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Mexico City vs. Bogota
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 853

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
MotherF - In Bogota, I share a house with 1 other person. We pay about 10 times more for utilities and internet than you do. For electricity, about 8 times more. For water, 20 times more. For internet, 4 times more.

A top of the line, modern, 2 bedroom apartment in a 2nd tier Colombian city (500,000 population) would be around double what you quoted.


In my middle class area in Mexico City you can get a nice one bedroom apartment for 3000 pesos (about 260 dollars) and a really, really nice one in a trendy area for 4000 pesos. Our electricity is around 300 pesos every two months, water around 150 every two months. We pay 380 pesos for combined phone and internet. And if you buy fruits and veggies in the market instead of groceries it's not only way cheaper (like 60 or 70 percent) it usually fresher. I don't know how public trransportation is in Bogota, but here the subway costs 3 pesos, government buses cost 2 pesos in some areas, the newer green buses cost 5 pesos and the Metrobus costs 5 pesos. Taxis are dirt cheap when compared to the US.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1520
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also live in Mexico City, in a very nice, but not elegant, centrally-located middle-class neighborhood. My rent for a pretty small one-bedroom apartment is $4000 a month, which is at the low end of the scale for this area. My telephone-internet bill comes to around $400 a month. Other recent expenses: water: $140 every two months; electricity: $160 bimonthly; a small tank of gas, which lasts about a month: $233. [/code]
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9403
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You two have it cheap...my gas, electricity, and water bills have been climbing to double your amounts. Two kids means a lot more washing machine time, and I use a dryer instead of hanging laundry on a line.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1520
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
You two have it cheap...my gas, electricity, and water bills have been climbing to double your amounts. Two kids means a lot more washing machine time, and I use a dryer instead of hanging laundry on a line.


Living alone does keep my costs down, and I have no appliances in my place beyond the usual stove and refrigerator in the kitchen. No TV. I guess my laptop uses a bit of juice every month since it's on most of the time. I have no washing machine, so I do have the added expense of paying the laundry next door to wash and dry most of my clothes, except for undies which I wash by hand and hang to dry on the roof.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 853

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
You two have it cheap...my gas, electricity, and water bills have been climbing to double your amounts. Two kids means a lot more washing machine time, and I use a dryer instead of hanging laundry on a line.


Yeah, I think the dryer uses a lot of power. But, there is a government subsidy of electricity and it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, with some people actually paying more than others for the same power use. I donīt use a dryer. I donīt even have one. But then I donīt do my own laundry either, so maybe if you start having someone do your laundry youīll save as much as you are paying in electric.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1143
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The electricity here is subsidized on a usage scale. You pay X rate fro your first 100 watts, the rate on the next 50 jumps considerably, and then after another 50 it's like 3 times what you pay on the first 100. So the difference from using a little to using a lot is huge.
We work to keep our usage under 150 watts in the two-month period. How? NO dryer for sure, no need for one here-I don't think the stores even stock them! Even though we have a pre-fab government house we were able to do a few things in the building to keep the energy use down. First we chose and end lot so we only have neighbors on one side and therefore have windows on three sides of the house, two in everyroom. We only put a half wall between the kicthen and living room as well so light flows between those two spaces. We don't need to turn on any lights until sundown. The back of the house faces the prevailing wind and by opening a first floor window on that side and the highest most window on the opposite side (a skylight in the stairwell) we are able to create a "solar chimney" so we have a constant breeze during the hot time of year, nearly eliminating the need to run a fan. We bought the most energy efficient fridge we could find locally, and we kept it to a resonable size by shopping twice a week. We have no electrical cooking devices (I have a toaster but I keep it at work) coffee is made in a stove top espresso maker. We don't iron our clothes, prompt removal from the washer and careful hanging on the line eliminates almost all the need for it. A seldom worn dress shirt might be ironed individually, once or twice a year. We rarely turn on the TV, but our computer is on for a long time, we have an energy star monitor set to sleep after two minutes of inactivity. We never leave any chargers pluged in after we are done charging things.
Water is cheap here, we collect rain water, but can't store more than 3 or 4 weeks worth really so we pay for it from October to June.
We have a super rapid on demand hot water heater which saves gas, I'm shocked MO uses a tank of gas faster than we do! I mean we all shower with hot water here and we eat at home almost all the time.
My internet does not include phone, but I don't use the phone much, the family has three cell phones and we only put in about 200 pesos every two months combined and pass credit around if one gets used more for some reason.

Another household expense is 800 a week for a full time housekeeper/nanny.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9403
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CFE runs a similar usage scheme in Mexico City...first 150 kW at one price, next 200 at another, etc...go over 500 kW and you start paying rates that are even higher than in Canada. I come in at 490 kW over two months after very carefully measuring every device in my home.

When we bought our apartment, I put in some nice lighting, a bathtub, washer dryer set, chest freezer...so I pay more to maintain it.

Ask what someone in Lomas or Polanco pays in light bills and you'll be shocked.
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MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The utilities in Colombia are bsed on the estrado in which you live. Spanglish apparently lives in estrado 8 and can't be bothered to find a nice Colombian gal who can find a decent place to live in 3-4, where bread, utilities and rent are very affordable and it's possible to live comfortably on 2 million or less a month.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your sarcasm and personal attack aren't necessary, mnguy.

There are 6 estratos in Colombia and you pay more in utilities depending on which one in which you live. My utilities are estratos 3 and 4, so definitely middle-class, as I made clear in my post.

Mnguy, please provide a detailed breakdown of costs to show how it's possible to 'comfortably' live on 2 million pesos or less per month at current prices in Bogota. 2 million pesos is the very minimum required to pay modest, shared rent, food, take public transportation and modest, entertainment costs.

It will probably not be enough to save up to buy a plane ticket home once a year and it will probably preclude sharing with only one other person (you'll need to share a place with 3 or 4 other people). It will not be enough to save up to buy a another laptop computer or to buy the formal clothes you will need for your job. So certainly, you can live on 2 million pesos/month (I never said it wasn't possible, just that you would need 3.5 to live alone), but you will need to have some prior savings, to live very modestly and to realize that it's probably not a sustainable level of income for the long term. 2 million is an entry level salary for a native speaker with a B.A., CELTA and no experience.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing to add - upper-level rents in estrato 6 nearly rival Manhattan/London prices.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9403
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of us reading that aren't familiar with Colombian or Mexican pesos...

1 USD = 1,778 Colombian pesos
1 USD = 12.75 Mexican pesos

I think I'd go batty having to think in the millions as you do there in Colombia! Very Happy

2 million pesos is just over 1,100 dollars. That amount is fairly comfortable in DF...not great but you'd be living fine and even saving a small amount per month, depending on lifestyle.
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MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="spanglish"]
Mnguy, please provide a detailed breakdown of costs to show how it's possible to 'comfortably' live on 2 million pesos or less per month at current prices in Bogota.quote]

You know I like giving you a hard time, relax. I lived with a Colombian gal near the Narino Transmi stop and rent was about 350k per month not including services. Safe neighborhood, nice two-bedroom apartment (flat). She worked over 40 hours per week in a professional office environment and made about one million a month.

I am no longer living in Colombia, so I can't give 'current' prices, but really, if you want to make it in Colombia, live like a Colombian. Find a nice boy or girl that you like and give it a go. Or find a private student willing to pay one million per hour.
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MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize it may be too personal, but if you'd like to share Spanglish, which barrio are you currently in? What is your rent?
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CarolinaTHeels



Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MNguy,

where/how did you find your roommate? Compartoapto?

Living with one colombian in a 2 bedroom apt is what i will be looking to do.
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MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarolinaTHeels wrote:
MNguy,

where/how did you find your roommate? Compartoapto?

Living with one colombian in a 2 bedroom apt is what i will be looking to do.


I found my 'roommate' by being an attractive man with a willingness to sleep with a beautiful colombiana.

The second bedroom should be an office, ideally.
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