Cost of living, so far in Costa Rica. Prices are in US dollars.
First the good:
Medium sized mangos for 85 cents each. Large ones for $1 each
Large pineapples for $1 each
Pipas or Coconuts for $1 each
8 Bananas for 50 cents
Liter carton of milk for $1
Full coverage car insurance $95 a month.
Full coverage home insurance for $85 a month.
Health insurance for $50 per month
Large avocados for $1 each
6 humongous carrots for total of 50 cents-i guess I'll be eating a lot of those.
18 large sized eggs for $2
Housekeeping for $4.40 per hour. We are using them every other week.
Pool Maintenance $170 per month, every week.
Landscaping $130 per month.
Cable TV $50 per month.
Internet is $30 per month.
Telephone service, basic, is just $7 per month.
HOA fees, similar to maintenance fees are $293 per month. HOA's include security, garbage collection, well water pump, and community landscaping and road maintenance.
We have a handyman available to do various types of jobs for $10 per hour.
Exterminator costs $100 every 4 month.
Gasoline is $5.30 per gallon.
Electricity is between $150 to $250 per month. We have a bodega or storage room where the linens are kept. To keep them fresh and dry-this is a rain forest-we have a dehumidifier that runs 24/7.
US products are available but very expensive. Some examples:
Jiff Extra Crunchy peanut butter costs $7
Jar of strawberry preserves costs $5
Cascade dishwashing detergent costs $12-Guess who is washing dishes by hand?
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce for $5 a jar.
We have been much better at using our leftovers to determine what the next day's meal is going to be. No more waste!
The good news about living here regarding the cost of living is that we have an option to rent out our home. We are still part of a rental community-2 of the 4 homes have been sold. There is a property management team that can make all of the arrangements. They will take a 20% cut and charge us a few more fees for their services. This will be a good way of offsetting a few of the costs of living here. We will probably do it during the busy holiday season where they can get the most money. It really has to be worth our while to set aside our personal effects and clear out. We also look at it as a way of paying for our vacation.
Coming next...............Getting to know our colorful neighbors-with photos
***Our shipment from NYC arrived-it took about 8 weeks. 4 workers carried everything up 35 steps in the 88 degree heat. They walked up and down for about 1 and 1/2 hours. We get tired just walking ourselves up those steps. Yes, we gave them some ice water, and even some cold pineapple. I also offered them time in the pool after they finished but they said they didn't bring their bathing suits. I suggested "let's all swim like the Indians in ancient times, naked". They just politely responded "no thanks". That would have been an interesting addition to my blog.