One of the many benefits of living in Costa Rica is the relatively low cost of living compared to North American countries.
Many new residents of Costa Rica will often remark that the country gives you spending freedom, and by that they mean that you can spend as little or much as you want, and comfortably enjoy your life and lifestyle either way.
Many things are inexpensive in Costa Rica, some amazingly lower than their equivalents in the United States and Canada. There are some "North American-style luxuries" that can certainly add up, as they would in any country. But many new residents and visitors will tell you that generally, living in Costa Rica is less expensive than in the U.S., Canada or Europe, no matter what lifestyle you choose.
Those seeking a modest lifestyle should consider a budget of approximately $1500 per month, or even less. If you would like to rent a home, generally rent costs in select urban areas and rural areas are in the $300 to $600 range for a furnished apartment or small home.
Others who desire to live in relative luxury should look at spending around $3,000 per month. For this, you will live a very good life, one that can include full-time housekeepers, a nice car, beautiful homes and imported goods. High-end homes near San Jose – ones that boast granite countertops and Jacuzzi bathtubs, for example – start at approximately $1500 monthly.
As in any country, the cost of food depends largely on personal preference. A meal at a moderately-priced restaurant would be in the $15 to $20 range. Groceries vary, with a trip to your local farmer's market in the $20 to $40 range, while expensive meats, imported wines and other premium goods could cost more than $200 per week.
Entertainment costs, like trips to museums and outdoor concerts, are very inexpensive compared to North America, generally less than $5 per person.