August finally brought a low spending month! The savings were due mostly to being busy and not having the time or inclination to spend money. It was a busy month for tours, with both customized tours and one of our healthcare tours. As a result, Paul was on the go and I was home on my own a lot of the time. This led to our grocery budget and personal transportation costs being lower than normal. We also spoke at International Living’s conference in Costa Rica and they paid our expenses for three days, so our food and transportation expenses also decreased a bit for that period.
There was only one notable expense in this category for August. In preparation for our car’s year’s Riteve inspection in September, Paul bought two new tires for our 1996 Toyota 4-Runner. They were good quality tires from China and cost $199.43 for the pair. We have found the best prices at Tire Center Miroba (Centro Llantero Miroba), located on the Autopista (Rt. 1) between San Ramón and Palmares.
We saw a small reduction in this category. In August, our only phone expenses were our cell phones:
- Paul’s monthly “post-paid” phone plan: $29.71 (15,685 colones)
- Gloria’s “pre-paid” phone: $9.47 (5,000 colones)
There was no charge for our Vonage VOIP phone service last month because a lightening strike disabled the device. We contacted Vonage and they agreed to replace the device at no cost, plus give us a month’s credit while we were awaiting the new device. The only negative was that they only ship within the U.S. Luckily, our friends (thanks Carlos & Tricia!) were leaving for the States for a few days and they offered to bring the device back for us. So, our U.S. phone number is back in service. A bonus is that Vonage also offered to cut our monthly billing in half (when we were discussing us possibly cancelling our service), so future months will cost $15 compared to the $30 we were paying.
The only other item of note were the walking shoes that Paul purchased. When you are a size 12 or so, it’s hard to find shoes in your size in Costa Rica. So when a new shoe store opens up in town that carries larger sizes, word gets around. Thanks to Dean Killian for recommending “Zapato Americano,” located on “out street” immediately across the street (south) from the side of George Washington school, right on the corner. Paul was able to find a pair of “slightly used” Timberland walking boots in his size for about $66.00.
As usual, to help put things into perspective, here are our Costa Rica cost of living expenses for the previous two months. If you want more information about a particular month, just click on the graphic for that month below:
- Our 2014 Annual Cost of Living in Costa Rica Summary
- The Best Way to Live for Less in Costa Rica (or Anywhere), by Rob Evans