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The Cost of Living in Mexico


How Much Does it Cost to Live in Mexico?

Why do people move to Mexico? Their reasons differ. Some are ready to escape the fast pace of life up north. Others are looking for a place where they can live like a millionaire for the cost of a middle-class existence at home. Still, others are searching for a safe haven, a place where the crime rate is low and they can enjoy a “small-town” lifestyle. In Mexico you’ll find all those things and more.

Everyone seems to agree: The quality of your life improves in Mexico. Things take longer…so you’ll need to learn to slow down. Goods and services cost less…so you can afford the kinds of luxuries only the very wealthy enjoy up north—like a maid, a cook, and a gardener. And in Mexico you have the good fortune of giving up very little when you make your move. You’re heading to a near neighbor where you can get internet, cable TV, and all the other comforts you’re used to…

A Better Quality of Life for Less

“It’s the quality of life” is what we hear most often when we ask expats to tell us what they most appreciate about Mexico. Some talk of the slow pace and the smiling faces…others mention the small-town feel and the comfort of safe streets. But whatever their initial remarks may include, they all agree: Your money buys more south of the border…and that makes for decidedly comfortable living.

When it costs $200,000 for a house you’d pay $300,000 for back home, you’re left with savings you can spend on living well. You can employ a maid for about $3 an hour and a gardener for $3.50. Pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, and haircut…and pay less than $60. For a small home, you can expect your annual property taxes to come to no more than $200. Your electricity bill will likely cost between $25 and $50 a month (unless you use air conditioning a lot), gas about $25 a month, cable TV about $30 a month, and basic telephone service about $20. You can eat out at a nice restaurant for $15 per person or grab a quick lunch at a local cocina económica for $3 to $7.

You’ll pay around $1 a kilo (that’s about 2.2 pounds) for fresh fruit like mangos or oranges in season. A kilo of avocados sells for about $1.25—which is roughly what you’ll pay for one avocado in the northeastern United States.

The key to smart shopping in Mexico is local shopping. While it is true that you can find just about any product you’re used to having up north—from Campbell Soup to Tide—it’s also true that you’ll probably pay more for the convenience of a brand name. But if you shop at the local produce markets and the stores where locals buy, you’re sure to pay less for your goods.

Full Breakdown of The Cost of Living in Mexico

 Expense  U.S. $
Rent (furnished, two-bedroom home)  $750
Electricity  $30
Water  $15
Gas  $30
Household help (maid, three times a week)  $135
 Internet  $20
 Cellphone  $10
Cable/Pay TV  $35
Healthcare (IMSS for two people)  $85
Transportation (car maintenance/public transport)  $30
Groceries  $350
Entertainment (dining out and other activities)  $250
Miscellaneous/Incidentals  $150
 Monthly Total:  $1,890

This adds up to $22,680 per year.


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