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The Cost of Living in Mexico

Susan Laurent
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by Susan Laurent

If you’re thinking of moving to Mexico, we have some wonderful news for you: Mexico is a place where your wallet won’t only feel lighter, but your heart will undoubtedly feel fuller! The food is delicious, the culture is rich, and the cost of living is not high at all.

Let’s find out exactly how much it will cost you to live in Mexico.

We sourced our information from Numbeo, a reliable statistical site that bases its cost of living estimations on government and crowdsourced data. All the estimations in our guide refer to the year 2023.


Livin’ La Vida Low-Price: Unveiling the Cost of Living in Mexico

The cost of living in Mexico depends on two factors: where you want to live (city center or suburbs) and whether you intend to live solo or with a family.

Living solo in one of Mexico’s city centers would cost a monthly average of $1,192 (20,049 MXN), whereas outside the city center it would cost around $985 (16.568 MXN).

On the other hand, a family of four is expected to spend around $3,275 (55,086 MXN) in the heart of a Mexican city and around $2,988 (50,259 MXN) in the suburbs.

How did we get these numbers?

According to Numbeo, the average living expenses in Mexico are $632 for a single person (10,630 MXN), and roughly $2,274 (38,249 MXN) for a family of four. This includes expenses such as food, clothing, transportation, and so on.

We applied the average rent prices to these figures, and voilà!  You have a rough estimate of what your total monthly expenses would be in this country.

The Mexi-Cost Guide: Full Price Breakdown

Here’s a full monthly breakdown of how much different things cost in Mexico — including everything from food and rent to clothes and taxis!

Cost of Rent in Mexico

The rent in Mexico varies based on where you choose to live. Homes in Mexico City or near the shore, such as Cancun, are more expensive than those in the highlands or in areas with fewer visitors or expats, such as Puebla.

In the heart of the city, where all the magic happens, you’ll find cozy one-bedroom apartments for $559 (9,402 MXN). If you’re looking for a low-cost apartment, the most affordable options are around $269 (4,524 MXN), but if you’re seeking something exceptional, high-end apartments start at $1,187 (19,965 MXN).

Outside the city center, where it’s more peaceful and quiet, you can find a one-bedroom apartment for $352 (5,920 MXN) on average.For budget-conscious adventurers, the cheapest rental units in the suburbs are typically around $148 (2,489 MXN), while the most expensive ones may cost up to $712 (11,976 MXN).

When it comes to family rental units, the average monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in a city center is roughly $1,000 (16,820 MXN). The most affordable ones are about $475 (7,989 MXN). For those with some money to spare, the fancy apartments in Mexico are usually in the neighborhood of $2,078 (34,952 MXN).

Three-bedroom flats in the peaceful suburbs cost an average of $714 (12,009 MXN) monthly. If you were thinking of something more budget-friendly than that, you can find a cozy suburban family apartment for around $356 (5,988 MXN). The most extravagant suburban three-bedroom apartments in the most expensive neighborhoods may cost up to $71,306 (1.199,395 MXN) per month.

Cost of Food in Mexico

Your food expenses when living in Mexico will depend on whether you have a habit of eating at a restaurant or at home.

In a budget-friendly restaurant, a single meal would cost anywhere from $4 to $17 (67 MXN to 285 MXN) — the average is around $8 (134 MXN). If you went out with a friend or on a date, a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant would cost from $23 to $86 (386 MXN to 1,446 MXN) — with an average cost of $35 (588 MXN).

If you prefer to cook at home, we’re here to tell you that buying groceries in Mexico is really affordable. Yay!

You can check out Numbeo to learn more — under the “Markets” section, you’ll find a full breakdown of the costs of a wide variety of groceries. To make things simpler here, let’s say that you usually make eggs for breakfast, rice and chicken for lunch, and grilled cheese for dinner.

A pack of 12 eggs costs around $2 (33 MXN), rice and chicken filets $4 (67 MXN), and cheese and bread $6 (100 MXN). The daily cost of a three-course meal prepared at home would be around $12 (201 MXN).

Cost of Transportation in Mexico

In Mexico, getting around is quite easy as there are plenty of transportation options.

Let’s start with the most affordable choice: local transportation.You can hop on a bus with a one-way ticket for just a few cents — it’s usually from $0.30 up to $1. However, if you plan to use the bus lines regularly, it’s wise to buy a monthly ticket, which costs around $21 on average.

Taxis in Mexico can range from $0.86 to $4 (14 MXN to 67 MXN) per mile, with the average rate being around $2 (33 MXN). A cab will charge you roughly $5 (84 MXN) for an hour of waiting, but it may reach as high as $14 (235 MXN).

The cost of purchasing a car in Mexico varies depending on the model. Assume you want to buy a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline. The price of this car model would be around $20,901 (351,563 MXN), but it may go as high as $24,522 (412,468 MXN). In addition, a gallon of gasoline will cost you roughly $5 (84 MXN).

Cost of Clothes in Mexico

How much you spend on clothing will, of course, vary depending on your style and whether you prioritize budget or fashion. But let’s give you a rough idea of what you can expect to spend shopping for clothes locally.

If you want to buy a dress, the choices from famous chain retailers like Zara or H&M cost approximately $39 (656 MXN). There are also more expensive items for $65 (1,093 MXN) and more budget-friendly ones for $19 (319 MXN).

If you wish to buy high-quality pants, LEVIS-branded jeans cost roughly $52 (874 MXN). However, you could find discounted LEVIS options for $26 (437 MXN). If you want the epitome of denim luxury, there are LEVIS choices priced at $83 (1,396 MXN).

As for shoes, let’s say you need a mid-range pair of running shoes for your morning walks. Nike running shoes cost around $90 (1,513 MXN). Nike also offers more budget-friendly models starting at $59 (992 MXN), as well as more exclusive options — high-end Nikies start at $125 (2,102 MXN).

When it comes to professional attire, a pair of leather business shoes would cost an average of $81 (1,362 MXN). Even so, you may be able to find discounted or cheaper alternatives and pay as little as $44 (740 MXN). If you’re ready to splurge, the most pricey shoes may cost you around $131 (2,203 MXN).

The clothing prices are relative. You may come across discounts and seasonal or other special offers, allowing you to purchase multiple clothing items for a cheaper price. Plus, for many of us, clothing is not a regular expense, so you could go months without buying anything!

Utilities Cost

Now let’s break down the expenses of modern living — utilities!

The basic costs for electricity, cooling, heating, water, and garbage depend on the size of the apartment or house.

For example, a 915 sq ft apartment would cost you an average of $63 (1,059 MXN) in utilities. Still, utilities may vary anywhere from $35 (588 MXN) to $120 (2,018 MXN) from month to month, depending on whether you use air conditioners, heaters, and so on.

Additional costs for utilities include mobile services, home internet, and TV — which is something we all need in this modern day and age.

According to Numbeo, a mobile monthly plan with 10GB of internet costs around $25 (420 MXN) in Mexico. A 60 Mbps home internet package (including TV and cell service) costs an average of $30 (504 MXN), however depending on the sort of package or service you choose, you can get something cheaper for $23 (386 MXN) or something more expensive for $47 (790 MXN).

Sports & Activities

We all need a moment to ourselves, right? Leisure activities nourish our well-being and motivate us to get up in the morning and seize the day.

A healthy example of leisure time is joining a fitness club. It’s a terrific way to take care of your body and burn off surplus energy, especially if you work from home or sit in an office for 8 hours straight. According to Numbeo, the monthly cost of joining a fitness club in Mexico is around $35 (588 MXN).

Renting a tennis court for one hour would cost you an average of $16 (269 MXN), but depending on the location, it may reach as high as $29 (487 MXN).

As for nighttime, imagine you want to unwind and take your date to a movie premiere. Again, depending on the location and what movie you want to see, the average cinema ticket is around $5 (84 MXN), but it may be as low as $4 (67 MXN) or as high as $8 (134 MXN).

Still, there may be some days, nights, and weekends when all you want to do is stay at home and be a couch potato. If so, you’ll have the added benefit of saving money.

Childcare Cost in Mexico

This section is for those researching the cost of raising a family in Mexico. If you are a young adult and having kids isn’t on your bucket list yet, or you’re a retiree who’s moving to Mexico to spend your remaining years in tranquility, you are exempt from these costs.

Now let’s get down to the numbers. According to Numbeo, the average monthly cost of sending your child to a private preschool or kindergarten is $223 (3,750 MXN).

But there are more options to explore. You can find cheaper alternatives starting at $119 (3,347 MXN) and more luxurious preschools and kindergartens that may cost up to $448 (7,535).

For primary school education, you can expect to pay $4,659 (7,836 MXN) per year for one child. On the other hand, for those who want to provide their children with the best possible education, the costs could reach $9,460 (159,120 MXN).

Cost of Buying an Apartment in Mexico

Owning an apartment may not be on everyone’s bucket list the moment they set foot in Mexico, but we believe it’s important to know what to expect if the time comes.

As with paying rent, the cost of purchasing an apartment will vary depending on where you want to live. Of course, property values in tourist areas, seaside towns, and the capital will be greater than in the rest of Mexico. Other factors are your personal living preferences, the amount of money you intend to invest, and the size of the apartment.

According to Numbeo figures, the cost of purchasing an apartment in a city center in Mexico would be around $143 (2,405 MXN) per square foot.

However, you may find more affordable solutions, with prices per square foot as low as $61 (1,026 MXN). And if you’re looking for the pinnacle of luxury, the most exclusive properties are priced at $333 per square foot (5,601 MXN).

For those looking for the peace and quiet of the suburbs, an apartment there would cost roughly $97 (1,631 MXN) per square foot.

It’s also crucial to note that there are other costs to purchasing property on top of the cost of the apartment per square foot. These expenses include insurance fees, taxes, land trust fees, maintenance, and service fees which vary by area.

The Cost of Living in Mexico: Price Chart

Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment
Center$5599,402 MXN
Suburbs$3525,920 MXN
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment
Center$1,00016,820 MXN
Suburbs$71412,009 MXN
Single meal$8134 MXN
Three-course meal for 2$35588 MXN
Home cooking for 2 people or more$12201 MXN
One-way bus ticket$0.599.92 MXN
Monthly bus ticket$21353 MXN
Taxi$233 MXN
Car ((Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline)$20,901351,563 MXN
Gasoline$584 MXN
Dress (Zara, H&M)$39656 MXN
LEVIS Jeans$52874 MXN
Nike running shoes$901,513 MXN
Leather business shoes$811,362 MXN
Electricity, cooling, heating, water, and garbage for a 915 sq ft apartment$631,059 MXN
Mobile services, home internet, and TV network$55923 MXN
Sports & Activities
Fitness (monthly price)$35588 MXN
Tennis court (1h rent)$16269 MXN
Cinema ticket for one$584 MXN
Private preschool or kindergarten (monthly cost)$2233,750 MXN
Primary school (yearly cost)$4,6597,836 MXN
Buying an apartment
City center (per square foot)$1432,405 MXN
Suburbs (per square foot)$971,631 MXN

Is Mexico an Affordable Alternative to the US?

Mexican Family

Yes! Mexico is hands down the hidden gem for thrifty expats, and living there is much cheaper than living in the U.S.

Numbeo provides a detailed price breakdown of how much it costs to live in the United States, but let’s give you a general idea by comparing a few key expenses between the two countries.

A one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,705 in a bustling U.S. city center on average but only $559 in lively Mexico.

In the U.S., electricity, water, garbage, and other essential utilities may cost roughly $187. The same services that make our lives easier cost only $63 in Mexico!

There’s also a big difference in how much it would cost you to eat out. Eating a meal at a budget-friendly restaurant in the U.S. may cost around $20, but in Mexico, it can be as little as $8.

When it comes to education, sending your child to a U.S. elementary school might cost roughly $16,930. In Mexico, your children can begin their academic journey for as little as $4,659.

Just by looking at these few examples, we can determine that Mexico is 50% less expensive to live in than the U.S. Yes, there are expensive cities in Mexico with costs comparable to those in the U.S., but overall, the same budget will still likely get you more in Mexico.


We hope our estimates will help you make better and more affordable living choices for you and your family. Overall, Mexico has much lower average living expenses than the United States.

However, we know that another big factor at play when you’re considering relocating to another country is safety. While the news reports concerning crime in Mexico may be unsettling for you, we believe that as long as you stay away from Mexico’s dangerous cities and opt for its safer destinations, the country can offer a beautiful and affordable life.

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
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