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Jamaica | Is the cost of living in Jamaica high? | Expat Exchange
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Montego Bay, Jamaica

Is the cost of living in Jamaica high?

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We asked people about the cost of living in Jamaica, they wrote...

"I have now been here (Montego Bay) for 2 years. Attempting to compare Cost of Living between the U.S. and Jamaica is difficult as it depends on where you are in the U.S. and your style of living. Housing: Housing rental prices here are all over the place, depends on the location, amenities and honestly the owner. We currently have a 2 bedroom - 2 batch in a 6 unit building in Westgate Hills with security gate, parking, 2 balconies... and not a shoe-box!, decent kitchen and honestly is a step above some of the places I lived in south Florida at twice the cost! Our rent is $60K (~$480 USD) per month. We're moving in January to a 3 bedroom & 3 bath home in St. Ann with a cost of $110K (~$850 USD) per month. The same home in south Florida would be around ~$2000 USD per month. Gated communities especially those that cater to expats will cost more! If you don't need to be in Kingston or Mobay you'll pay less in most of the rest of the island. Food: Food prices are all over the place. You'll pay a little more for U.S. products (shipping & duty) however the local products are generally cheaper. Our monthly grocery bill for my wife & I runs ~$50K - $60K per month or about $350 - $400 USD. I should point out that we eat pretty well as I enjoy cooking and we always but a couple bottles of wine (which isn't cheap here). Example: Iberia Extra Virgin Olive Oil Walmart: $4 USD and Progressive: $650 ($5.25 USD) Dining Out: We go out a lot for dinner & entertainment and roughly $200 - $300 USD per month Electric: $12K - $16K ($90 - $130 USD) depending on time of year. We do have air conditioning which is used primarily May to November. Also have a washing machine and all my electronics. Water: $3000 per month ($24 USD) Cable: $5000 per month ($40 USD) We only have Internet and not cable TV. We've "Cut-the-cord". Car Payment: $25K ($200 USD) per month Car Insurance: $8K ($65 USD) per month So in summary our monthly living expenses are roughly $1800 USD per month (for 2 - based on the new housing cost next month & NOT including dining out). When I lived in south Florida my monthly expenses (I was single) was well over $3000 USD per month. Medical, dental & vision is less expensive here (for even top level service) Cars & Gas is more expensive Electronics, Appliances, Furniture are generally more Clothing about the same however you'll have a difficult time finding higher end clothing. We import a lot of stuff that we CAN'T find here such as health & beauty, electronics and clothing," said a member in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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"The cost of living in Jamaica depends heavily on the location. Cities like Kingston and Montego Bay have a higher cost of living than rural areas. A nice one bedroom apartment in Jamaica can run anywhere from USD$370 to USD$600 per month depending on the location. Two bedroom apartments can cost between USD$550 and USD$900 per month. Eating out in Jamaica can be quite expensive, with a moderately priced dinner costing around USD$25 to USD$35 per person," remarked another expat who made the move to Jamaica.

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Is the cost of living in Jamaica high?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

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