|In 2014, we showed that you could live a very good life style for
$25,000/year, if you weren't lavish and chose where you eat and drink
out. We took advantage of Cupocity discounts on meals, tours, massages,
etc. We also determined where we get the best bang for our buck, which
allows us to eat and drink out with our friends. We are social people
and gathering with friends is very important to us. (See Year End Budget
posted in mid December, 2014 located in Archives) Living Expenses are broken out separately from Discretionary Spending. We are fortunate that we have some discretionary income and make no apology for spending it.
As we also knew would happen, our family and friends would start visiting us and the winter months would see us eating out and going on excursions more with them. My daughter and her family were here for 16 days in January, and several friends came to town to spend time with us. It definitely shows in our expenditures for these 2 month!
We also had the opportunity to meet up with friends from Nicaragua in Mexico City for a week in February and while we were already up in the "highlands" of Mexico, we decided to come back by bus and visit San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Leon. A beautiful part of this wonderful country!
The month of January also brought us the expenditures of washing machine repair ($232), camera repairs ($10), more of Mike's dental woes (a new crown, reconstruction of previous crown preparation performed in Costa Rica, & a tooth pulled = $742), and Mike needing to visit a chiropractor twice for adjustments that couldn't be dealt with in a massage ($73). We also took a 3 day side excursion to Yelapa with family and incurred hotel expenses and a more expensive water taxi ride plus all meals out.
But, we are extremely happy that everyone wants to come see us!! This was part of our decision to live here. We knew it was easier and more alluring for them to come here to PV than any other location we considered. So it is what it is and we make no apologies for enjoying our family and friends.
In March, our expenditures went back to normal. EXCEPT we had decided back in December, 2014 to purchase excellent seat tickets ($300) to the Santana/Journey concert in Guadalajara for March 26. The total of the expenditures including the tickets, tours of Guadalajara, meals out, our stay in a B&B, gas, taxes, busses, etc. are all accounted for.
April shows we have come out of high season and back to well below our goal budget for Living Expenses. This was also due to our renegotiating our lease here in our apartment. Because we have been an asset to our landlord, which allows him to spend more time with his family in the states, he agreed to allow us to sign a 15 month lease with 3 months of free rent during the low season so we could travel a bit more without moving. We all agreed to a steady cash flow over the 15 months of $800/month.
Restaurant Week(s) are held in May. This is where many restaurants have a special set 3 course meal for well below the cost of a normal meal at their establishment. We took advantage of eating at several restaurants that would normally be well out of our budget. We also attended a charity function called The International Altruism Festival, which had 35 restaurants represented there. Also as a result of several friends coming to town, we ate out way above normal for a whopping 18 times!
In May, we also took advantage of the low cost medical clinics that are provided by Pam Thompson-Webb of www.healthcareresourcespv.com. So Mike and I both had our ears checked for a cost of $46US for both of us. Mike had an ear infection, so we had medication to purchase for $3US. I also took advantage of getting a Shingles Vaccine at a local hospital for the low cost of $157US (it's about $400-$500 in the US).
I'm continually asked how can we do all we do on what we actually show in our posted budget. I must admit, that those we meet with as a result of my blog, have been very gracious in treating us as their guests for meals and drinks in appreciation for our time and sharing of our experiences. We do this gladly without expectation of this!!
*Drinks Only (in PV only): January 11x; February 9x; March 7x; April 15x; May 11x
*Meals Out (in PV only): January 12x; February 10x; March 9x; April 8x; May 18x
*Our Rent includes 1br/1ba; dipping pool; view of Bay; fully furnished with everything you need; cable TV, internet, water; excludes electric.
*I do not include health insurance as a Living Expense because many expats choose not to have insurance. It was our choice to have it.