How much money do I need to live in Mexico? Everything you need to know about the cost of living in Querétaro, Mexico!
One of the reasons I wanted to move to Mexico is the affordable cost of living in Querétaro.
Not only is it a budget-friendly city, but Querétaro also has a high quality of life. It’s frequently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country.
After this post, you will have a complete breakdown of my primary weekly and monthly living expenses including:
- Cell phone
- Health insurance
- Eating out
In every post I write for this blog, I prioritize transparency and honesty.
Where some people might feel uncomfortable discussing bills and budgets, I understand how important knowing the cost of living is when preparing to move abroad.
At the time of this update (June 2020), the United States dollar is stronger than normal compared to the peso. The costs reflected in this post are for $1 USD = $22.64 MXN.
This post was originally published May 8, 2018, and was updated June 21, 2020.
Cost of Living in Querétaro: Monthly Expenses
For reference, I share a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with my boyfriend, Taylor. We split all the bills and monthly expenses 50/50 which I note throughout the post.
If you’re thinking of moving to Mexico, check out the full (and crazy) story of how we found our apartment in Querétaro.
Get my best apartment hunting tips delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up below for the Move to Mexico Quickstart Guide.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Querétaro’s centro histórico?
Querétaro is a huge city with many different neighborhoods to offer.
If you’re interested in living in the historic city center of Querétaro, here’s what you can expect to find available and pay.
Curious about how the cost of living in Querétaro compares to Mexico City? Check out this post from Expatistan.
My apartment (it’s more like a house, really) has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a separate dining area and an interior patio.
When we moved in, the apartment wasn’t furnished. Some of our larger purchases included a queen bed, dining room table, fridge, television and sofa set.
The rent is $10,800 MXN (right around $478 USD) per month.
We each pay $5,400 MXN (approximately $239 USD) per month.
For a full apartment tour, follow me on Instagram and check out my IGTV.
Since we don’t have central heating or air conditioning, our utility bills stay pretty consistent regardless of the season.
I haven’t looked into this too much, but I actually think the government subsidizes some of these utilities to keep costs down for people who live here.
- Water: $200 MXN ($9 USD)
- Gas: $330 MXN ($15 USD)
- Electricity: $100 MXN ($4 USD)
Monthly utilities: $630 MXN ($28 USD) total; $315 MXN ($14 USD) per person.
As long as you come to Mexico with an unlocked phone, you don’t have to worry about buying a new phone.
All I needed was a Mexican SIM card, which I purchased from AT&T. You can even do this at the Oxxo in the Mexico City airport.
I’ve tried a couple of different plans with AT&T and recommend sticking with pay-as-you-go.
Every 30 days, I go to an Oxxo (Mexico’s version of 7-Eleven) and tell the attendant that I want recargar mi celular (recharge my phone) with $200 MXN.
For around $9 USD, I get 3 GB of data. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat don’t count toward my data usage. Unlimited phone calls in Mexico and to the U.S. are also included.
When we first got to Mexico, Taylor and I were both teaching English online and needed internet that was fast enough to support simultaneous video conferencing.
Even though we’re no longer teaching English online, we still both work from home so a quality internet connection is important.
Our first internet contract was with a company called Megacable. They are a TERRIBLE company.
That’s nearly a universal opinion in Mexico. Just search Megacable on Twitter and read some of the customer service complaints if you don’t believe me.
In Feb. 2020, we switched to Telmex and now pay less for much better service.
We have a fiber-optic connection (150 Mbps download speed). It costs $550 MXN per month ($24 USD).
Dependable infrastructure at an affordable price is one of the reasons I moved to Mexico.
As I mentioned earlier, our apartment was unfurnished when we moved in. While it does have an oven, we had to buy our fridge and microwave.
To do this day, we don’t have a washing machine.
I took my clothes to a drop-off laundromat in my neighborhood. But, last year, that closed.
I decided to try out a laundry service called Mr. Jeff. The service both picks up and drops your clothes off at your house.
My “membership package” includes four loads per month. Each week, when he drops off our clean clothes, Oscar (our Mr. Jeff) gives us a bag that we can fill with dirty clothes, towels and sheets.
Our arrangement with Mr. Jeff is that he picks up our clothes every Friday and drops them off on Monday. When he brings them back, everything is folded (including my underwear).
The laundry service costs $776 MXN per month. That’s around $34 USD.
Cost of Living in Queréraro: Weekly Expenses
We spend between $980 MXN ($43 USD) and $1,270 MXN ($56 USD) per week to feed two people.
Although we started out doing the majority of our shopping at Soriana (a Mexican supermarket) and Walmart, we now buy almost everything from Mercado La Cruz, our neighborhood chicken guy and a veggie delivery service called FreshGoMx.
When you visit, soaking up the sights and smells of Mercado La Cruz is one of the best things to do in Querétaro.
Very few people in Mexico actually drink the tap water. I brush my teeth with it, but that’s it.
Instead, we buy garrafones (5-gallon jugs) of water from the corner store. Each garrafon costs $43 MXN ($2 USD). We usually go through three a week ($129 MXN/$6 USD).
Querétaro Cost of Living: Other Expenses
Now that I’ve outlined my weekly and monthly expenses, I thought I’d share some other items that people tend to be curious about when inquiring after the cost of living in Querétaro, Mexico.
The food is delicious and budget-friendly. In addition to eating out, I also like to order from Uber Eats.
The following approximations are for an individual:
- Breakfast: $113 MXN ($5 USD)
- A few of my favorite spots: Café Breton (And. Libertad 82); El Chamizo (Calle Venustiano Carranza 56).
- Lunch: $115 MXN ($5 USD)
- A few of my favorite spots: La Casita Guerrerense (Calle Independencia 64); Balkan Bistro (Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 36).
- Dinner: $235 MXN ($10 USD)
- For a nice meal with attentive service, I like Mesón de Chucho el Roto (Pasteur 16, Plaza de Armas). We like to go here for birthdays, date nights and other special occasions.
- Street food: Less than $20 MXN ($1 USD) for individual tacos.
If we sit down somewhere, we always leave a 10-20% tip. For breakfast, the price includes coffee. For lunch and dinner, the price includes an alcoholic beverage.
In Mexico, it’s all about the cerveza.
- Bottled domestic beer: $30 MXN ($1 USD)
- Michelada: $45 MXN ($2 USD)
- What is a michelada? Only the best thing ever! It’s a beer prepared with lime juice and assorted sauces and spices. I like mine with Clamato for a fizzy Bloody Mary vibe.
- Mexican craft beer: $60-100 MXN ($3-4 USD)
- Glass of house wine: $60 MXN ($3 USD)
- Mixed drink: $80-120 MXN ($4-6 USD)
A few of my favorite spots: Jardín de Cerveza Hércules (Av. Hércules Ote. 1); El Faro (Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera); Dodo Café (Calle Venustiano Carranza 50); La Celestina (Mariano Matamoros 6).
Between being self-employed, over 26 years of age and living in Mexico on tourist visas, there was no question that we had to seek private healthcare coverage.
Even though we’re not married, Taylor and I were able to get a plan together.
We purchased it with Grupo Nacional Provincial, which is the largest private healthcare provider in Mexico.
My yearly total is $13,282 MXN ($588 USD). Taylor’s is $10,240 MXN ($453 USD).
According to the agent we worked with, my premium is more because I’m of child-bearing age.
Our deductible is $11,000 MXN ($487 USD), and the copay is 10% of the medical services. Dental is included.
Since we live in the city center, we walk just about everywhere we need to go.
For longer journeys, we take an Uber. It’s safe and very affordable.
Rides to the bus station or Walmart takes approximately 20 minutes and cost up to $100 MXN ($4 USD) with the tip included.
Located basically smack dab in the middle of the country, Querétaro is a great base from which to explore Mexico.
The city’s Central de Autobuses connects Querétaro to other cities in the Bajío region, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City.
About 20 miles outside the city center, Querétaro International Airport has daily flights to and from various locations in the United States and Mexico.
- Flight from from Querétaro to Cancun: $1,600 MXN ($70 USD) round-trip.
- Bus from Querétaro to Mexico City International Airport: $413 MXN ($18 USD) each way.
More Posts About the Cost of Living in Querétaro
- The Essential Expat’s Guide for Living in Querétaro
- 9 Things That Are Unbelievably Cheap in Mexico
- Things to Know Before Moving to Mexico
Buy Me a Taco ?: If you found this post helpful, please consider making a donation via PayPal to support future content creation. For as little as $5 USD, you can get me a cold cerveza & a tasy taco!
How much money do you need to live in Mexico?
People often ask me how much money a person needs to live comfortably in Mexico.
Of course, that answer will vary from person to person. It’s possible to live very cheaply in Mexico.
In order to apply for a temporary visa in Mexico, one of the ways you can prove economic solvency is showing that your income is around $1,300 USD per month (after taxes).
Even though it’s possible to live in Mexico for much less, I think that’s a good figure if you’re someone who likes traveling, eating out, shopping and saving a little money to boot.
While Querétaro’s cost of living is very affordable compared to the U.S., it’s far from the cheapest place to live in Mexico. Be sure to check out this roundup of the best places to live in Mexico on a budget.
Are you considering moving to Querétaro, Mexico? Be sure to follow me on Instagram for snippets of my daily life in Querétaro (@alexnotemily)!