The cost of living in Mexico can be quite low if one is resourceful and patient enough to look for the right place and right items. There are several options to choose from when it comes to standard of living. Even in major cities one can have a very comfortable lifestyle. Prices of products significantly less compared to the United Kingdom.
There are definitely upscale places with great neighbors, luxurious surroundings plus a breathtaking view for those who quality living. There are also cheaper and quieter places to stay in nevertheless just as comfortable.
Despite all these options and a fairly affordable cost of living, Mexico remains to be the 12th biggest economy in the world. It has a total GDP of over 1 trillion euros and has a per capita GDP of 11,250 euros which ranks 63rd globally. Mexico has been determined as a newly industrialized country with an upper middle income country. Poverty rates have significantly decreased by over 10%, but there are many problems that still remain. The government has increased its efforts and things are definitely looking brighter for expatriates, locals and foreign visitors.
One of expats last June 26, 2009 has shared in the Mexico Expat Forum:
“Mexico is #1 in all Latin America for foreign investment, #4 in the world
Mexico is #5 in the world for oil production
Mexico is #7 in the world for exportation
Mexico is 2nd largest population in all of Latin America, 11th in the world
Mexico is a country which internal reserve actually exceeds its external debt. Currently Mexico’s debt is 34 billion dollars with reserves topping 80 billion
Mexico pays great returns on investments, currently interest rates on Mexican government treasuries are 8.25%
Within the next 10 years, 70 million people will retire. 25-30% of them will make some type of investment in Mexico”
Food and Drinks Costs in Mexico
A single household with four family members spends around 300 euros every month on grocery items. Food and drinks in Mexico are very affordable since the country widely produces agricultural products, livestock and other raw materials. Food production is initially for the citizens although there are also manufacturing companies which aim to deliver to foreign countries primarily.
One can have a full meal of a taco or burrito and a drink for less than a Euro. There are also high-end restaurants that serve Mexican or foreign cuisines at rates averaging one hundred euros. Middle class places can serve meals to full families for under a hundred euros. Prices vary from extremely cheap to high end, with a little knowledge of Spanish helpful in finding the best ones for your needs and budget.
Beef is very cheap in Mexico and it is the most popular meat product among locals. Poultry comes a solid second in terms of purchased grocery items. Mexico also produces several herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits that can be bought at very low prices outside the city.
There are a number of markets in major cities selling agricultural products like bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, rice and beans at low rates or wholesale. Mexican beer is cheap while there are also high quality drinks like tequila, tea and coffee that can cost higher.
As reported by an expat in the Mexico Expat Forum last 20th May 2009, the following are the costs in Mexico in pesos:
“dominos pizza large crunchy 109
walmart top of the line steak 193 pesos per kilo
groceries walmart per month 3,500 pesos
propane for water heater 600 pesos for 3 months
its nice to live down here and not deal with the typical rat race in the usa…..”
Clothing and Accessories Costs in Mexico
Shopping for clothes in Mexico is fairly expensive but there are several great buys in department stores, flea markets and street vendors. The quality of clothes is also good if manufactured locally. There are imported products from the United States, Europe and Asia as well. Products from the latter are quite cheap and are sold in bulk. Prices for traditional Mexican dresses are around 20 euros while shoes cost around 40 euros depending on quality. The average Mexican spends 100 to 150 euros every month on clothes.
Accessories can come cheap at the right places. There are several trinkets and small gadgets for sale at markets and malls. Designer labels from Europe and the United States are usually found in malls and cost relatively the same as in the United Kingdom. Overall, Mexico is a great place to shop for locally made items.
Housing Costs in Mexico
On the average, a single person spends about 150 euros every month on apartment rentals. As the quality and space increases, prices will also become more expensive. Location is also a determining factor in price so spots that are much nearer to the center of towns as major urban area locations will be pricey.
In Acapulco and other big areas, people tend to live in 2-bedroom apartments that are priced at 200 to 250 euros. Living conditions do not include utilities and gas consumption. One can also find very cheap housing and rent outside the city and in nearby villages at 80 to 100 euros a month. Depending on where you are situated, the prices can vary as well as the layout and accommodations between the locales of Chapala, Allende or Mexico City.
Land ownership is possible even in major cities. A single house and lot unit typically costs 20,000 euros. Bigger estates and mansion are also available in luxurious subdivisions for willing foreign owners.
Mexico has a housing authority that provides for the low class citizens. Rental is automatically deducted from taxable income including utilities. Living conditions in Mexico varies just like the price. Expatriates may be most comfortable living in apartments for the first few years before planning to purchase a permanent home or property.
Services Costs in Mexico
Internet service is available from the same company that provides telephone services. Internet rates are around 10 euros every month while annual subscriptions tend to be cheaper. Telephone connections are good and the system functions similarly in the United Kingdom. Transportation is available everywhere at low rates. A full circle around town or to and from work will cost around 8 to 10 euros.
One of the hidden costs is the Mordita, which is a form of “service cost” and is not bribery in the Mexican culture but is considered as gift-giving, roughly translated as a “tip” or “gift”. This is one of the important things you need to dole out to help things get done while down in Mexico.
Mexico also gives utmost importance to the health and security of its people. Health insurance policies are advised to all working individuals while there are several excellent health facilities providing quality care and state-of-the-art technology. Average insurance rates cost around 50 euros every month. There are several compensation benefits provided to insurance policyholders. The government also has a housing authority agency that takes care of poverty and homelessness.
Employment Costs in Mexico
There are regulations for expatriates seeking employment in Mexico. Government employment agencies need to check all documents and legibility before the individual can transfer. As of the present, people cannot simply go to Mexico and look for a job unless there is already an existing company willing to take the person in. The country is primarily trying to provide employment to all locals first before finding foreign skilled workers.
Trade and tourism remains to be the top industries of Mexico and comprises the bulk of its GDP support. The employment rate is estimated to be at 97% and the government foresees a continued decrease in unemployed individuals. The economic boom of Mexico may also be contributed to several citizens working abroad and bringing in dollars from the United States and Europe. If expatriates’ skills match the category in demand at the moment, employment can come easy in the long run.