The cost of living in Corozal Belize

The cost of living in Corozal Belize

cost of living in Corozal Belize
What is the cost of living in Corozal Belize?

The cost of living in Corozal Belize

I mentioned on the expat blog that my expenses were about 40% less here overall compared to the States, and I was asked to explain.

Original post explaining my costs on expat blog:

Glad to be here.

I am really enjoying my time in Corozal. My over all expenses are about 40% less than in Texas.

Food is about the same, fruits and veggies much cheaper but meat, and other items are more so it averages out. My water here is about 1/3 of what I paid in Texas, LP gas about the same, and my electricity here is about 1/2. I don’t have A/C here or it might be more, I did have A/C in my apt. in Texas. Internet is 3 times more here, cellphone is 1/3 the cost. I don’t own a car, and we didn’t own one in the States, but I see gas is much more here. Our rent is about 1/2 of what we paid in Texas for almost twice the size.

Overall our monthly costs are about 60% of what we paid in the States.

The only downgrade in our lifestyle from Texas to Belize is no A/C and no data plans on the cellphones.

Big upgrades, own home (rented), 3 blocks from the ocean, lots of parks and places to shop within easy walking distance. Not to mention the upgrades in weather, the friendliness of the people, diversity of culture, and more relaxing pace of life.

The challenges here, like power outages, lack of selection in stores, petty theft, etc..

Well in Michigan we usually lost power due to snow or ice storms for days at a time each year, with temperatures in the 30’s or below. The longest power outage here has been 6 hours and I didn’t have to worry about freezing. Sure I can’t find everything I might want but I grew up in a small town and it was 25 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart, and 1-1/2 hour drive to the nearest mall. I am much closer here if I want to go (I haven’t yet). In Texas we had items stolen from us multiple times, the only thing missing so far in Belize is my daughter’s toy ball.

I have to say that our biggest savings is in rent.

We pay $325 USD per month, and a home like this in Texas would be $1200 USD per month. We rented a small apartment in the States for $675 USD per month and this home is a huge upgrade for us.

My additional thoughts.

I mentioned A/c and cellphone data as a downgrade but our home gets a nice sea breeze, we hardly ever even turn on the ceiling or floor fans, and we use our phones at home connected to the WiFi and haven’t missed the data. When we are out of the house we are always doing stuff, so who has time to play on their phone at the seashore, or Mayan ruins, jungle, market, etc…

Cost of living in Corozal Belize

Here is a detailed explanation of the Corozal, Belize cost of living compared to San Marcos, Texas – other parts of the U.S. will vary.

Comparing apples to apples

I will try to compare apples to apples – for example in Texas we rented a small apt for $675 per month in Belize we rent a larger home with a fenced yard for $325 per month. To say we pay 1/2 in rent isn’t accurate because if we rented a home like this in Texas we would have paid $1200 per month. We wanted to rent a home but we couldn’t afford it and still save up enough to travel to Belize.

The same with utilities we pay less now but when comparing the bills and usage I see we are using less here than in Texas, the actual cost per unit is higher here in Belize so I compared the costs per unit. In Texas we only paid 11 cents per kWh in Belize it is 20.25 cents; however in Texas we had an additional 21 dollars in other charges on our bill each month, in Belize just the kWh charges.

In Texas we had cellphones with data plans that totaled $95 per month, so I compared an equivalent U.S. prepaid service to our current Belize cell service. Unlimited pre-paid in the US would be $55 (virgin mobile) and $49.50 in Belize (Digicell 4G unlimited).

Cost of living in Corozal Belize monthly comparison chart.

ItemCost in Corozal BelizeCost in San Marcos, TX
Rent (2bed, 1bath, fenced yard)$325$1200
Internet (2Mps cable, or DSL)$95$25
Cellphone pre-paid$5 Digicell$7 Tracfone
Electric - 500kwh$101.25$76
Water$76$65
LP-Gas$25$25
Car Insurance$20$27
Gas for car (using 40 gal/mo)$214 - $5.35/gal$130 - $3.25/gal
Medical Insurance - Major med$254$623
Food$300$300
Restuarants 4 meals x 2 plates$80$120
Cable (Basic)$20$25
Clothing i.e. (1 shirt 1 pants)$5 - Market$7 Goodwill
Misc.$250$300
Totals$1786.25$2930

Right at about 60% of overall costs in the States.

I am frugal and have cut my expense down even further to only around $1100-$1200 per month in Belize for a family of 3.  In Texas due to not having a car, renting a smaller apartment, eating out only once per month, etc. we spent about $1800-$2000 per month.

Medical care

We haven’t had to visit the doctor or dentist yet, but I was told an average visit is about $25 and that medications are much less expensive. All good news. I was told that If I need advanced medical care it just isn’t available here. I would need to go to Mexico or back to the States. Medical insurance is so much cheaper down here, and it includes medical coverage in every country in the world but the U.S. It makes sense to look at Mexico for any advanced care you may need. Medical care in Mexico can be as good or better than care in the States.

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Some things that are more expensive

Cars – I looked at some cars for sale down here and I can say cars are about double. One expat, flew from Belize to Florida, purchased the car, had it shipped to Belize, paid the import duties, and still figures with airfare, hotel, shipping, everything they saved money and got a nicer car.

Gas – was $5.35/gal when i checked.

Anything imported from the States – Imported items are about twice as expensive. Jiff peanut butter – $5 a jar. Small home appliances – $40 for a blender I saw in Texas for $20.

Cheese – $6 per pound.

Meats – $4 per pound for boneless chicken breasts. $3.50 per pound for ground turkey. $5 per pound for fish fillets

Electronics – prices on most electronics are 50% to 100% more.

Internet – $95/month for 2Mbs Internet, slow and expensive.

Things about the same price:

Most things imported from China are about the same or a little less. Dollar store items in the states are $50-$1.50 here.

Appliances are cheaper if you want the Chinese brands – a new washer $150.  If you want U.S. brands you will pay double the U.S. price.

Things that are super cheap:

Rum – Small bottle – $1.25 – regular sized bottle $3 (around $10 in Texas).

Sugar – 5 pounds for $1.25.

Corozal Belize cost of living
The cost of living is so cheap in Corozal we have extra money to spend for awesome fruits and veggies at the market. Yum!

Bananas – 8 for 50 cents or free, our rentals had banana trees in the yard.

Mangoes – 6 for 50 cents in season – 4 for 1.50 out of season – still a good deal.

Coconuts – green 4 for 1.50 or 50 cents each for a peeled one ready to break open.

Cost of living in Belize may vary.

The comparison I have done is for Corozal, Belize.  Other areas of Belize may be more or less expensive.  The cayes will be more expensive, likely on par or only a 10% to 20% savings.  Everything has to be shipped to the island, and that adds up.

Belize is the cheapest country in the Caribbean and the most expensive in Central America.

 

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