Since I am preparing envelopes for our house sitters with two and a half months of expenses, I thought I would give you an idea of our latest cost of living expenses for the month of March 2017.
We own our home, thus no rental expenses. This month, we paid our property taxes of $25 and I included that in the miscellaneous expenses along with gas, propane, and a few other small expenses.
The amounts are in dollars. The total monthly expenses are: $960.
If you are considering living in Nicaragua, it will depend on your location and your needs. Ometepe Island is cheaper for home rentals than most of the larger cities like Granada and San Juan Del Sur. But, there are some expenses that cost more, such as a rural internet provider since we don’t have cable internet available outside of the main cities. Our service provider is Ggnet and it is on the mainland. We built a tall tower in our backyard because we need direct line of sight to the mainland to receive a strong signal for our microwave internet system.
Our electric is a little cheaper because we are now hooked into the mainland by an underwater cable. It is more reliable, too. We have a Claro phone plan for two phones, which gives us unlimited calls to other Claro users with 10G of data on each phone.
Food is our largest expense usually because we like our peanut butter, wheat bread, and chocolate chips. I splurged this month and bought a can of whipped cream (almost $10).
The boys had never had whipped cream. Ron sprayed the chilled whipped cream right into their mouths. Hee Hee It was worth the expense to see the look of delight on their faces.
We are not penny pinchers, but we don’t live extravagantly either. Therefore, we travel a lot because the cost of living is low enabling us to save money for our wanderlust. Plus, we enjoy helping others and a little goes a long way in Nicaragua.
A further breakdown:
Employees and tuition: $258
From the breakdown, you can see that our expenses are evenly divided. If we didn’t have yard workers, my library, or pay for our god-daughter’s college tuition, we could cut our expenses by a fourth.
I read that 0.7% of our gross income is a good guideline for giving. For the average personal income in the United States, that would be approximately $26 a month. Living in Nicaragua is different, though. Our cost of living is about 1/4 of that in the states, so we can give more.
I’ll leave you with the following quote. Our lives are all about choices.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett