Are you thinking of relocating to Mexico? There are a number of reasons to go through with it. It’s the 11th most-populated country in the world, with a diaspora of food, traditions and ecosystems. The country universalised its healthcare system in 2004, which improved the quality of life for most of its residents.
Whether you’re retiring, temporarily relocating, or moving to Mexico for good, it’s important to understand the cost of living. Here’s what you’ll need to know about money and expenses when you’re there.
Mexico is affordable, but banks and money exchange services are still wildly inconsistent. To get the real exchange rate when transferring funds to Mexico- the same one that you’d see on Google - use TransferWise. You can always check an online currency converter to estimate what your exchange rate should be.
Money in Mexico is called the Mexican peso (symbolised by $, Mex$ or by currency code ‘MXN’). Although the exchange rate fluctuates constantly, in the fall of 2017, you’ll find the MXN is worth approximately:
|Currency||Mexican peso value|
|Comparing basic cost of living||1 bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)||Meal for 2 (mid range restaurant)||Transportation (monthly pass)|
|New York City, USA||Mex$55,000||Mex$1,350||Mex$2,100|
Here are the top five most expensive cities to live in in Mexico:
- Los Cabos
And these are the cheapest:
- Tuxtla Gutierrez
|Total living expenses in Mexico City||Average cost|
|1 person, per month||Mex$18,000|
|1 person, per year||Mex$216,000|
|student, per month||Mex$14,350|
|3 person family, per month||Mex$36,000|
|3 person family, per year||Mex$432,000|
|Total living expenses in Guadalajara||Average cost|
|1 person, per month||Mex$15,000|
|1 person, per year||Mex$180,000|
|student, per month||Mex$10,000|
|3 person family, per month||Mex$25,000|
|3 person family, per year||Mex$300,000|
Although most expats find that Mexico is affordable, you’ll have a more stable lifestyle with a salaried job. In most Mexican cities, even a modest salary will cover most of your daily expenses.
Here are the average salaries of some common jobs in Mexico:
|Salary averages for Mexico City||Average yearly salary|
|Salary averages for Guadalajara||Average yearly salary|
Accommodation in Mexico is affordable, whether you choose to live with flatmates or by yourself. The closer you are to the city centre or the beach, the more costly it becomes. Rent in Mexico will usually be cheaper than your home country if you’re coming from abroad. In the table’s below you’ll find an estimate of monthly rent that you’d find in three of Mexico’s most populated cities:
|Renting in Mexico City||Average monthly cost|
|student dorm room||Mex$8,500|
|Renting in Guadalajara||Average monthly cost|
|student dorm room||Mex$4,150|
|Renting in Cancun||Average monthly cost|
|student dorm room||Mex$4,160|
Mexico has a mixed public-private system that combines a universal public program with smaller, private healthcare programs. There are a number of high-quality medical facilities, but as is often the case, those with more money have better access to them. Dental care in Mexico is about 80% cheaper than it is in the US, and of a similar quality. Some examples of estimated healthcare costs you could see in Mexico can be found below:
|Healthcare service||Average cost to you|
|yearly health insurance for 1 person||Mex$2,600|
|labor and delivery (private hospital)||Mex$5,400|
|family doctor check-up (no insurance)||Mex$400|
|dental cleaning (no insurance)||Mex$575|
Mexico is a large country with multiple modes of transportation. While infrastructure doesn’t normally allow for a robust public transportation system outside of the major cities, you can generally find cheap ways to get to where you’re going. Passenger train services are mostly discontinued, but Mexico City has the second-largest metro in North America (outside of New York City). When it comes to transportation, prices in Mexico tend to be fairly cheap. This are some average costs you’d expect to see when traveling around Mexico:
|Transportation and vehicle prices for Mexico||Average cost|
|gasoline (1 litre / 0.25 gallon)||Mex$15|
|monthly bus/transport pass||Mex$300|
|bus ticket, single use||Mex$7.70|
|taxi tariff, 30 minutes||Mex$60|
|train trip, single ticket cross country||Mex$1,250|
|Toyota Corolla, new||Mex$262,000|
|VW Golf, new||Mex$260,000|
Public schools in Mexico are government-funded and free. Many expats send their children to private school, where there’s a monthly tuition fee and an annual enrollment fee. There are many international schools in Mexico and large universities attract students from all over the world. Don’t expect the expensive education that you’d find in the US or the UK – the state requires education to be accessible for most. Here are some cost estimates for education in Mexico:
|School in Mexico||Average Yearly Cost|
|preschool / kindergarten||Mex$0 – Mex$40,000|
|private school for lower grades||Mex$45,000|
|Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México tuition||Mex$0 – Mex$1,800|
|Universidad de Guadalajara tuition||Mex$0 – Mex$1,800|
People move to Mexico for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s for weather, cost of living or family, there will be an adjustment. Prices in Mexico can be confusing, so planning your budget can help you feel more in control. With some research and patience, you can have a wonderful quality of life in Mexico.
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