Jun 10 2013

Our April 2013 Cost of Living and Our Transportation Budget Breakdown

Our April 2013 living expenses totaled a mere $1741.38. It was such a good month we went back and double-checked everything, just to be sure. Even with our increased costs since moving to the new house, a bigger than usual grocery bill, and some other extra expenses, we were surprised to see that we didn’t break $1800.

We spent over $400 for groceries. Maybe we entertained a bit more in April, but nothing else really stands out to explain the increase. I know we made a visit or two to Auto Mercado for some specialty items, but we didn’t have one big standout grocery bill the entire month…we just went to the store more frequently.

Healthcare was also up, by about $90 for Paul’s medical treatment when he had chest pain. But thankfully, the visit to the emergency room and tests they ran didn’t cost us anything.

Our Entertainment/Travel category includes $49 for a one year of Witopia’s VPN service. This not only protects us when surfing the web by encrypting our data, it allows us to access U.S. programming on sites such as Hulu.com. Since we don’t have a television and are not paying for satellite or other tv services, it is well worth the price to us.

Our Transportation Budget Breakdown

Transportation expenses of $195.33 were actually down, well below our average of $331.71 over the first four months of 2013. We didn’t take the bus or any taxis. The remaining category breaks down as follows:

  • Gas: $182.06
  • Tolls: $5.65
  • Parking: $2.60
  • Tire Repair: $5

In April, we didn’t have any of the extras — car repairs, Marchamo (annual registration), insurance, or RITEVE (annual inspection). It was pretty much just gas (2.5 fill-ups), tolls and parking. We did have a flat tire repaired for 2,440 colones – about $5.00.

To give you an idea of some or our regular car-related expenses, this is what we paid last year:

  • Marchamo (annual registration): $187
  • Insurance: $319
  • RITEVE (annual inspection): $20

The largest part of our transportation expenses is from gas and car repairs. Gas is about $5.50/gallon in Costa Rica and it is normal for us to use 2 to 2.5 tanks of gas per month at about $75 per fill-up. Car repairs vary as parts on our older car wear out and need to be replaced.

Here are our expenses for the previous two months:

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