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living expenses resource

 
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_anethon



Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 12
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:32 pm    Post subject: living expenses resource Reply with quote

Hey do you know of any current resources on living expenses in Mexico? I'm not too worried about it myself, because I've done it before. But my wife's parents are worried, so I'd like some decent data to show them on what our expenses will be like.
Thanks..
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_anethon



Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 12
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok here are my finds so far...

If you're in Mexico maybe you can say if these figures sound right... if you're making plans for going to Mexico, maybe this will be useful.. Very Happy

http://www.employnow.com/livingexp.htm
this one seems a little out of date, since the exchange rate is off

http://www.americas.org/News/Features/200304_MayJune/CostofLiving.htm
only food items.. but it's an interesting link...

http://solutionsabroad.com/a_costofliving.asp
house and apartment lease -- "Prices estimated for properties with the basic requirements for foreign executives" Confused not me...

http://www.rollybrook.com/cost_of_living.htm
This one's pretty good.. except it's a year old and it doesn't include rental prices

http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/stevi1.html
This one is quite good.. wow, if a Mexican family of 4 can live on $250-$300 a month I have nothing to complain about...
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 1:03 am    Post subject: Where? Reply with quote

If you could be a bit more specific about where in Mexico, it would help a lot. Cost of living as well as teachers' wages vary greatly from region to region. When you say Mexico, are you referring to DF?
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thelmadatter



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1209
Location: in el Distrito Federal x fin!

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 1:52 am    Post subject: apt hunting Reply with quote

As I posted before, Ill be living in Toluca, just west of Mexico City. How do I find out what a decent price is for a furnished 1 bedroom? The director who hired me says he knows of a place but my cynical (NJ) nature is suspicious. But after reading some of the articles posted above, using his lead may be the best thing - esp. since I am short on time. What do I need to know and what questions do I need to be asking?
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LM



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last link from Mexconnect has some good advice for finding a place. The classifieds are going to have mostly the expensive places. I would get there first, then start asking by word of mouth.
Ask your employer to find a family that can host you for about a week while you look for a place. Start asking around with your students and co-workers. You can also go into general stores in the area around the school and ask if they know of any vacancies.
In the Toluca area, avoid Metepec. It is outrageously expensive. My husband (a Toluqueño) says that the downtown is very reasonable and you would be close to lots of shopping, transportation. The Tec is only 10 minutes from downtown. Avoid the area around the Juarez market and the bus terminal. It's too noisy there.
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Beemers



Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="_anethon"]
http://www.employnow.com/livingexp.htm
this one seems a little out of date, since the exchange rate is off

Does anybody else feel that $40 US is high for montly(in-city) travel expenses. I guess if you are taking taxis everywhere, or are the prices of buses and combis on the rise?
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samiam



Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 7
Location: Puebla, Puebla Mexico

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 1:23 am    Post subject: Cost of living prices in Puebla Reply with quote

Here are figures from when I was in Puebla last summer. All figures are in American dollars:

Apartment: According to my friend who teaches English out there, $120 a month or so.

Holtels: From $10 a night (for a dive) to $20 a night. I found a nice hotel room for $15 a night.

Buses: 35¢ one-way if staying in the city, no transfers but there almost always a bus going to your destination. No formal bus schedule but busses arrive every 20-30 seconds in busy locations during the day. In theory, there are route maps, but those are nay-to-impossible to find.

Maps: I finally found one after being in town for a couple of weeks; cost me $2.

Food: American food is more expensive; Mexican food has roughtly the same cost. A liter (1/4 gallon) of milk is 50¢. Going out is cheaper; a meal costs $3 or so.

Film developing: $4-$5 to have a 24-exposure roll of color print film developed and printed at a one hour mini-lab

Taxis: Depends on distance; should not ever cost more than $5 to go across town.

Movies: Are in English with Spanish subtitles (with the exception of children's movies); $2-$3 a ticket. Tickets are often half cost or "buy one get one free" one day of the week. Movies are sometimes one or two months behind American releases; however there are exceptions to this ("Lord of the Rings" was released the same day in México as it was in the US). Selection is not varied as it is in the US; in particular, super-violent movies ("The Matrix", etc.) are usually not popular enough to have a theatrical release there. It is very common for the operator to mess up when changing reels, causing there to be an unplanned intermission in the middle of the movie.

Concerts: Often times free in the Zócalo or under $5, the exception being American acts who play in Mexico City.

Computer supplies: 10-30% more expensive than getting stuff at Fry's (a popular computer discount retailer in the US).

Museums: Most are free one day out of the week; otherwise cost $2-$3 to enter.

- Sam
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Last post numbers Reply with quote

The post above mine is pretty dead on for prices. Earlier, someone (beemer?) asked if $40 was too high for monthly transportation. That really depends on you and where. Driving a car? Expenses aremuch higher than that. Taking a Mexico City or Guadalajara metro every day runs between $20 and $35 dollars a month. Add a taxi or two and you are a little over the $40 mark.
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: apt hunting Reply with quote

thelmadatter wrote:
As I posted before, Ill be living in Toluca, just west of Mexico City. How do I find out what a decent price is for a furnished 1 bedroom? The director who hired me says he knows of a place but my cynical (NJ) nature is suspicious. But after reading some of the articles posted above, using his lead may be the best thing - esp. since I am short on time. What do I need to know and what questions do I need to be asking?


1st try to avoid yes/no questions when buying things or contracting services in Mexico. The Mexican version of "the customer is always right" is "the answer is always YES!" --except if you where the obvious perfered answer is no.

EXAMPLE:
Q: Do you ever have problems with water in this building?
A: NO, never.

Q: How many times in the last year were both the tinaco and sistern empty?
A: About three to five times, but never for more than two days.

2nd Ask everything you could possibly think of, and don't feel bad repeating your questions because you might get different answers.

I'll try to think of some more questions later and post them if I have time.

Best of luck,

MEL
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 4:04 pm    Post subject: Asking the right questions Reply with quote

MELEE, you've made a good point about how to ask a potential landlord questions.

As you said, often landlords give the answer that they think you want to hear. Sometimes it's a matter of perception: theirs vs. yours.

Your Q: Is this a quiet neighborhood?

Landlord's A: Yes, it is very quiet here.

Real A: It's half a block from frequently used railroad tracks. Large groups of teenagers play various sports in the street until 3:00 a.m. There's an iron works shop two houses away and a daycare center next door.


Your Q: Is the plumbing in working order?

Landlord's A: Yes, in very good order. However, the shower in the bathroom doesn't work, but I'll have it fixed very soon.

Real A: The toilet needs to be repaired, but you can flush it by dumping a bucket of water into it. The kitchen sink leaks. The tinaco (holding tank) on the roof overflows whenever there's water coming in from the city's water supply causing the excess water to drip through cracks in the ceiling, but since city water only comes to this part of town two or three times a week, not a big problem. And, hell will freeze over before I get someone in to fix the shower!


Your Q: Can I have a telephone line installed?

Landlord's A: Yes, of course. Just contact Telmex.

Real A: Yes, of course. Just contact Telmex and pay off the 5,000-peso phone bill that the previous tenants left unpaid when they skipped out.

Best wishes!
Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: bang on Reply with quote

I couldn't stop laughing after reading that. All quite true.
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