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budgetary pitfalls

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Costa Rica.

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budgetary pitfalls

Post Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 7:29 pm

hello everyone,

i'm trying to get an idea of what income i will need to support my family in CR, so i'm looking for budgetary things to watch out for, stuff that can make a difference between sinking and swimming. before i go into detail, i would like to thank everyone who has responded to my previous posts - you've all been quite helpful.

about us: family of 4 with 2 kids under 4. i'm a web designer/developer and that is what will be providing our income. we will not be doing the rentista thing to start until we know that CR is where we want to stay, so we may do the permanent tourist thing for the first 6-12 months.

the minimum income that i would consider moving there with would be $3000/month. we don't intend on living in the Central Valley, but do want to live near an expat community on or near a coast. we don't eat out much, so buying fresh veggies and other comestibles is a must. we are considering buying a car, but we can wait and see what our needs will be on that end. other than that, we'll have various utilities and whatnot (i am SO looking forward to not spending $5000 a year on oil to heat my house!). we'll have money to buy furniture, washer/dryer and have a nice emergency fund/savings. and we are learning spanish already.

i've checkedthis monthly budget, where the lowend seems to be a higher type of living than what we are planning and the monthly vehicular costs seem to be extremely high. here are some of my ideas on expenditures:

rent: $500-700 (2-3br unfurnished house, no condo or community living)
health insurance: $200
maid: $200-250
broadband internet: $200 (preferably both cable modem & dsl)
utilities: $200 (based on the budget link above)
school: $0 (we homeschool)

after that, it's all a guess. how much would it cost monthly to own a car? what else do we need to look out for? we'd like to avoid any nasty surprises. and we definitely want to plan to avoid eking out a living - if we're heading to CR, money is something we don't want to be a constant worry.



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