You may have heard about the affordable cost of living in Mexico, but exactly how much are things cheaper in Mexico?
Delicious and cheap AF street tacos are only the tip of the iceberg, amigo.
In this post, I’m revealing nine things that are so unbelievably cheap in Mexico you’ll be tempted to leave your budget at the border.
If you’re thinking about moving abroad, you’d do well to consider Mexico. Check out these posts to learn more about expat life in Mexico:
- How I Found An Apartment in Querétaro, Mexico
- Things To Know Before Moving to Mexico
- An Expat’s Guide to Living in Querétaro, Mexico
Is living in Mexico cheap?
Well, it’s all relative, isn’t it?
Living in Mexico isn’t as cheap as, let’s say, Vietnam. But, it’s significantly more affordable to live in Mexico than the United States.
Note: Throughout this post, I’ve calculated all the prices to reflect the United States Dollar (USD). Some were converted from pesos (MXN), but to keep things simple, I elected to include the amount in USD only.
How much money do you need to live in Mexico?
The amount of money you need to live in Mexico will depend on where you’re living in Mexico. Querétaro offers an affordable cost of living compared to the U.S., but there are even more cost-effective cities when it comes to the cheapest places to live in Mexico.
I’ve often said to my boyfriend that, if push came to shove, I could live on less than $600 USD per month in Mexico.
But, perhaps the better question is: How much money do you need to live comfortably in Mexico?
Personally, I’d say that figure starts at around $1,000 USD per month.
You won’t have much leftover for savings or travel (and you better not have any huge student loan payments), but with $1,000 USD per month in Mexico, you could have a nice apartment, eat out whenever you want and not have to worry about taking public transportation.
What is the average cost of living in Mexico?
The cost of living in Mexico varies from region to region and city to city.
While Querétaro certainly doesn’t have the lowest cost of living in Mexico, it is still very affordable by U.S. standards.
To learn more about the cost of living in Mexico in 2020, check out my detailed post about our living expenses in Querétaro.
Are things cheaper in Mexico?
Not everything in Mexico is cheaper than in the United States, but dramatic differences do exist.
Looking back on all the pesos I’ve spent (and all the pesos I’ve saved) during the nearly two years I’ve lived in Querétaro, here are nine things that are a lot cheaper in Mexico.
Cheaper in Mexico #1: Rent
In Madrid, my boyfriend and I paid $858 USD per month for our tiny one-bedroom one-bath apartment (and paid it happily).
In Mexico, we live in a two-bedroom two-bath house (plus a whole lot more space) and pay $534 USD per month.
At just over a million people, Querétaro is roughly the size of Austin, Texas. Compare our rent ($534 USD) to Austin’s average rent of more than $1,300 USD per month.
And, that’s just for a one-bedroom apartment!
Cheaper in Mexico #2: Beer
Indio, Corona, Victoria, Carta Blanca: I could go on and on, but the point is Mexico has a lot of fantastic domestic beers.
Unlike in the U.S., you don’t need to sacrifice taste for cost-effectiveness (yeah, I’m talking about you, Bud Light).
If you’re out and about in the center of Querétaro and order a beer, you’ll pay $1.60 USD.
In the mood to drink at home? We recently scored three tall boys (16-ounce cans) for $2.80 USD.
Cheaper in Mexico #3: Haircuts
In Mexico, maintaining your lewk won’t break the bank.
I paid $10 for a haircut earlier this year, but even that seems expensive compared to Taylor’s $3 USD trims.
Actually, all grooming-related things are cheaper in Mexico. I’ve seen gel manicures at reputable salons for as little as $6 USD.
A Brazilian wax costs $11 USD. Plus, it’s great Spanish practice trying to maintain a conversation while getting your pubic hair ripped out!
Cheaper in Mexico #4: Electricity
To see the price of all our utilities, be sure to check out my cost of living in Querétaro post.
Water, gas and electricity are all much cheaper in Mexico, but electricity especially.
While it varies from month to month, of course, our electricity bill is usually around $1.60 USD.
Cheaper in Mexico #5: Fresh Flowers
Actually being able to afford to have fresh flowers in my house all the time is a dream come true.
Whenever I’m shopping at Mercado La Cruz, I’ll pick up a bouquet (lately, I’ve been really into astromelias) for $1.50 USD.
If you’re tired of waiting for bae to buy you flowers, move to Mexico and buy them for yourself.
Cheaper in Mexico #6: Amazon Prime
Furnishing our house was already a bit of a headache, but it would have been a total nightmare without Amazon.
Thank goodness Amazon Prime is so much cheaper in Mexico.
It costs $5 USD per month or $46 USD for the entire year.
To be honest, I don’t think we could have furnished our place without it. Since we don’t have a car, delivery is life.
Cheaper in Mexico #7: Service Professionals
While we do most things for ourselves (cleaning, tree trimming, etc.), it’s really affordable to pay for help when you need it.
For example, just this week, our fridge (the one I was so proud to have found secondhand) started dripping. We googled a fridge repairman, and he came to the house later that same day.
It didn’t take him long to diagnose the problem and explain how to fix it (which involved turning off the fridge for a few days).
It was simple and probably something we could have figured out ourselves, but why stress when a house call only costs $8 USD?!
Cheaper in Mexico #8: Dental Work
Six months ago, I finally went to the dentist for a cleaning after more than a year without an appointment.
Unsurprisingly (but embarrassing nonetheless), I had some cavities.
Fortunately, a nice smile is one of the things you can buy cheaper in Mexico.
I paid less than $40 USD for the three cavities.
By the way, the cleaning itself was covered by my health insurance. Find out how much I pay for health insurance in my post about the cost of living in Querétaro, Mexico!
Cheaper in Mexico #9: Cell Phone Service
Did you know the average cell phone plan in the U.S. costs between $50 and $60 USD per month?!
In Mexico, I decided to go prepaid and selected the following option from AT&T:
- 2 GB of data
- Unlimited incoming and outgoing calls in Mexico and the U.S.
- Facebook, Twitter and What’s App don’t count toward my data usage
- Oh, and I still get service when I’m in the U.S.
This option works great for me, and I re-up it every 35 days for just $10 USD.
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Is stuff cheaper in Mexico?
So, what do you think? Is it cheaper to live in Mexico?
Based on my own personal experience, the answer is a resounding YES (or should I say SÍ?).
I love writing these cost of living type posts to showcase just how affordable living in Mexico can be.