It’s been a long time since I did a cost of living post. So, here’s an account for the month of October, 2014.
1. Electricity 1,235 c $47.31
2. Water 150 c $ 5. 74
3. Propane 325 c $12.45
4. Internet 3,025 c $115.70
5. Sky satellite TV $ 37.00
Total $ 218.20
1. New roof on our house in the states $5,000
2. Paint $ 100
3. Mechanical repairs for dune buggy $ 50 _____________
total $ 5,150
1. Gas for my dune buggy $ 50.00
2. Groceries ( average) $400.00
We have two workers. One for our yard work and the other a general handyman.
1. Monthly pay for Alfonzo ( 3 days a week, 3 hrs. a day) $45.97
2. Monthly pay for Jose ( 5 days a week, 3 hrs. a day) $76.72
V. Volunteer and Charity
1. Los Ramos landslides $100.00
2. Monthly tuition for beauty school for a
local friend $ 19.15
3. Expenses for new elementary school library $ 100.00
4. Used bicycle for one of our workers $ 68.00
5. Food for a wake $ 60.00
total $ 347.15
1. Restaurants $ 50.00
2. Kindle books $ 9.99
total $ 59.99
VII. Pet Care
1. food for cats and dog $ 30.65
2. Vet expenses $ 40.00
It was a bad month for our cat Black Jack. He was
unable to recover from a UTI and we had to have him
total $ 70.65
Overall total for Ometepe Island expenses: $ 1,418.68
We own two homes, one in Nicaragua and one in the states. We have a separate account for our home in the states. The rent goes into the account and pays for our repairs, property taxes, and miscellaneous expenses.
We also use our U.S. address, so we can keep a U.S. credit card and a shipping address. It makes it easier to order things online and have them shipped to our house in the states. When we return to the states for a visit, we can get the items we ordered and pack them in our suitcases to return to Nicaragua.
Our bank accounts are in the U.S. Our monthly income is direct deposited into our account and we withdraw from ATMs in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is mainly a cash society. The only bill we can pay online is our credit card bill. Our SKY satellite TV is billed monthly to our credit card. All of our utility bills are delivered to our house by men on bicycles. If we aren’t home, they either hang the bill on our fence post or deliver it to our neighbors. The internet bill is sent to my email address, but then we have to print it and take it to the bank in town and deposit into the company’s bank account. Sometimes, it is a game of hide and seek to find our monthly utility bills.
Travel is our passion. We try to take a trip at least once a month, but in October we were inundated with rain and natural disasters. We are planning our next trip to the Rio San Juan. We’ll be able to fly out of our local airport to San Carlos and catch a boat(s) for a trip down the river. We are also planning a trip to Cuba, but it depends on getting house sitters since we have two cats and a puppy.
Nicaragua is affordable, although challenging at times. We jumped and are living our passions. As you can see in the pie graph, we strongly believe in a trickle-up economic system. Much of our disposable income and time goes to helping others. Our investments of time and a little money go far in Nicaragua.
We are in the process of researching health insurance. We did have the discount plan for Vivian Pellas, but it did not meet our needs. We have residency in Nicaragua, so we are exploring our options for health insurance that will be accepted at all the major hospitals in Nicaragua. More about that later.
If I can answer any questions about cost of living, please let me know. Expenses will vary depending on the location and one’s needs.