Cost of living 2018 in Costa Rica

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Costa Rica.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Costa Rica will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Costa Rica?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Costa Rica?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Too many questions! LOL.
I'll just say that other than mechanics and property and health care, Costa Rica is more expensive than the USA.

Coffee is more expensive too, in restaurants! You pay per cup, no free refills! To buy your own, for home, though, it's cheaper depending on what you buy. A good coffee, to me, is "1820" and it's a good price. If the regular is not good enough for you try their reserva.

Also beer and wine and liquor are more expensive in Costa Rica.

Cars, appliances, electronics including computers and tablets and phones, quality clothes, shoes, and many things for the home: about twice the price in Costa Rica than same or better quality stuff in the USA.

Many of us bring stuff from the USA once or twice a year because of this. Aside from the high price here, often the quality and features are less as well.

Example: I need a new blu-ray player. Went to the Walmart. They only offer 3 models. The LG and Panasonic models both offer few features and not the features I need (to play .mkv files via USB). The 3rd model is a Chinese brand I never heard of and not sure if it is worth buying or not but I hate buying Chinese cr*p. So I'll have to try to find a used one from  the USA here or buy one in the USA and bring it in  my suitcase.

All in all it is more expensive to live in  Costa Rica than the USA if you rent.

If you buy property then it is cheaper to live in Costa Rica, depending on your lifestyle. I know for us, our property was much much cheaper here for a great natural location with privacy and ocean view! And our construction was maybe 1/5 the cost of the USA with fewer bureaucracies and requirements.

So I could NOT live as well in the USA, no way!  Because of the property and house being much cheaper here ... so I could afford them, and so now don't pay rent.

So I would say if you buy property and build or purchase a house here you can live on less in Costa Rica despite the higher cost of most things. But if you rent then it's about the same as living in the USA.

On the other hand, living in Trumplandia has its own set of down sides you also have to consider... and things aren't getting any cheaper there, either, are they? (well maybe electronics and such... but not in general, certainly not rent nor property nor construction...)

Priscilla :

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Costa Rica.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Costa Rica will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?
Varies greatly between different areas of the country.  I would say the "average" rental cost for a Gringo style 3 bedroom home would be $650.00 per month.

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?
Average 3 bedroom, two bath Gringo style home $175,000.00.

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Bus ride for 6 km trip is about .60¢.  Bus ride for 50 km. about $3.00.  Taxi for 6 km. trip would be $5.00 and a 50 km trip is about $50.00.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
unknown - just grab and go

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
Food,dog food, toiletries, clothing $700.00.  This can be done for less, probably about $500 per month.  We eat higher quality food, high end dog food, etc.

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Costa Rica?
If you're a resident of CR, medical coverage is 100% so it's free with the required monthly payment.  The monthly cost varies based on your income.  Dentist - office visits are about $25, cleaning $30, dental crown with x-rays, etc. $450, dental implant with bone jaw reconstruction $2,400.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
$80.00

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
unknown

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
n/a

How much does it cost to fill up your cars fuel tank?
For about 80 liters of regular gas - $80.00

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Electricity - $90.00
Water - $12

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
Internet - $66 (2 mbps)
Cell phone - $8

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
What the heck is a "lunch pack???"    :/ 

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
$2.50 per cup

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
$4

How much does a gym membership cost in Costa Rica?
Small, old gym $10 per month, nice gym $50 per month

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?

We pay $500.00 for a 1 story, 2 bedroom house.  It has a lovely front veranda and a back veranda overlooking the jungle.  Surrounded by mango trees.  Visited by capuchins, howlers, iguanas,  pesote and watusa.  An occasional tarantula and scorpion.  Lots of ants of all kinds.  Also, termites like the ones running across my laptop screen.

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Costa Rica?

I’ve seen houses going from $35,000 to $1.5 million.  We have been told easy to buy, hard to sell.  Lots of maintenance.

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

We live about 2 kilometers from town.  Taxi is 2000 colones one way.  Our go to taxi driver even delivers propane to us. To go to the nearest town it costs 350 colones for one by bus.. 

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

Pasta and rice is pretty inexpensive.  The bread we buy costs about 1,650 colones per loaf (Integral).  Our neighbor is the local baker.

What is your monthly budget for groceries?  $500.00+ or -.  Usually plus.

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Costa Rica?   We are on Caja however, have not used it yet.  Dentist varies.  About $50 for a filling.  Much cheaper than in the US.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?   About $90 for two of us.

How much does childcare cost on average per month?  We have no young children here with us.  No idea.

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
N/A
How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?  N/A

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

Electricity is about $60.00 per month.  We use propane.  Great for when the power goes out.  For Rainy Season it's a must.  It’s about 16,000 per cylinder. (medium).  We do not pay for water. :)

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

Internet $70 per month (Cabletica).  That includes cable TV.  We get about 5 stations in English.  My guess is about 60 channels in Spanish.  Local cell phone (ICE) is about 16,000 colones per month.

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?  N/A

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

We don’t.  We also drink 1820 brand coffee.  It’s great.  My daughter just came for a visit from the US.  I gave some to her to take home.  She loves it, too.

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?   No cinemas close to us.  We have a movie night at one of the beaches.  Much better.

How much does a gym membership cost in Costa Rica?

No idea.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

My pleasure.

Priscilla

We only live in here part time and the rest at home and we have noticed a big change in the cost of things over the past 10 years.  I agree with the price of a cup of coffee is nuts.......and if you want their version of a specialty coffee, forget it you need to take out a mortgage on your house.  My question is how do the locals afford it??????  I see them driving nice cars, eating in all the restaurants, wearing all the fashionable clothes and everyone has a cellphone - We have a home paid for here so we have no rent to pay, earn in excess of six figures back home and live very comfortably there (except for the crap weather) but when we arrive here, we are finding everything is costing that much more than the year before.  We shop at the local market and the local grocery stores.  There is a store in town that is more "american" and we have shopped there as well, but so are a lot of the locals, paying the same prices we are - how can they afford those prices when we are finding things expensive.  It's still a beautiful country with a lot to offer and I hope it stays that way.  Sometimes these developing countries grow far too quickly.

Thanks for sharing that Pricilla (sp).  All the info I can get helps.   Overall, buying is cheaper than renting, and I'm aware of the electronic products including washers and dryers.  It was a little surprising about the Internet cost; sort of high.  I pay about $27.00 per month in Montana for more than 2 bps or whatever they are called, mine is fairly fast.  My phone here with unlimited everything is $27.00 per month but I don't use the ATT, Verizon types.  My phone connection is excellent and I can call all over the world, have no limits on anything.  I paid $29.00 for my unlocked phone that has Microsoft program.  Homes here are more expensive but better built, not quality but materials.  Taxes on homes here are extremely high and getting higher as the governments continue to fail.  For me the advantage of living in CR is that I'm tired of the non stop wars of the failing Washington DC government.  Not much good can be said about Washington DC and it's spilling over onto the states.  Time to get out of Dodge.:)









C

Dick

Crate  very true what you say.  The internationals have driven prices very high.  However my last trip to Peru I found things to be similar and lived with locals in an apartment in the center of Lima.  People there were struggling, many financial hardships and what I considered bad food.  So in some sense it's not all the fault of the international community in CR but the wave of international prices reaching the South American countries.  In the USA the flow of goods from China and other Asian countries has made many things cheap.  However, hang on to your hat because that is changing.  China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and others are leaving the almighty dollar for other currencies and there is nothing the deep state people of Washington DC can do about it.  "The times they are changing, along with the value of the almighty dollar".  Good luck and keep on trucking:)

Cratedivision,

I agree with your post 100%.

I live in MD, just retired and plan to sell my home in MD and move down south in the US and also get "cheap" place in one of the beach towns in CR. I have been to Jaco three times over the past 5 yrs and my SS will only be a little over a thousand a month so "cost of living" after purchase is a huge concern for me. That said for me it could be a bonus as well as a burden....with the prices people pay for things in Jaco forming a small business seems pretty lucrative ( Tico employees of course).

But yes even taking into account lower the fact that from what I have read Tico's see a lower cost than Gringos on many over the counter type items it still is hard to imagine how Tico's working for 2-5 dollars and hour can afford to drive cars, own cell phones and the like.

Most of the low wage owners don't own cars, but utilize their bicycles, bus or walk.The low wages quoted are for agricultural workers, shop assistants, maids and 'bottom of the ladder' construction jobs.
Many own their own home however humble it may be and often many generations live in it, all contributing to the running of it. As in North America, owners of the 'fancy car' owners may have purchased them on credit but their wages are pretty decent and possibly they don't pay rent, income tax or even a mortgage.
Since not all homeowners pay CAJA and INS for the daily help, housewives may work a just few hours a day for less than the minimum wage, money going into the coffers.
The interest rate is very, very high here, whether it be to purchase a  toaster or a Taurus...and it will cause problems.

ICE offers a very low contract price on their cell phones.

I know for a fact (and newspapers have reported the same) that many lower- educated Ticos with labor jobs or store jobs are barely making ends meet. And the recent CAJA increase was 40% for at least one Tico friend, really screwing with his monthly budget which was already too tight. I can't swear to it but I will bet that many, many Ticos are in the same boat.

It's sad how the government here seems to be becoming more like Mexico - politicians and government people getting rich on crazy salaries while the People suffer and sometimes can barely afford to eat at all and the rest of the time eat just beans, rice and pasta and other cheap low-nutrition foods.

No wonder CAJA is seeing higher incidents of medical problems - the people can't afford to eat well! So they raise the monthly CAJA health insurance payment to poor Ticos; Now their budget for food will be even LOWER.

The government here is horrible in so many ways. They are *apparently* stealing import taxes, stealing money that is supposed to be used for road repairs - even local "associations" for example who are given money by the MUNI to repair roads - but the money kinda sorta "disappears"... Hmmmm. I guess it's like gang members. They gotta get money somehow so if they see a way to steal it from the government, they feel justified. Even though the road goes unrepaired as a result, costing their fellow Ticos (and me) more money in car repairs.

The government is totally corrupt but it's all done quietly and the people know it but do nothing. I guess it's the same in the USA just that in the USA it's more hidden. Or not.

On the other hand, yes, there are rich Ticos and I too wonder what they are doing to get so rich. I suppose they have government jobs or are getting some of that graft.

Then of course there are some professionals that earn pretty well. And there are people I know of who bought property 25 years ago on the beaches and the property they paid maybe $40k US Dollars for is now worth millions of $. One I know of was just a pig farmer buying farm land. Now he's a millionaire due to beach property prices. Luck!

Meanwhile I walk through town and say "Man! I am NOT going to pay $500 for  a TV that only costs $250 in the U.S. and the one sold here isn't even as good! It's the same with computers and other electronics. It may be a Panasonic and have the same name as the one in the USA but the features are not as good nor is the quality, nor warranty etc.

All these import taxes on electronics and cars and other things we can't afford to buy at twice the U.S. price:  where does the tax money go? All I know is it does NOT go towards road repair or helping the poor Ticos!

Sorry for the rant but this is about the cost of living and I feel it's appropriate to say this here.

Agree SamRamon,

I have read and had conversations with people who have been in CR for a long time and agree the corruption is pretty bad....but that is often the case in poorer countries where the wage is low and payoffs are good.

One thing I am grateful for is that from what I have read unlike ATVs and Cars, Solar Panels and related components are not subject to the same import fees.

This is really a major plus for me since I plan to live near a beach...I can get a 10kw solar panel system with all controls for about 15k this is enough to more than take care of all the needs of a 1500 sq foot house with plenty for a storage system.

Another interesting thing is that I saw on a CR Yamaha dealers website is that unlike the more than doubled price on high end ATVs which are realistically toys, small motorized scooters are only hit with about a 35-40% surcharge at least when you purchase at a CR dealership.

cratedivision :

We only live in here part time and the rest at home and we have noticed a big change in the cost of things over the past 10 years.  I agree with the price of a cup of coffee is nuts.......and if you want their version of a specialty coffee, forget it you need to take out a mortgage on your house.  My question is how do the locals afford it??????  I see them driving nice cars, eating in all the restaurants, wearing all the fashionable clothes and everyone has a cellphone - We have a home paid for here so we have no rent to pay, earn in excess of six figures back home and live very comfortably there (except for the crap weather) but when we arrive here, we are finding everything is costing that much more than the year before.  We shop at the local market and the local grocery stores.  There is a store in town that is more "american" and we have shopped there as well, but so are a lot of the locals, paying the same prices we are - how can they afford those prices when we are finding things expensive.  It's still a beautiful country with a lot to offer and I hope it stays that way.  Sometimes these developing countries grow far too quickly.

Why do Gringos assume that "all" Ticos are poor?  There are many here making six figure incomes.  Yes, there are many poor just as in North America.  A good friend of mine, a Tico, earns enough that he and his wife travel the world.  They are in the States once or twice a month.  There are high, medium and low incomes here just as in most countries. 

The difference is that Tico's accept who they are and where they are in life and do not complain as so many Gringos do.  (Not in any way pointing finger at you Crated  :D , just commenting in general.)

You are correct relative to pricing.  The cost of living has gone up significantly over the past decade.  For those of us that have income from the U.S. dollar it's somewhat offset at this time by the exchange rate.  I do feel bad for the Canadians living here  - they really get screwed by the valuation of the dollar.

- Expat Dave

ExpatDave :
cratedivision :

We only live in here part time and the rest at home and we have noticed a big change in the cost of things over the past 10 years.  I agree with the price of a cup of coffee is nuts.......and if you want their version of a specialty coffee, forget it you need to take out a mortgage on your house.  My question is how do the locals afford it??????  I see them driving nice cars, eating in all the restaurants, wearing all the fashionable clothes and everyone has a cellphone - We have a home paid for here so we have no rent to pay, earn in excess of six figures back home and live very comfortably there (except for the crap weather) but when we arrive here, we are finding everything is costing that much more than the year before.  We shop at the local market and the local grocery stores.  There is a store in town that is more "american" and we have shopped there as well, but so are a lot of the locals, paying the same prices we are - how can they afford those prices when we are finding things expensive.  It's still a beautiful country with a lot to offer and I hope it stays that way.  Sometimes these developing countries grow far too quickly.

Why do Gringos assume that "all" Ticos are poor?  There are many here making six figure incomes.  Yes, there are many poor just as in North America.  A good friend of mine, a Tico, earns enough that he and his wife travel the world.  They are in the States once or twice a month.  There are high, medium and low incomes here just as in most countries. 

The difference is that Tico's accept who they are and where they are in life and do not complain as so many Gringos do.  (Not in any way pointing finger at you Crated  :D , just commenting in general.)

You are correct relative to pricing.  The cost of living has gone up significantly over the past decade.  For those of us that have income from the U.S. dollar it's somewhat offset at this time by the exchange rate.  I do feel bad for the Canadians living here  - they really get screwed by the valuation of the dollar.

- Expat Dave

Dave, what surprises me is not that there are rich Ticos but that apparently there are a LOT of them. I say this because I see people shopping for things in stores that I won't even walk into because the prices are so exorbitant.

I guess part of it is that they have nothing to compare it to. To them, prices for quality items are twice what we pay in the USA but they don't KNOW that or just accept it, whereas i don't. Sometimes I am just flabbergasted by the markup on things like clothes, shoes, appliances etc. (Markup includes import taxes, not just the store's profit, I know.)

You can live cheaper here than in the USA imho, for sure, BUT if you want to live cheap you can't buy all the stuff you used to buy and you have to say no to a lot of things and shop around for a better price - which sometimes you can find, other times not.

Here are a few examples:
walnuts, cashews, almonds - outrageously expensive here. Though occasionally you can find a deal at Pricemart or even at Mas por Menos where I found almost 1k of sliced almonds for only 7500 colones or about $6.50 a lb. first time I've ever seen them at that low of a price.

Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese - about double what you pay in the USA. There are queseras where you can buy locally made cheeses that are good and at a good price, but not cheddar or jack.

Organic flax oil - can't even find it. Used to get it by the bottle at Trader Joes for $6 or so.

Organic coconut oil - although this is a coconut producing country you pay about double for organic coco oil what you would pay in the USA

I miss Trader Joe's SO much, it's ridiculous! So many great things there at great prices, that we cannot even get here, or if we can they are 2-3 times the price.

We all know that cars, phones, laptops, tv's, sound systems, good coffee makers and other appliances are about double what you pay in the USA and as I said before, what is worse, often the quality is not the same at all. I bought a dvd player that won't play the same files on usb my one in the states did. I bought a Panasonic TV that doesn't have the same features though it too was a "viera" model. Paid more, got much fewer features. I bought a major USA brand coffee maker that every time I make coffee it gets grounds in where the water goes. Poor design.

Nearly every Tico we know here owns multiple parcels of land, some of which they hope to sell to an extranjero...  :top: ...for more money than they could hope/expect to sell to another Tico.
Yes, we are getting royally screwed, and still the Canadian government want more from us

kohlerias :

Nearly every Tico we know here owns multiple parcels of land, some of which they hope to sell to an extranjero...  :top: ...for more money than they could hope/expect to sell to another Tico.
Yes, we are getting royally screwed, and still the Canadian government want more from us

Yes I have seldom ever met any Tico who didn't own land. And many own several parcels. That's one reason you see so many Se Vende signs: they just put up the signs hoping some Gringo will come along and offer them more than it's worth.  Many say Ticos are "land rich and cash poor". Kind of like me, LOL.

As to Tico pricing, I had a Tico I worked with several times, was always fair with me. Then one day he overcharged me about 3 times what the work was worth (this told me by the Tico who recommended him to me, and then he said he'd never recommend him to anyone again). Gringo pricing is real and I've seen it many times.

One friend of mine even had a Hospital double the price of an operation after they found out he was married to the Tica patient who was quoted a lower price.

Interesting article today on Qcostarica   regarding the availability of some items  and the higher cost.

kohlerias :

Interesting article today on Qcostarica   regarding the availability of some items  and the higher cost.

Like I was saying...
And a subway in San Jose?
Good idea but a nightmare no doubt in the interim! And I doubt if it ever happens.
What would be even better would be an underground train from San Ramon to San Jose with stops all along the way. But again... those wrecks...
For a country that cannot even deliver mail, a subway without wrecks..?

I know a few things about costs in Costa Rica such as housing, food, TV, Internet, etc.  However I know very little about how I can become insured and how much it would cost me per month or year.  Any info would be appreciated.  Thanks,

Dick

glenpeace999 :

I know a few things about costs in Costa Rica such as housing, food, TV, Internet, etc.  However I know very little about how I can become insured and how much it would cost me per month or year.  Any info would be appreciated.  Thanks,

Dick

Insured for what? What kind of insurance?
I found that car insurance is about the same or a little higher here in Costa Rica when you consider what you get for the price, and also I have heard horror stories about getting paid for a stolen or totaled car.

I have a friend whose car was stolen 8 months ago and he still hasn't gotten a dime. He had money to buy a new car but what about those of us who don't? We're supposed to do without a car for 8 months plus??!

Also whereas in the USA rental car coverage is offered at a reasonable price should your car require repair or replacement, here the rental car coverage is outrageously high, more or less prohibitively high. So you're going to do without a car potentially for a long time or pay around $500 a week for a 4x4 if you need one... Regular cars are cheaper to rent but still it would add up a lot if you had to wait a long time for them to fix or replace your car.

And if you buy private auto insurance you still have to pay the national insurance at "marchamo" or car registration time, which I think is unfair. They should allow you to opt out of the national insurance payment any year you have private insurance which is better.

Health insurance costs my wife and me about $80 a month through the CAJA national plan which is required for legal residency. It includes most stuff free but it depends on where you live and luck of the draw as to how good the doctors are and how long you have to wait to see one etc.

I am not that impressed with our doctors here but have heard both good and bad re getting needed surgery in a timely manner. Just like HMO's the CAJA decides how long you have to wait and what they'll pay for.

A friend of mine had an enlarged prostate which can often be controlled with a prescription medicine. But here they won't pay for the prescription so they say "get surgery" or suffer. And even the surgery takes a long time to get, meanwhile you suffer.

One thing I really don't like is that you don't get a choice of doctors, at least not where we live. And you have to get up at 6-7am and go wait in line in card table chairs or a hard bench for hours to see the doctor, usually in a whole room full of sick people, and with only one bathroom. God forbid you have diarrhea or a stomach flu. Better take a bucket with you.

Private medical insurance is expensive and you STILL have to pay CAJA even if you get private insurance, which really doesn't seem fair.

As for house insurance I don't know. I'd almost be willing to bet it is similarly hard to get reimbursement should you have a problem. Anyone have experience with claiming house insurance benefits? And cost info?

Don't get me started ...... forget house insurance.  our place was broken into, broken windows, etc. and the police said there was no forced entry so no insurance coverage.  we had been paying for 5 years, never put in a claim until the place was broken into and all our stuff was taken - the police couldn't, or wouldn't, help us and our insurance broker was a total waste of time.  It was so obvious the house had been broken into and vandalized but the police said we must have left a window open even though the screens were all ripped up and the window forced open.   I guess they think we are "rich gringos" and can afford this.  Wish they would realize we have worked very hard for what we have.    I wonder if all this stuff is one of the reasons that gringos seem to return to the states after 5 - 7 years.... hmmm...

Thanks Sam Ramon!  I like your to the point candor.  The wait in line for medical care service doesn't sound like a good plan.:)  The rest of the insurance doesn't sound real great either.  Is it possible you and I could start an auto/home insurance company of our own.  Why not, it worked for all the other crooks, we should take a little of the free cash too.:)  Maybe one of us could go to med school and become a doctor.  Again, thanks for your candor, I appreciated it.

I'm moving to the San Jose area in August, and would love more information on the cost ranges of utilities, including:
electricity
water
internet
phone
car insurance (older, used car to be purchased)
groceries (thinking more farmer's market than Walmart)

We are moving to a furnished home provided by the school, so rent is not an issue.

LolaNayeli :

I'm moving to the San Jose area in August, and would love more information on the cost ranges of utilities, including:
electricity
water
internet
phone
car insurance (older, used car to be purchased)
groceries (thinking more farmer's market than Walmart)

We are moving to a furnished home provided by the school, so rent is not an issue.

Because we all live differently, that is a bit hard to answer.  But, this is what I spend monthly on my adult daughter and myself:

Electricity - average $100 (We use the clothes dryer only in winter, no heating or air conditioning needed and we do you a dishwasher.)
Water - $12
Internet - $67  (CRWfi with average 2 Mps download speed.  Slow but fast enough to watch Netflix/Popcorn Time movies)
Cell Phone - $8 & $16 (I don't do much texting so mine is less and my daughter texts constantly.)  No limits on text or talk time.  Yep, MUCH cheaper than the U.S.
Car Insurance - $460 every six months with full coverage (That is for a 2001 Toyota 4Runner Limited Edition)
Groceries - $500 (That includes everything, food, toiletries, new kitchen pans or whatever comes up) We do not eat out at all.
Gasoline - Averages about $4.50 per gallon for regular.  You get used to it after a while.   :huh:

- Expat Dave

Ferias vary all over the country and most only operate 1 day a week, so not always convenient.

LolaNayeli :

I'm moving to the San Jose area in August, and would love more information on the cost ranges of utilities, including:
electricity
water
internet
phone
car insurance (older, used car to be purchased)
groceries (thinking more farmer's market than Walmart)

We are moving to a furnished home provided by the school, so rent is not an issue.

See my link in a post above for info and  receipt. I plan to upload more receipts in the very near future so you can see more actual costs.
Dave's list is pretty accurate for me except I pay less for internet and less for car insurance because I have an older car.

I doubt the groceries are more in SJ than where I live, maybe cheaper. I've noted that often on the street in SJ you can get avocados and fruits about half or less what I pay in San Ramon.

My electricity runs around $35 a month now but now I have elec water heater and electric heater I use when I get out of the shower. Not necessary but I just like warmth when I get out of the shower.

My water runs about $8 a month except summer months like now when it doubles or triples due to irrigation of plants and ground cover.

My internet runs $32 a month more or less.
My phone runs around $8-15 a month - I mostly use wifi not data, don't talk a lot. I note that if I make long calls it really eats it up, even calls here within the country.

We pay maybe $400-500 a month for groceries for my wife and me but we eat good and buy some luxury foods like almonds and I count my wine and beer in that monthly estimate.

If you live in San Jose you shouldn't need a car and I would advise not having one if you don't really need it. Between RTV, Insurance, Repairs and Registration and Gas it's the most expensive thing probably!

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