Family Living Expenses in Guatemala (With Prices)
I get asked this question a lot, especially by people who want to move to Guatemala. What are the living expenses? So that is such a general question, because what if you’re single? What if it’s just a couple, what if it’s a family of three, a family of four? And what if you like to live more upper scale versus really roughing it? So there’s obviously a huge array. That’s why I’m going to give you my personal version. Today we’re going to be talking about family living expenses in Guatemala, that way you have a better idea about it.
We live mid-range. Yes, we do like to splurge here and there once in a while, but we’re more or less mid-range. We have a family of four.
Family Living Expenses in Guatemala
What other living expenses do you really need? Because besides the little luxuries of going out to eat, or traveling, I don’t really consider those parts of living expenses.
But just basic stuff, even clothing. So one thing about Guatemala, they have this thing called the Pacas where you can buy used clothing. And they’re brilliant. So that could also be someplace that you go, but those are not really like the overhead necessities. So for us to just have basic living comes out to be almost $4,000 per month.
Food and Basic Necessities
I also know about food and shopping and necessities. I have an entire episode about that and how you can find the best prices for that.
Make sure you go and check out the shopping and Food in Guatemala episode to get a good idea of that. But to be honest with you, at the end of the day, whenever I do all of my calculations for the month of necessities, food, and other things comes out to between $1000 to $1200 dollars. We’re vegetarians, so we don’t even eat meat, and we don’t buy cheese either. So again, you have to do your own calculations.
But on average, let’s say it’s another $1,000. What if you have a dog? You have to add in again, maybe it’s only $100 per month extra. Depends on the size of your dog. Put that in as well.
Private Schools in Guatemala
So I have two kids that do go to private schools. Nobody really sends their kids to public schools. There are, again, different options for private schools. We live in Antigua. I could give you a little bit of a range because we do send our children to Antigua Green School. I have an entire episode about Antigua Green School, so please go and listen to that, about why we chose that school. However, there are international schools, there are more localized schools, and we pay per month, on average around $600 per child.
But you also have to pay a matriculation fee. There’s also a family fee. There are all these different fees. So other schools are about $800 a month or $400 per month. Also, the age of your kid. The younger they are, the lower the price. If my son just finished high school, he was on the very end of the price, the highest end of the price. So that is definitely something you need to take into account how much that’s going to cost you. So let’s say on average per kid, including all these fees, you are looking at between five hundred dollars to one thousand dollars per month per kid. Depending on the school, that’s one expense.
How about rent? If you have, again, a family of four, we need at least a three, four-bedroom house, so rent could go anywhere between $1000 to $2000. And obviously, on a higher scale, we always chose to live inside a gated community. So that’s going to be a tiny bit more expensive, obviously, but not that much more.
You’ll be surprised because the majority of places here are obviously in gated communities also. Is it furnished, unfurnished? All of these you have to take into account. Are all your expenses included? I have an entire episode about how to find rentals in Guatemala. Make sure you go and listen to that one, so you really get an idea of how the rental process works here in Guatemala. So let’s say on average, you’ll be paying $1400 for a family, including all utilities and expenses.
Do you have a car? Do you have a vehicle? You do need a vehicle in Guatemala. For the most part, you would need that. So you have insurance, you need to pay for the car. Insurance here is a lot lower than it is in other countries, but you still have to pay it.
So the insurance, depending on your car age, could be anywhere between $50 a month to $200 a month/ So you need to figure that out. Put that into account.
Obviously, you have to put that into account. Gasoline. Depending on how much you drive, you have to put into account maybe another extra $100 to $200 per month.
Gas is super expensive here. It is not cheap. It’s always more expensive than it is in the United States. It’s probably closer to European prices. So this is something you need to also take into account.
Health insurance. We have local health insurance. Are you going to have local health insurance? Are you going to not have health insurance? Because if you’re not going to have health insurance, that’s okay. But remember, health does cost money, even if it is a lot lower.
I have an entire episode about healthcare in Guatemala. Make sure you go and listen to that one.
We do have health insurance. We pay about $300 per month. We don’t have dental insurance. A lot of people are a little bit lower. A lot of people are a little bit higher. So overall, I would say maybe $300 per month for health insurance. That’s another expense that you need to really think about.
And I’m not talking about if you have health care issues or whatever. Those are the extras.
How about having domestic help? I have another episode fully covering domestic help hiring in Guatemala. Make sure you go and listen to that one. But let’s say you only have one cleaning lady, and she’s full-time per month. So we’re talking another $300 approximately per month.
My Family Monthly Expenses
For my family, our living expenses come out to be between $4000- $5,000 per month regularly. And then if we have any extras, that’s on top of that.
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