Cost of Living at Lake Chapala, Mexico — November 2012

Cost of Living, Lake Chapala, Mexico, Monthly Budget

Everyone seemed to enjoy last month’s breakdown of our October cost-of-living expenses in Lake Chapala, so I’m posting an update for November.

We’ve had quite a bit of fluctuation, with some costs (like food) dropping significantly and others (like education) skyrocketing.

The biggest movers:

1. Education: Private school & Huichol village trip

Scout is now attending a private, bilingual school, which costs about $250 USD per month. On top of that, uniforms and a one-time enrollment fee cost us an additional $600.

Also, Scout and I took a weekend trip/private tour with her Spanish teacher to a small Huichol Indian village in the state of Nayarit. The total cost (tour cost, tolls, fuel) was about $400 USD. It was an amazing experience, which you’ll read about it as soon as I catch up on my photo processing.

(Here’s a shot to whet your appetite: Scout & hew new pals bringing sweets to share with the other village kids.)

Scout is still taking private classes with her Spanish teacher, but most of this month’s classes were cancelled due to a death in the teacher’s family. We pay roughly $8 per hour for the classes. The teacher is fantastic.

2. Food: Pantry stocked, lots of eating at home

Food costs have dropped dramatically. During our first month we had to stock the pantry (spices, oil, rice, beans, etc) and enjoyed a few higher-end (relatively speaking) meals out. This month we’ve been mainly been eating at home. A few street tacos here and there, but that’s about it.

Oh, and you’d never believe it but there’s a fantastic gelato place here, which has been making a small dent in our budget. It’s not cheap, but it’s run by a bonafide Italian and is genuinely delicious.

3. Electricity: The bill finally showed up!

The bill is for two months, and we’ve just received our first one. The dollar amount I included here was for half the bill, about one month’s of electricity. Note that we use gas for cooking & heating hot water. This house has no heat or A/C, so the entire electric bill is basically for lights, fridge and computers.

4. Miscellaneous: Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.

Frankly I have no idea what this is. A horse ride, some car washes, non-grocery items from WalMart, various tips. You know, stuff.

Total cost: $2,954 USD

Rent (includes the gardener, who comes every other day) $692
Auto Insurance $42
Int’l Medical Insurance $165
Electricity $36
Gas $47
Phone & Internet $69
Groceries $393
Meals & Entertainment $167
Auto (Petrol and Maintenance) $61
Medical $0
Education $1282
Housekeeping (I wish!) $0

Total cost: $2,954 USD

We had some business expenses and a deposit on Scout’s camp, but I’ve omitted those because they aren’t relevant to anyone planning a budget here.

— Renee

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill D'Antoni December 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Me, Chyra, Frank & Dominic have been keeping up with Ramblecrunch & look forward to every posting. Y’all seem to be really enjoying life to the fullest. We’re envious of your adventure! Love y’all!


2 Mark December 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I can truly say life has not been boring since we starting traveling. Keeps things interesting. Glad to hear you guys are following along. And thanks for commenting. We appreciate hearing from you.


3 Jen December 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Thanks for sharing, helpful!


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