One of the big draws to living in Lake Chapala is the low cost of living. “How low?”, you ask. Well for final figures you can check out one of my previous blogs Cost of Living In Lake Chapala 2017 or for a comparison of common everyday items, read on.
Let's talk first about home maintenance. My plumber/electrician charges 100 pesos ($5.40) for a house call, and he can usually come by on the same day, even on a Sunday! If it's an easy repair, he does it on the spot and there's no further cost. If he needs parts, he'll buy them, come back with the receipt, and I pay him at cost.
How about the maid and gardener? Maids and gardeners get paid around 50-80 pesos per hour ($2.70-4.30)
Gas/Electricity? My electric bill over the past year 2018 averaged 370 pesos per month ($19.50 USD) and coincidentally, gas was almost exactly the same per month.
How about having your car washed and cleaned inside? Well, that's only 80 pesos ($4.30) and he does a better job than I can do myself. If you need only the outside washed then it's 40-50 pesos ($2.15-2.70). Insurance costs, of course, vary depending on make and model, but between our two vehicles we average 7300 pesos ($394) for the year per vehicle. That even includes Roadside Assistance!
Do you want to get tickets to see that great movie featuring Ryan Renolds? That will be 50 Pesos ($2.70) please and on Wednesday's it's half price! Popcorn and pop is another 60 pesos.
Concerts/plays, and the like, range from 200 to 450 pesos ($10.80-24.30)
Eating out is considered cheaper than having to make it yourself at home. Full breakfasts and lunches average 50-80 pesos ($2.70-4.30) and dinners 100-200 pesos ($5.40-10.80) plus drinks.
Dental Care? A thorough cleaning costs me 600 pesos ($32) from one of the top dentists Lakeside. I used to pay $40 CDN just on the CoPay plan I was on in Canada. Can you find cheaper? Absolutely! One place even does it for free!
What about medical care? Doctors visits vary from about 60 pesos ($3.25) to 300 pesos ($16.20) for a basic office visit. Even specialists, are around 500-700 pesos ($27-37.80), and appointments are usually available the same day or the same week.
Do you want to get a full physical done? Salud Digna (which has more than 50 locations throughout Mexico) offers a "Complete Adult Package" (which checks 69 things, including cholesterol, a general urine exam and full blood analysis) for only 360 pesos ($20) for men. I just had a full examination done on me which included a mammogram, poop test, abdominal ultrasound, ECG, and bone density test, as well as the full urine and blood workup, for only 980 pesos ($53). Most of the results are available the same day and/or you can access the results online with your own password. To determine what it all means, just meet with your regular doctor to go over them. Appointments can be made by phone or online or just walk in and wait in line. Vision tests and blood pressure clinics are free of charge at Salud Digna locations and at the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic.
These are the real costs from where I live in Lake Chapala, and are a big part of why so many of us are deciding to move to Mexico. Although prices may vary in other parts of the country, you can rest assured your overhead here is going to be much less than in the U.S. or Canada.
For more information about anything in this blog, please feel free to contact me.
(For the purposes of this blog I have used the current exchange rate of 19 pesos to 1 USD)