is proportional to the rent. If you search, you can find a two room apartment with baño inside for under 2,500 peso per month. The choice is yours.

Need to take medical insurance cover into account too.

Except he might want to consider other places in Mexico - SM is simply a known place - esp with budget issues - ??

Not really.  I know several artists that live on about a $1,000 a month.  A way to
save money of course would be to share a house with someone rather than get
your one apartment.  You could also forgo internet service and work in the Library
or Starbucks every morning. For food shopping the market and the meat shops
around it are very reasonable.  If you are vegetarian, even more so.  You couldn't
do expensive restaurants or bars.  But there are some good cheap restaurants
where the locals go.  For travelling the buses are quite good.  Also, there are a
lot of free activities and cheap concerts in town and Guanajuato.  Good luck.  Renee

Hi Bill, I think it would be tough living on $700 pm  Equator or  Nicaragua would be would be more affordable for you..Equator is very beautiful and the cost of living much cheaper then here in Mexico.
All the best


Yes, Nicaragua is definitely cheaper (beautiful but very hot and the food is not so good). I dont know about Equator, the gringos are going there and driving up rental prices, I do know that. Just keep looking at your options. And you need to feel more or less at home and at ease where you are, of course....good luck!

Yes you can but not well. Here is how you can do it. 1. Rent from someone who has an extra bed room. I did this in SMA area about 10 long blocks from the major cathral in town. I paid $250 USD.I found the man as a referral from a hotel who sometimes sells out completely and tries to push want to be customers to their friends. I ate breakfast at the same tendor (small store with food) with the mexican man who owned the home. 3. Dinner out at least $8 or buy at the market and spend $4 per night.

Side note it takes I think at least 2 months to meet enough people to feel part of the town. One must volunteer for everything to meet people or you will just feel like another tourist in town.

Why must men always calculate their budget on eating out? :) Fruits and veggies are cheap in the market! Another tip: renting from Mexicans is generally much cheaper than renting from gringos. The places are generally not as pretty and comfortable, but you can add some personal touches to decorate it and living within your budget is crucial, of course. Advice: Select a town with a mild climate, where you won't spend a fortune on electricity, gas etc to heat/cool your place, or be forced to suffer, which is not fun. The hills in Vera Cruz are at that altitude too but there is nothing to do there, it could be rather lonely. Morelia is not bad for climate either, but it is a large heavily trafficked city and I dont know about living there cheaply. Most of the gringos there seem to be prosperous, although again, as said, sharing a place is economical. If I had to choose amongst them, I would choose Oaxaca, because of the indigenous culture. Heading south to Guatemala, the gringo invasion has raised rentals around gorgeous Lake Atitlan, although you can occasionally find rustic cheap rentals there, or in Panajachel, which pleases some people. Depends on who you are too, Gua tends to be rather old boho/hippy: the sixties are still alive and well, they joke...So, you need to go and see. You can find inexpensive buses and rooms for the trip...

There are plenty of safe places to live in Mexico.  I wouldn't relocate to Guatemala now as all of Central American (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras) has become a series of narco-states as many drug cartels have moved out of Mexico due to increased police/military presence.  Also that area around Oaxaca & Chiapas is a hotbed of protests and civil disobedience due to the high poverty levels so that would not be a place I would live; only visit.  That's why there are so many people from those two states that fled to other parts of Mexico due to violence.

Mary ellen - and Mexico is not a "narco state" ????? You seem to be a bit of a drama queen  - Lots of gringos live quite happily and peacefully in Guatemala, nothing happens to them and I know it well!  Oaxaca is a very calm safe place and not a "hotbed of protests" - That is absurd! I think the people who live there and in Chiapas would be astonished to hear that! And the 80000 they say have died in the cartel wars etc in Mexico? How many were gringos? You appear to be rather ill informed, or you like to exaggerate danger. I know it makes life seem more exciting but calm and reason and clear facts are much more helpful to people seeking advice! The organized crime in Mexico has proved tragic for many Mexicans, but it rarely touches gringos. Very rarely as in almost never. And with a little bit of common sense a gringo can stay safe anywhere. Maybe you need some yourself. It is words like that which stir up trouble in people's minds, much more trouble than there really is in reality. Please reconsider before seeking to confuse people with your hysteria!

Dear All,

Had a question for you & i.e. What monthly salary you feel is sufficient enough to live at mexico city, having a decent rental, clothing, commute (between(house - Office), meal, dine out some entertainment like theater like and little saving.

Please add following add when replying.

A good salary! Rent is high....and you want the rest too - I would say $2000 at least?

Back to the OP. I recently met someone who lives on $500 USD per month. But has no rent. She purchased her home outright. Assuming that you can get a room (and I do) for $200/mo I guess you could live here for that. I still maintain that it is not the best way to live, but if it is $700 here over $700 in the US my guess is here would be better.

It would certainly be better!!! :) Rent is a primary issue, if you can pay little or nothing then the rest is controllable - food (cheap if simple) - clothes (you dont need fancy duds or warm clothes) etc....

This isn't hysteria.  Apparently you don't read the Spanish language newspapers.

maryellen1952 :

This isn't hysteria.  Apparently you don't read the Spanish language newspapers.

Yes it is.

My cousin, Gordon Strom....was assassinated by thugs in El Zapote, Teocelo, State of Vera Cruz
He was a humanitarian, an environmentalist.   This happened April 5, 2017.

Gordon was my children's age.  He was the child of my father's brother's son.
I had never met Gordon.  Upon sending my DNA sample to 23Nme and upon it's publication, I received a letter from an unknown DNA 2nd cousin, from Oregon.  After a time of hunting facts we discovered that she was also a child of my father's brother's son...>smile>  We look alike.  She hunted through the ancestors and actually found our American relative, Gordon, who was HER BROTHER, in Mexico, married to a Mexican citizen.  All of us, delighted to discover Gordon, were making all the necessary steps to get acquainted.  I was especially
wanting to have him meet up with my son, nearly the same age and matching their photographs, they looked enough alike, as to be brothers.
Imagine our despair and disappointment to hear that he had been assassinated on his farm there in Mexico.  For no reason.  He did nothing but good in his community  of El Zapote.  I am unable to copy & paste the Notice of his death, but I think that anyone can bring it up by googling Gordon Strom and Teocelo, State of Veracruz.  So, you see, violence does happen to American citizens in Mexico. 

I would  suggest that violence happens to American citizens in the USA, also...and if you use caution wherever you are when in unfamiliar areas, you will be safe.  I just thought I would share this sad news
with you.  Frances


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