This chart is now dedicated to our living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Anyone still wanting to take a look (and, they should) at our country and location comparisons from our living in Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Mexico, you can find it in my Archives in March, 2014.
I will now concentrate on a full year's monthly budget to show absolutely everything we spend money on. And, now that I've proved that you actually can live in PV on the $1,800/mo budget if we chose not to have medical insurance (which many do choose to do), we are now allowing ourselves to use $2,000/mo as our GOAL budget including medical insurance. Mentally, I will continue to use the $1,800/mo because it keeps us accountable. But I'm certainly not going to beat ourselves up over it!
We chose to keep our rental amount at what we were paying during high season because we found a great apartment exactly where we wanted to be and didn't really compromise on much. A very good value! And, because we are living here year round, we chose to purchase some items that make our life more comfortable and pleasing for us. This was total Discretionary spending and not necessary at all to live here.
I have also now included the cost of our Traveler's Medical Insurance. We have decided for the near future we will continue to keep our Traveler's Insurance for both of us at a cost of $772 for 6 months or $129/month. Now that we are back full time here in PV, we will be making some decisions on what kind of coverage we will need for the long haul.
|Living Expenses:||Dec- Jan, 2014||Jan - Feb||Feb - March||March - April||April - May||May - June||June 13- July 29|
|TOTAL W/O RENT||$1,105.00||$1,079.00||$876.00||$1,296.00||$1,075.00||$964.00||$3,195.00|
*Cell Phone - YES, cell phone bills are truly way more expensive in the USA. We chose a T-Mobile plan that was the least expensive we could find at $50/month plus $10 for the sim card. Since being back, of course, I was told I should have gone through H2O on line and the cost would have been more commensurate to what we pay here in PV. I WILL be checking this out!!
*Groceries really were more wine and beer with a few groceries thrown in. We either ate with the people we were staying with or "meals out". Wine and beer are quite a bit more expensive in the states.
*Meals Out - YES, eating out is WAY more expensive in the states. A simple lunch meal of a hamburger & fries always ran us over $25. This amount will buy us a very nice dinner meal out with drinks here in PV. The amount shown was for a total of 21 times, which is only 3x/week. Not too bad actually when you're trying to visit with everyone you know!
*Entertainment - We went camping and to a Blues Festival in WA and the movies in CT.
*Incidentals - hahaha! This was literally just various sundry items that we bought that we needed to bring back to PV that we felt we had to have like spices, more kitchen tools, etc. !!
*Clothes/Shoes - We both needed to freshen up our wardrobe. The clothes in Latin America are just sized and fitted so differently that we don't shop here much.
*Air Travel - AeroMexico - We paid $600 each for round trip tickets (PV to CT, Spokane to PV), and $244 each for our on way (CT to Spokane).
*Hotels - Only 1 night in a cabin/chalet that we shared with our friends at the Nakusp Hot Springs, BC, Canada.
*Car Rental/Gas - We only rented a car in WA for 3 weeks at $750 total. Got it on Priceline.com when we bid. Even in Spokane the rental rate is ridiculous!! Gas was all the rest of the cost as we drove 2,125 miles during our stay. It takes a lot of miles to get everywhere in our neck of the woods!