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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Santa Tecla 2024
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Cost of Living in Santa Tecla

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Santa Tecla helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Category Cost
Apartment Rentals
  • 1-bedroom apartment in city center: $300 - $500 per month
  • 1-bedroom apartment outside city center: $200 - $350 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment in city center: $600 - $1,000 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment outside city center: $400 - $700 per month
Apartment Purchases
  • Price per square meter in city center: $1,000 - $1,500
  • Price per square meter outside city center: $600 - $1,000
Transportation
  • One-way local transport ticket: $0.25 - $0.50
  • Monthly local transport pass: $20 - $30
  • Taxi starting tariff: $1.50 - $2.00
  • Taxi 1 km (normal tariff): $1.00 - $1.50
  • Gasoline (1 liter): $0.90 - $1.10
Groceries
  • Milk (1 liter): $0.80 - $1.20
  • Bread (500g): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Rice (1 kg): $0.80 - $1.20
  • Eggs (12): $1.50 - $2.50
  • Chicken breasts (1 kg): $3.50 - $5.00
  • Beef round (1 kg): $4.00 - $6.00
  • Apples (1 kg): $1.50 - $2.50
  • Oranges (1 kg): $0.80 - $1.50
  • Tomatoes (1 kg): $0.80 - $1.50
  • Potatoes (1 kg): $0.70 - $1.20
  • Water (1.5-liter bottle): $0.50 - $1.00
Restaurants
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $3.00 - $6.00
  • Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: $20 - $40
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter draught): $1.50 - $2.50
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): $2.00 - $3.50
  • Cappuccino: $1.50 - $2.50
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle): $0.50 - $1.00
  • Water (0.33-liter bottle): $0.30 - $0.70
Utilities
  • Basic monthly utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for an 85m2 apartment: $50 - $100
  • 1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans): $0.10 - $0.20
  • Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): $30 - $50 per month
Private School Tuition
  • Preschool (or kindergarten) tuition, full day, private: $150 - $300 per month
  • Elementary school tuition, private: $200 - $400 per month
  • Middle school tuition, private: $250 - $500 per month
  • High school tuition, private: $300 - $600 per month
Please note that these costs are approximate and can vary depending on the specific area within Santa Tecla and individual preferences. It is always recommended to research and compare prices before making any decisions.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Santa Tecla

"The cost of living in Santa Tecla is considered to be relatively low compared to many other cities around the world. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is affordable, while outside the city center, it is even cheaper. The cost of utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage is also quite low. Groceries are also reasonably priced in Santa Tecla. Local markets offer fresh produce, meat, and other staples at lower prices than in many Western countries. Eating out at restaurants is also quite affordable, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing less than what one would expect to pay in many other countries. Transportation costs are also low in Santa Tecla. Public transportation is widely available and affordable. Gasoline prices are lower than in many other countries, making car ownership more feasible for many residents. Healthcare in Santa Tecla is also relatively affordable, with costs for both private and public healthcare services being lower than in many other countries. However, it's important to note that while these costs may seem low to foreigners, they must be considered in relation to the average local salary, which is also lower than in many other countries," said one expat living in Santa Tecla.

Can I live in Santa Tecla on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Santa Tecla for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. I recommend looking into areas like Lomas de San Francisco, Jardines de La Libertad, or Colonia Santa Monica. These neighborhoods are safe and have a good mix of locals and expats, but they're not as expensive as some of the more upscale areas like La Montaña or Merliot.When it comes to housing, you'll probably have to settle for a smaller apartment or house. You can find a decent 2-bedroom apartment in one of the more affordable neighborhoods for around $400 to $600 a month. If you're willing to share a place with roommates, you can cut that cost even more.As for transportation, owning a car can be expensive due to import taxes and high gas prices. I recommend using public transportation or getting a motorcycle or scooter to get around. The bus system is pretty reliable and cheap, and a motorcycle or scooter will save you on gas and parking costs.Eating out can also be a significant expense, especially if you're used to dining at high-end restaurants. However, there are plenty of local eateries and street food vendors where you can get a delicious meal for just a few dollars. Cooking at home and shopping at local markets can also help you save money on food.Entertainment and leisure activities can be affordable if you're willing to explore local options. There are plenty of free or low-cost cultural events, parks, and outdoor activities to enjoy. However, if you're used to frequenting high-end bars, clubs, or tourist attractions, you may need to cut back on those activities to stay within your budget.In terms of healthcare, public hospitals can be crowded and have long wait times, so I recommend getting private health insurance. You can find a decent plan for around $50 to $100 a month, which will give you access to better facilities and shorter wait times.Overall, living comfortably on $1,500 a month in Santa Tecla is possible, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, cutting back on dining out and entertainment, and using public transportation, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Santa Tecla.

Can I live in Santa Tecla on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Santa Tecla for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, there might be some sacrifices you'll have to make to ensure you stay within your budget.Firstly, you'll want to choose an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more affordable areas in Santa Tecla include Jardines de La Libertad, Lomas de San Francisco, and Colonia Santa Monica. These neighborhoods offer a good mix of safety, accessibility, and affordability. On the other hand, you might want to avoid more expensive neighborhoods like La Montaña, Merliot, and San Benito, as the cost of living in these areas can be significantly higher.When it comes to housing, you can find a decent apartment or house for rent in the affordable neighborhoods for around $500 to $800 per month. This should leave you with enough money for utilities, groceries, and other expenses. Keep in mind that you might have to compromise on certain amenities, like a swimming pool or a large backyard, but you should still be able to find a comfortable place to live.As for transportation, owning a car can be quite expensive in El Salvador due to high import taxes and fuel costs. To save money, you might want to consider using public transportation or ride-sharing services like Uber. Alternatively, you could also purchase a used motorcycle or scooter, which are more affordable and fuel-efficient options.Eating out can also be quite affordable in Santa Tecla, with many local restaurants and street food vendors offering delicious meals for just a few dollars. However, if you prefer dining at high-end restaurants or international chains, you might have to cut back on the frequency of these outings to stay within your budget.In terms of entertainment and leisure activities, there are plenty of affordable options in Santa Tecla, such as visiting local parks, attending cultural events, or exploring nearby attractions like the El Boqueron National Park. However, you might have to limit your spending on more expensive activities like frequent trips to the movie theater or shopping at high-end malls.Overall, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Santa Tecla is definitely achievable, but it will require some careful budgeting and a willingness to make a few sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, cutting back on transportation costs, and being mindful of your spending on dining and entertainment, you should be able to enjoy a good quality of life in this beautiful city," said one expat living in Santa Tecla.

Can I live in Santa Tecla on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Santa Tecla for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible for an expat to live comfortably on $5,000 a month. In fact, you'll probably find that your money goes a lot further here than in many other places. There are some sacrifices you might have to make, but overall, I think you'll find it to be a great place to live.First, let's talk about housing. There are some really nice neighborhoods in Santa Tecla where you can find modern homes and apartments with all the amenities you're used to. Some of the more upscale neighborhoods include La Montaña, Lomas de San Francisco, and Jardines de La Libertad. However, these areas can be a bit pricey, so if you're looking to save some money, you might want to consider more affordable neighborhoods like Santa Elena, Merliot, or Colonia San José.In terms of utilities and services, you'll find that things like electricity, water, and internet are generally reliable and reasonably priced. However, you might have to deal with occasional power outages or slow internet speeds, so it's important to be prepared for that.As for transportation, you'll probably want to have a car if you're living in Santa Tecla. Public transportation is available, but it's not always the most reliable or comfortable option. Gas prices can be a bit high, but overall, I think you'll find that having a car is worth the expense.When it comes to food and entertainment, there's a good variety of options in Santa Tecla. You'll find plenty of local markets where you can buy fresh produce and other groceries at affordable prices. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes that offer both local and international cuisine, so you won't have to sacrifice your favorite foods. In terms of entertainment, there are movie theaters, shopping centers, and parks where you can enjoy your free time.One sacrifice you might have to make is in terms of healthcare. While there are some good hospitals and clinics in Santa Tecla, the quality of care might not be up to the standards you're used to. It's important to have a good health insurance plan in place and to be prepared to travel to San Salvador or even outside the country for more specialized care if necessary.Overall, I think you'll find that living in Santa Tecla on $5,000 a month is not only possible but also quite comfortable. You might have to make some adjustments and be prepared for a few inconveniences, but the cost of living is generally lower than in many other places, and the quality of life is quite good," commented an expat living in Santa Tecla.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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