Live the Costa Rican Dream on a Shoestring Budget

Coldwell Banker Pacific Realty | 13th March 2024 | Share
Live the Costa Rican Dream on a Shoestring Budget

Tired of hustling to make ends meet in “not paradise?” Well, your solution is due south in tropical Costa Rica! According to a report by Western Union, the average monthly cost of living there is a mere $1,073. Just imagine swimming in the sapphire waters of the Pacific Ocean, practicing yoga on the beach, and retiring in a comfortable home where the weather is always warm. It’s not only possible but eminently affordable. 

The local team at Coldwell Banker Pacific Realty has the market expertise to make this dream come true. Our in-depth knowledge of the Costa Rican real estate market can guide you to the ideal expat residence you’re looking for. Read on for our guide to living the Costa Rican dream on a shoestring budget. 

Finding Financial Freedom: The Costa Rican Low Cost of Living 

A cost-of-living comparison between Costa Rica and the USA reveals striking financial advantages of moving to Costa Rica. With a low-cost lifestyle, it's no surprise that many Americans relocate to this tropical paradise for retirement. The affordable living expenses allow expats to stretch their dollars much further and enjoy a higher quality of life. For example, an average dinner for two costs around $42, a one-bedroom apartment around $541, and a bus ride 85 cents.  

What Is the Cost of Living in Costa Rica? 

So, what can you afford for $1,000 a month in Costa Rica? The answer may surprise you. The average monthly budget for a Costa Rica expat is between $1,000 and $2,000 per month. This includes a residence, utilities, food, transportation, and going out. Investing in Costa Rica as a foreigner gives you access to affordable retirement living in charming coastal towns or rustic mountain villages. 

Understanding the Costs: Costa Rica Monthly Expenses 

Here’s what your monthly expenses could look like as an expat: 


Renting or buying Costa Rican real estate for under $100k is common, especially in areas outside major cities. You can expect to pay between $400-$800 a month in rent or mortgage. 


These generally run about $100 a month 


In a country rife with organic agriculture, your food budget will be around $300 monthly.  


Owning a car isn’t essential in a country with reliable public transportation. Your transport costs will average around $50 a month for buses and taxis.  


Dining out, lounging on the beach, or hiking through a tropical rainforest are some of the many ways to enjoy yourself in Costa Rica without spending much. Expect to pay around $100-$200 a month for entertainment.  

High Quality of Life for a Low Cost of Living 

Costa Rica's economical living offers countless financial perks for retirees and expats. For example, the tax rates are low, and you will enjoy high-quality healthcare for much less. By factoring in these lifestyle savings, you’ll build a comfortable nest egg to spoil yourself at will. 


Paradise on a shoestring budget is possible in magnificent Costa Rica thanks to its low cost of living, low taxes, affordable necessities, and no-cost outdoor activities. 

Ready to Live Like Royalty in Paradise? Call Us! 

It’s time to live the Costa Rican dream and reap the economic advantages of expat life in paradise! The Coldwell Banker Pacific Realty team can help you enjoy a pura vida lifestyle in Costa Rica’s vibrant culture, rich landscape, and welcoming communities. 

Whether you want a quaint home away from the bustle of tourists or an apartment within biking distance of the beach, we’ll find the ideal place to call home. 

Contact Us  

Your affordable Costa Rican adventure awaits! Contact our friendly team today for more information or to see a selection of beautiful homes in Costa Rica. Call now! 

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