Expat Exchange
Mazatlan, Mexico
Mazatlan, Mexico
Mazatlan, Mexico

Cost of Living in Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is the cost of living in Mexico? Hear what expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Mexico have to say about the cost of housing, health insurance and general living costs.

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Is the cost of living in Mexico high?

Live in Mexico? Answer this Question

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Mexico, they wrote:

"$1,500 a month for a single, $2500 a month for a couple. Less if you go to a smaller town," explained one expat.

"That is such a personal question. I recommend that people housesit in the community they are thinking of retiring in so they can gauge costs, safety, reliability of utilities, etc," said another person in Lake Chapala.

"If one buys local or Mexican brands, food is relatively inexpensive. Eating out is 1/2 or less than in the U.S. The cost of living monthly is dependent on: a. If you own a home.
b. your lifestyle. We projected that we will save between $8 -10,000 annually by living here. Gone are the $150/mo. water and sewer bills and the $180 / gas and electricity. Every little bit of savings adds up," remarked another expat in Ajijic.

"I think that is a very personal question. You CAN find rental houses for about 5000 pesos per month, plus power and water, telephone and satellite. Then it depends on wether you eat the local fruits and vegetables or want something imported. Beer and alchohol are very reasonably priced, walking on the beach is free. I expect that for about 1000.00 US a person could live here comfortably. For 2000.00 you can live VERY well," explained one expat living in Manzanillo.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Will I save money living in Mexico?

Live in Mexico? Answer this Question

"While things were not as cheap as I'd heard, we are able to live a nice life on our income. We DID pick a popular city on the coast, so prices are higher here than in smaller towns," said another expat in Mazatlan.

"Mexico stretches my dollar considerably! For example, I joined a fantastic gym and get 3 personal training sessions per week -- for about $63 US/month," added another person living in Lake Chapala.

"It far exceeded expectations, I could never afford the same thing in the USA. And, the Mexican Government offered many things such as educational courses for free," explained one expat living in Apizaco.

"Initial indications are that living in Mexico will meet or exceed our expectations. Our motivation was to find a place where we could live within our income until such time as we may require assisted living... Having gone through a number of years of paying over $6,000 a month for a family member in assisted living was a big reason for our move. We didn't want to put this kind of burden on our children. Assisted living here, if needed, is affordable and the care meets or exceeds what we paid for earlier..," said another in Ajijic.

"The costs of living are going up, but we still have a much better life style here for less money. Our expectations have been met and everytime we go north it is sticker shock in the grocery store and restaurants," explained one expat who made the move to Manzanillo.

What is the average cost of housing in Mexico?

Live in Mexico? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Mexico, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Expenses here are FAR lower than the USA even though Real Estate here has gone up in price. Still very affordable. I live in So. Rosarito close to Puerto Nuevo. My house is on a Hillside above the ocean with spectacular Views of the Ocean and coastline. I have a 3 bedroom house, 3 baths home with huge view patio and enclosed parking for 3 cars. This for a fraction of the cost of an ocean view home in California. If you are looking to rent, Ocean view and ocean front places are low price and vary from area to area. Many American colonies here have 24/7 guards and security. Rents vary from about 400 USD to well under 2000 USD. Depending on size and area, Everything from small apartments to huge view homes are available," explained one expat living in Rosarito.

"My husband found a two bedroom one bath house in Pensiones neighborhood in Merida Yucatan for about $35,000 USD. It needs another $10k in upgrades or remodeling but it is a cute home and would be great. The rents here are all over the place. But a huge home with a lot of amenities unfurnished in my neighborhood (4 bedrooms or 5 with three bathrooms and so on? Goes for $14,000 Mexican pesos a month. About $675 or $700 USD give or take," said another expat in Mexico.

"Housing costs are definitely lower than in our home country (NTC), but given our limited Spanish, we feel we are definitely paying an expat premium. With that said, the apartment is furnished very nicely, has all the amenities and all utilities are included (yes, wifi also!). We are not too upset to pay a little more of a premium for a nicer place in an area better suited for our two dogs," added another person living in Oaxaca.

"We lust bought a small (1400sqft) house in Rosarito for $325,000. Not much inventory so if are ready to buy you can't be real picky. The 2 places we really wanted to see sold the day before we got there. New house built in 2019, nice furniture & long range ocean view," explained one expat living in Mexico.

"My costs are highest now in VI because we are still having a disaster economy. Then, in MX housing costs were much lower than I was accustomed to in Florida. I have heard they still are extremely low compared to most anywhere in the US," said another in Poza Rica.

"The housing costs [in Playa del Carmen] are definitely lower than in my home country. I am 3 blocks from the beach and I would be paying 3 times as much in my home country. The average cost where I am is about $1,000.00 USD per month. for a furnished 2 bedroom apartment with utilities included. I pay a little less because the furniture is antique...which some call old," explained one expat who made the move to Playa del Carmen.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

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.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Mazatlan, Mexico

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Mexico GuideMexico Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Mexico.

Mexico Forum Mexico Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Mexico on our Mexico forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Mexico Index Mexico Index
An index of all of our site's Mexico information.

Contribute to Mexico Network Contribute
Help others in Mexico by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Mexico.

Expat Healthcare Advice in MexicoHealthcare & Health Insurance in Mexico

Expats in Mexico offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Mexico.

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in MexicoMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in Mexico

Expats in Mexico offer advice about healthcare in Mexico.

Best Places to Live in Mexico Best Places to Live in Mexico

Mexico is increasing in popularity among expats, snowbirds, digital nomads and retirees in 2022. Learn about the 12 Best Places to Live in Mexico in 2022 according to people already living there.

Real Estate in MexicoReal Estate in Mexico

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Mexico.

Guide to Real Estate in MexicoGuide to Real Estate in Mexico

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Mexico.

Pros Cons of Living in MexicoPros & Cons of Living in Mexico

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Mexico.

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Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Mexico.

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