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  • Writer's picture Michaela & Ricardo

Lake Chapala Mexico Cost Of Living 2022

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

One of the most asked questions on web boards is, “What does it cost to live in Lake Chapala?” Obviously the answer can vary greatly. I know couples who live on as little as a $1000 per month including rent and it goes up from there. Depending on your lifestyle, and whether you own or rent, the true cost of living Lakeside can vary.

In this blog I've re-examined our expenditures and updated them for 2020 providing you with the most accurate average 'cost of living' possible.

Inspiration for this blog came from a Jerry Brown Travels YouTube videos.

In 2017 Jerry and Lori spent $1390/mo without rent

Updated in 2018, Jerry and Lori spent $1500/mo without rent

Updated in 2022 Jerry & Lori spent $1638/mo without rent

So how do our costs compare with Jerry & Lori's?

(All costs below are in USD and are based on a couple with 2 cars)

Food/Dining/House Supplies

Michaela & Ricardo $660/mo.

Cost $660

Dining out is the big variable here.

Breakfasts typically $4-6 ; Lunches $5-8 ; Dinners $8-12 per entree (drinks extra) NO TAXES


Michaela & Ricardo $30/mo. Cost $30

Examples: Concerts in the Park at LCS ($10) ; Tickets at Lakeside Little Theater ($12.50)

Car Insurance/Gas/Repairs/Air Care/Tax (for 2 cars)

Michaela & Ricardo $200/mo.

Cost $200

Details: Car Insurance 2016 Honda Fit $250/year ; 2016 Honda HRV $375/year

Annual Car Tax $30/car


Michaela & Ricardo $40/mo

Cost $40

Breakdown: IPTV $25 per month ; Netflix $15 per month

Cell phones(2)/House phone/Internet

Michaela and Ricardo $45/mo.

Cost $45

Breakdown: Monthly cell phone $10/month per phone

House phone comes with Internet $25 per month

(cell phones include unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada and House phone

includes 100 calls per month to 42 countries with no time limit)

Medical/Dental Visits, Medication & Annual Tests

Michaela and Ricardo $50/mo.

Cost $50

Examples: Annual blood/urine tests $50 each

Doctors visit $30-40

Colonoscopy $600

Emergency visit including cat scan of head $225

Utilities (Gas/Electric/Small Home Repairs/Gardener/Maid (2X per week))

Michaela & Ricardo $500/mo.

Cost $500

Breakdown: Gas - 3 fills per year of a 300 liter propane tank $150 per fill ; $450/year

CFE (electricity) - $50 - $75 every two months (now with solar panels = $0) ; $360/year without panels

Maid $5 per hour ; Gardener $4 per hour

Miscellaneous - Personal Items/clothing/gym/yoga/massages, etc

Michaela & Ricardo $100/mo.

Cost $100

Missed Items - Anything I might have missed

Cost $50


Cost of Living

Total Cost Of Living $1675 ($20,100 per year) without accommodations for a couple with 2 cars

Compare these costs to Jerry & Lori's and they provide you with a very accurate accounting of the cost of living in Lake Chapala!


You still need a place to live. Options are either Renting or Owning your own home. This can be an Independent Home or within a Gated Community. Let's look at both.

Renting A Home

Rents vary from $400 to over $2500 dollars. Let's average it out to $1000 for the purposes of this blog

Grand Total Cost Of Living & Renting A Home $2675 USD/month ($32,100 per year) for a couple with 2 cars

Owning Your Own Independent Home (outside a gated community)

Of course it you own a home, cost of living is drastically reduced.

Take the $1675/month and add approximately:

Property Tax - $240/year - $20 per month (we just paid $250)

Water - $240/year - $20 month (we just paid $150)

Large Home Repairs (roof, painting etc) - $1000/year - $80/month (I have to throw something in for Maintenance)

Grand Total Cost Of Living & Owning An Independent Home $1795 USD/month ($21,540 per year) for a couple with 2 cars

If you purchased within a gated community then you will have HOA fees.

HOA - Avg. $75/month

Grand Total Cost Of Living & Owning A Home in a Gated Community $1870 USD/month ($22,400 per year) for a couple with 2 cars

A big item that is missing in this Cost Of Living Blog is Medical Insurance. This, too, can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as age, health, deductibles, etc. so I have purposely left it out. You basically have 3 options when it comes to Health Insurance. Mexican Insurance Companies ($4000-8000 per year for a couple), pay as you go (no insurance), keeping your insurance in the states and purchasing a Skymed Membership to fly back to the states for your coverage (roughly $800 per year per couple).

Michaela & Ricardo are your FULL SERVICE Real Estate Agents. Along with our Retirement Seminars, our over 20 years of combined experience Lakeside, and our network of area Professionals, we help guide you to from beginning to forever in your Retirement Journey to Lake Chapala, Mexico.

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