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how much to live in Paradise- Madagascar

How much does it cost to live in Madagascar? I say it costs about $700 to $1200 a month to live in Madagascar. This all varies on what are your needs and habits.   Lets break down the costs to find out how much it cost to live in Madagascar. From rentals to transportation  to food and internet service/
This also depends on what part of the Island you will live.  Please share some of your experiences.

To start with the real basics of what are costs to live in any country is to see what the locals are paying for their lifestyle because if you really wanted to, you could live like a local.
In the story of Madagascar the basics starts with living on $40 a month ( more or less) in the rural areas.
You could rent a house for $3 a month with outside toilet and kitchen, no electric and water and I read that one vasaha did this in Nosy Be for a while.
So Now, we have a starting point and what is next is a list of items  you have that we can attach a price to in order to come to a monthly budget for you to live here in Madagascar.  I will say this, your expenses over time will come down from what you thought you will need to live on from your lifestyle in your home country. For example you may like certain food from your country that will be expensive to buy in the super markets. You will come to learn that the local foods are not only healthier for you but much better in taste and your budget for food can be reduced by as much as 80%, as you learn to buy from locals and the street markets.
What are your needs and luxuries that you have to have, Internet??, canal sat. TV???
Hot water???? Inside kitchen with gas, or wood sticks ( free) or charcoal???

Monthly expenses for me

Unlimited internet wireless for  $45
canal Sat. T V , basic service  $20    About 40 different channels
No rent because I own  my home, but you can find a nice 1,000 sq foot house for $150
I have lived in many places around the USA and the equal rent to the above would run $1000 to $2000 a month or much more since the place I rented in Mahajanga 13 years ago, had a Ocean view which would be out of site in my Santa Barbara Ca neighborhood.

Food difficult to say but Street food at three meals at $7 to 10 dollars a day, you could pay more if you wish to hang out in tourist traps. A pizza or cheeseburger is about $3. Malagasy food is at least half that and good food as well, though lots of rice and more than I want.
cook at home for half price and at a better value. I buy Fresh shrimp for $7 for 5lbs that last two meals for a family of four, cooked at home, Shrimp comes with skin and heads and make an excellent broth.  What does fresh shrimp cost in your country if you can find it, as in not frozen.  Full on Fresh live crabs for $3 to feed a family four with left overs sometimes. Real fresh front crab claws the size of a small woman.s hand
I can buy a weeks worth of food supplies for $75  a week for my family of four.
Electric and water does add up especially if you want air conditioning- so on the high end lets put 175 dollars which includes cooking gas and charcoal cooking (bbq quaint  for us but daily Malagasy lifestyle).   I use air con for half the night to keep the air dry, sometimes in the morning- Mahajanga is a hot part of the island.
Employees is other---Maid service half day $30 a month
night security also about $60 a month
chauffeur/mechanic/$90 a month  On 24 hour call
All included is free medical and Social security. I   support all my employees to have medical and free medicine. 
Gardener and maintenance people and other low skilled service  Pays about the same above for Vasaha prices
Indians pay about half and no Medical or Social security
And many Malagasy have workers with no pay, Just people who come from a small village who have no future, no school, no math skills and cannot read will work for no money, just a roof over their head, sleep on the floor on a nap, and food and some clothes. They walk away with nothing after a couple of years with nothing but a bus ticket back to their village and stories of their life in the larger city working for their Malagasy owners.

This is just a quick account and remember that Malagasy live on $40 to $60 a month so the Vasaha lives about 15 to 20 times ( or more) per month than the average citizen of Madagascar.   And malagasy are also raising a larger family on their $50 a month, though the wife may have a part time job and the older children sell mangoes on the street.

Life is not expensive here, but you need to find out where the bargains are and where the whole sale prices are like going to a Costco in your country.   

Enjoy your life--- more life for less money my fellow ex pats

Transportation is another expense to consider- Buses  either a Van or Sprinter type will cost about 15 to 20 cents.  Tuk Tuk or the 3 wheeled moto taxi will cost 30 to 50 cents. really long trips into the bush country on dirt roads can cost about $1 door to door.   
It is reported that there are some 3,000 tuk tuks in Mahajanga and as I go down the street you can see as much as 15 of them in a row carrying clients.   
Really at that price, I prefer the Tuk tuk now as the for the ride is close to gas price and wear and tear on my cars. Car is better if you have many stops to make for errands and business.  Gas is about $4 a gallon.  You see  many more scooters around as well, not so much the motorcycle or dirt bike some quads or as call the recreational four wheeler. 
Taxis are not seen much any more though is required to be taken to the airport at about  $3 to $5 or more.
Airport rule, taxi only- no Tuk Tuks.
If you are living here then you can get a basic used car that runs well for $2,000 to $3,000.  There is no need to have a 4 x 4 in the Mahajanga area.  You can pay for this feature but there will be no need to use this feature.   I bought a scooter about a year ago for $450 and it is great for getting around as there is so much more traffic in the area with new smaller cars that are about $4,000 to $7,000. Problem that I notice is these new smaller cars are low slung models that when driving through dirt roads that will be filled with rain and deep holes that their bottoms drag on the ground.  There are of course many tuks Tuks that adds to the traffic.
What else---Oh the pousse pousse that is rarely seen carrying people anymore at the price of 20 cents.
They are now used mostly to carry hardware materials such as cement and wire, many bags of charcoal or rice and bottles of soda and beers for local bars and smalls stall market--the local version of the teeny tiny
7-11 store.   Tuk Tuks also carry products as well as people.

I wonder when they will have motorcycle taxi for one person transport,( girls sit side saddle), like they do in Asia.

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