Cost of Living in Mexico

Playa del Carmen is the 3rd most expensive city in Mexico so that should be taken into account when planning your trip. This is a rough estimate depending on the exchange rate & is in Australian dollars.

  • Housing: 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 3 pools, a park, security + maintenance fees. $1,135.00 per month.
  • Electricity: (We did not use the air con) — $100.00 for 3 months.
  • Water: for showers, washing & laundry — $6.00 per month
  • Water to drink 20 litre bottles — $8.00 per week
  • Gas$25.00 per month
  • Internet/home phone$34.00 per month
  • Cell $34.00 per month
  • Food shopping including, household items, nappies & alcohol — $100.00 – $150.00 a week.
  • Street food: .70 cents to $2.50
  • Activities: prices range from $6.00 – $100.00
  • Cinema: food in the cinema ranges from $8.50 – $12.50 the ticket is only $3.50
  • Massage: full body. One hour $25.00
  • Eating out: prices range from $1.20 – $40.00 (including fresh lobster!)
  • Petrol: my car was a V8 so not cheap to run. It cost roughly $85.00 to fill the tank.
  • Spanish Classes: four hours per day in Solexico $130.00 a week. One hour a day with a private tutor $130.00 a month.
  • When sick: you can read it here.
  • Nanny: full time 5-6 days a week. They also cook for the children + plus light cleaning. $420.00 per month.

    Do you know it was cheaper for us to travel & explore Mexico then stay put in Oz for 6 months? Its true!

  • Some things you might want to know:

    Toilets: while on the road most of them cost a 4-8 pesos. The guy/girl in the entrance will give you your ration of toilet paper.. which you shouldn’t flush.
    Pedestrian crossings: They exist but you don’t have right of way (like in Australia) & most roads are without pedestrian lights.
    Taps: C is NOT for cold.. its the Spanish word for hot which is Caliente. Cold starts with an F for Frio.
    Car: Every petrol station will have attendants who fill it make sure you check that the register clocks at 0.00 before they start. They also clean your windows. Tip them 5-10 pesos. Unless you know what’s going on under the hood don’t let them check, they like to scam visitors with unnecessary oil changes etc.
If on the highway or toll road driving in the left lane & a car wants to pass you up he will put on his left blinker or flash his lights. Simply move to the right.
    Banking: Is an absolute nightmare! When you get the chance to withdraw take out as much as you are comfortable traveling with. Lines will drive you nuts & most places don’t take cards. Or find an ATM in Walmart or Mega.. the lines are generally much smaller for basic withdrawals.
    Shopping: The people who bag your shopping (kids or elderly) are either not paid to be there or their wage is a joke. Its good to tip them.
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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

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  1. Wow! I had no idea it was so expensive. All but the housing sounds like US prices, which I suppose isn’t SO much considering it’s a vacation spot. For some reason I had a less pricey idea in mind, especially once you add air fare on there as well. Good to know. Thanks for posting.

  2. For Mexico it was expensive. We could have had a house for half that but with none of the extras.
    But in comparison to Australia it was CHEAP!

  3. Firstly, thanks for stopping by our site so that I found your fabulous site!! Secondly, this is very interesting. We plan to live in Mexico for a year once the kids are school aged so we can all learn to be Spanish/English bilingual (well hopefully trilingual for the kids). That seems like excellent value. I love Playa del Carmen, such a great spot.

    • Amber Luna says:

      Happy to see your blog too! Glad this post was helpful. Learning Spanish in Mexico was really special & the Yucatan is a beautiful place!

  4. Thinking about living in San Miguel? What if you knew the answers to the questions you have to ask? What about crime, health care, housing? What about cost of living and nearly 20 other issues? My new book shines a light on the subject. It’s called Living in San Miguel: The Heart of the Matter, and there’s a sample on my website or on Amazon.


  1. […] it turns out our budget was higher than what we’d hoped it would be & helping some family out also set us back. […]

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