Living in Oaxaca, Mexico on Less Than $1,500/Month

by | Feb 14, 2022 | Mexico | 1 comment

With the current exchange rate (March 2020) of about 20 pesos to one U.S. dollar—or 15 pesos to one Canadian dollar, there is more value for the U.S. or Canadian dollar living in lovely Oaxaca.

The panoramic view Photo by Gwen Hyatt
The panoramic view Photo by Gwen Hyatt

Factoring in whether you are living single, with a spouse or partner, or as a family with children, Oaxaca provides an economical lifestyle with many amenities.

I found $1,500 adequately funded my single lifestyle, which included accommodations, dining out, joining the Lending Library, tours, and lectures, recreational outings, and language school several days a week.

Here is a breakdown of my monthly expenses in U.S. dollars:

My Personal Expenses
 Type USD per month
Accomodation 750
Utilities/Internet included in rent
Phone 40
Groceries 63
Eating out 52
Alcohol 27
Basic supplies, (paper towel, toiletries, etc) 15
Entertainment (classes, memberships, tours) 165
Recreation 30
Language School 308
Total 1460

Keep in mind that the cost for rental accommodations can vary widely from $350 on the low end to $1,000/month. on the top end depending on the area of town, size of the apartment (studio, efficiency, one-bedroom or more, separate family dwelling), quality, furnished or unfurnished, short-term 1-3 months, or long-term and if utilities/Wi-Fi/water are provided. Many rentals include utilities and Wi-Fi.

Loving the local food By Gwen Hyatt
Loving the local food By Gwen Hyatt

Food, including fruits and vegetables, is healthy, plentiful, and relatively inexpensive.

Street and market food are tasty and a bargain. I prefer to cook breakfast and dinner and enjoy very reasonably priced lunches out.

Oaxaca is walkable, and a car is unnecessary. Buses, collectivos, and taxis are reliable, plentiful.

They are reasonably priced when needed for in-city transportation and venturing to the surrounding pueblos.

Entertainment everywhere By Gwen Hyatt
Entertainment everywhere By Gwen Hyatt

You can enjoy free entertainment, including music and dancers common in and around the Zocolo, artesian galleries, small museums, and abundant and fascinating mercados.

One expense I have not included is health care or medications.

There are several insurance options, but many expats pay as needed as the cost is quite reasonable compared to in the U.S. This includes medical, dental, vision, hearing, and pharmaceutical services.

Living modestly, yet enjoying all that Oaxaca offers, can be done for less than $1,500/month. for a single person. With two people each contributing $1,500/month, you could live well.

How are you making ends meet in your city?  Is the exchange rate working in your favor?

by: Gwen Hyatt