When making the financial leap from a home country to Costa Rica, it is important to keep in mind certian considerations which are valid to one's personal wants and especially needs. If someone is retiring, taking a job, or simply moving to Costa Rica one's monthly income be enough to cover their costs in Costa Rica.

For many people from the developed world, they have never had to live on a budget, and for others it is a lifestyle that has been adopted. In most cases, foreigners relocating to Costa Rica do not have to budget in the long run unless their income is very limited.

The cost of living in Costa Rica is significantly lower, but only in certain areas. For example, prescription medicine, food, and most housing is significantly less than that of any major US city. However, any appliances, electronics, or luxury items are almost double the cost in Costa Rica. Even if items are  imported by an individual they may only end up saving a few hundred dollars. In Costa Rica a few hundred dollars can go a  long way, but the process of importing can be a ig, drawn out, complicated hassel if one is not prepared.

It is very important to fully understand the costs of living in Costa Rica so that one can make the right financial decisions about their present and  future here in Costa Rica. Below is a list of common neccessities and their prices to gauge an idea of what life costs in Costa Rica:

- Most rentals for decent to nice places range between $600 and $1200 per month. For very nice luxury condos and homes expect to pay between $1300 and $2500. For super luxury homes it could be up to $8000 per month.

- The average home costs between $150,000 and $300,000. If living in a condominio expect condo fees of $200 to $300 a month.

- Most mortgages are around $1000+ a month including an insurance policy.

- A housekeeper full time 6 days a week could run about $150.

- Electricity for a normal household can be around $25 a month. If someone is living at the beach using up AC 24-7 it could be up to $300.

- Water for a normal house with 4 people should not go past $20 and is usually less.

- Cable TV and internet usually come bundled and could for basic service costs around $50 a month.

- Food bills at the grocery store could be around $350 a month for a household of 4.

- The average meal out at a normal restaurant for 2 costs about $25.Obviously at a nice fancy restaurant this could be more.

- Lunch at a soda could be between $2 and $6.

- A beer in most places costs around $3.

- A glass of wine ranges usually from $4 to $10.

- A night at the movies should be around $15 for 2 people with drinks and popcorn.

- A taxi ride around town usually costs less than $10.

- A bus local bus ride costs about 50 cents. A regional bus ride averages about $5.

- An internal flight can be around $300.

- There are tons of free shows, communitiy sponsered activities, and museums to keep one entertained or there are paid shows which can cost less around $5.

- Healthcare plans range from $28 to $100 per month depending on how complex the plan is.

- A doctor's visit without insurance will be around $50.

- Perscription medicines on average are about 25% less expensive, but rare medications will usually cost the same and all pharmacies even in the same chain charge different depending on location so look in less popular neighborhoods to get the best prices. Farmacia de La Bomba is known to have the best prices regardless.

- Vehicles will be usually double the price paid at home.

- Car insurance with a basic plan could cost a few hundred dollars per year.

- Gas is about $1 more expensive than in North America.

- Cell phone bills are pay by the minute and texts are cheap so most people's bills never go beyong $40 a month with fairly extensive use. Minimal use will result in a $7 a month bill.

- Personal care such as manicures, hair etc can be found for under $10 at most places.


For additional reading, please reference the  Standard of Living Section for more information.

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