Monday, March 3, 2008


Since my last post related to paying our water and electric bill, Patrick felt this next post should pertain to our monthly expenses. I know we live frugally so this won’t relate to everyone living in Costa Rica but this will at least give readers another perspective.

food - $300
water and electric - $50
gasoline- $80
property taxes - $18
private school $400
car insurance $50

Our taxes are based on the last bill we paid of $106 in January and the registrar told us our next payment would be in June. Now I have to admit we are not quite clear on how taxes work here since our receipt says we paid the first trimester although everyone we speak to about taxes claim they are quarterly. While still in the States, our realtor contacted us explaining that the seller asked us to pay our portion of last years taxes which were due in June -our portion being $15 for half of May and all of June (presumably). Then when we arrived in July, both our realtor and our lawyer said our next tax payment would be in September and we should just go to the municipality and pay them. We made a payment of approximately $76 in late September and then in the beginning of October received a bill stating taxes of $60 something was owed by October 31st. After consulting our lawyer again, she stated that the bill was probably printed before we paid our taxes and she was pretty sure based on our receipt that we had paid all of 2007 property taxes. Well, we never followed up and still don’t know if the taxes we paid this year included a penalty from last year or if our taxes just increased that much more. Whatever since they are still cheap!

Back to monthly expenses, our food bill of $300 really is an accurate figure but we know most gringos spend more than us. We have a very limited diet and I am trying very hard to keep a $10 per day spending limit. Keep in mind, though, that Azure gets lunch at school everyday but Wednesday and Patrick and I generally have leftovers for lunch.
Also, we try to stick to local products and avoid most imports to keep costs low.

So there you have it, a monthly spending total of $898 which includes everything since we have no phone, cable, or internet. Is this impressive or what?


P & K Ashland said...

Very impressive!

Lucky you don't have airconditioning or heat- right!

Mary said...

Wow, that is really impressive! Well done! I thoroughly enjoy following your blog. There is a lot of excellent information on the Costa Rica HQ blog also (e.g. healthcare etc.) that you might find useful. Costa Rica is rapidly becoming a very popular destination. More and more people are moving there and I can clearly see the attraction. Blogs like yours and others provide very wothwhile information for anyone considering making that move. I look forward to your next post and following your adventures.