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Monthly Living Expenses in Costa Rica

by Super User

What is the cost of living of Costa Rica ?

This is a valid question we get all the time.   The amount of money that you will need to live in Costa Rica on a monthly basis will depend largely on your lifestyle and the area of Costa Rica where you decide to live. Price Smart Costa Rica If you want to live near the expat communities and shop for imported products then you will require a larger monthly budget. farmermarketIf you are willing to shop at the farmers market and live a in more rural setting then your living expenses will be much lower.

The following is an example of what you can expect to pay for selected items in Costa Rica. The numbers assume that you own your house and will be paying property taxes. If you are renting then factor in the rental amount into the equation. The reality is that your will likely need between $2,500 to $3,000  to live comfortably in Costa Rica. Anything below that amount will require some adjustments.

I have spoken to many expats that live in small rurual towns in the central valley and they indicate that they can live on $2,500 per month in Costa Rica.  They do so because their rental payment is $600 per month.   You will also need to factor health insurance coverage.  For a couple that has a mandatory Costa Rican (Caja) coverage the amount can range from $100 to $250 per month.   Most of the expats that we have interviewed have indicated that with $3,000 per month they would live very comfortably in Costa Rica.


Property Taxes$ 50
Electricity$ 90
Telephone$ 10
Cell Phone$ 25
Cable Television$ 30
Internet Services$ 25
Water$ 20
Groceries$ 300
Part Time Maid Service$ 200
Gasoline$ 250
Car Insurance (3rd party liability)$ 50
Car Registration$ 50


If you intend to rent a property in Costa Rica then add the rental payment into the monthly expenses. You can find rentals in Costa Rica from $550 and up. In rural areas you should be able to find comfortable accomodations in the $ $550 to $800 range. If you want to live in the expat suburbs around San Jose you may have to pay a bit higher rent and your range could be in the $800 to $1,200 range.





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